A Plymouth College of Art Fashion Graduate is currently celebrating her selection for the Knitted Textiles Awards 2011 and she is busy preparing to exhibit her work at the Finalists Showcases in London and Harrogate.
As part of the accolade, Modbury-based Becky Dodman has been given exhibition space at Alexandra Palace in London on October 5 and at International Halls, Harrogate on 16 November. She is also in the running for a prize of £1,000 if she wins, or £350 if she is selected as one of three runners up.
Becky said: “I am really excited about the opportunities that being shortlisted has given me. I have really enjoyed the creative process and this is just the icing on the cake – since being a finalist at the Clothes Show last year people are taking an interest in what I’m doing!”
Becky’s individualistic knitwear collection was initially inspired by Hundertwasser and utilises bright psychedelic colours and style lines. Becky says there is also a strong ethical relationship to her collection, “I use ethically sensitive materials including locally sourced Modbury wool which I hand-dye in my kitchen with my daughter!
“My practice is very community focussed. It’s about giving something back to the rural community I live in as well as creating great knitwear. Local farmers offer me raw fleece and this is processed in Cornwall, so in all some of my knitwear takes a round trip of only 85 miles! I also get some of the wool I use from commercially available sources, but I use wool as my main textile as it’s a sustainable resource.”
Becky’s love of knitting was developed at an early age, she says: “My Gran used to live with us when I was little and she taught me how to knit. She had the time and patience to show me the basics which got me off to a great start. For her it was about passing on that tradition and now she loves to see my work and hear about how well I’m doing.”
After doing her first degree in Youth and Community Studies 10 years ago Becky worked for Connexions as a Careers Adviser before enrolling on a Textiles evening class at Plymouth College of Art. She says: “Once Martha at the College introduced me to the knitting machines my love of knitting was transported to a new level because I never had the patience before to knit a whole garment by hand. They suggested I apply to do the BA Fashion degree, so I did!”
Becky is now back at Plymouth College of Art as a PGCE student, teaching on the National Diploma Fashion course while developing her collection further in her spare time. Although she is clearly a very busy lady, Becky welcomes commissions from anybody interested in her work. Contact Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on facebook.
(image: Becky Dobman’s tank dress, courtesy of James Borne)