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RAE 2008

Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design


On the Fringe
Pat Moloney

My research is concerned with exploring the way in which different light sources when combined with textiles can affect our sensory experiences with a view to enhancing our health and well being.

Textiles in themselves are about sensory engagement and light can have a profound effect on our emotional and physiological well being. This should come as no surprise: we know that since time began light can have powerful effect, it has a strong spiritual significance and our everyday expressions such as ‘the light of the end of tunnel’ and many others, suggest that light is always perceived as positive. Along with some of our other senses, the sensory effect of light is something which we may have neglected in recent times.

Certain light sources such as optical fibres and special light boxes have already been found useful to alleviate medical conditions such as SAD and ADD. The aim is to produce textile forms which are visually stimulating without light but can be further enhanced or transformed with the addition of a light source.

By incorporating conventional, recycled and advanced materials with light technology into what is basically seen as a hand craft tradition (woven and structured textiles) the scope for development is considerably enlarged. Craft theorists have always been interested in the idea that the strength of craft lies in its connection with life processes which communicate the object to its owner as opposed to the anonymity of the manufactured product.

The idea of a fusion of centuries old structures and new technology, although by no means a new concept, is in this instance, pushing my research forward towards using digital technology in the form of rapid prototyping and digital jacquard. The aim being to incorporate fundamental tradition into the new aesthetic thereby giving the hand that has created it a place in Digital Craft.

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London Metropolitan University