Sasha Delmage (She/her)
I am a Glasgow-based illustrator/knitter. I am interested in the cultural and traditional context of knitting, as well as the intersection of knit and illustration. I am also interested in world building through creating artefacts and narratives.
The premise for this project was to use the research I had already done for my Extended Essay and to make something responding to the points that I had discussed. I was motived to write my essay entitled ‘How and why has knitting been used as a form of communication?’ due to my personal connection with knitting, having taken up the skill recreationally in my first year of university. I was interested in the semiotics, materiality, and conceptions of knitting as a practice historically and contemporarily. I am particularly interested in stretching the medium as far as I can; I am drawn to unconventional form and symbols in knitted artefacts. The flag is a symbol for place and identity. My flag is designed with motifs from traditional Fair Isle knitting, as well as the symbol that appears on the label of authentic Fair Isle garments. In my first chapter of my extended essay, I discuss traditional fair knitting as a connection to community identity and place. Wool for garments was acquired from the island’s sheep and spun by the community. Natural dyes were developed from the Island’s resources such as madder root. The symbols knitted into the garments reflected the natural and social environment in which they were made. Photos taken by Josh Croll.
After having rediscovered a beloved song from my childhood, ‘Disco Duck’ by Rick Dees and his Cast of Idiots, I felt compelled to do something about it.
I realised that there was a lot wrong with the song that I was too naive to understand as a child. On rediscovery, I realised that the lyrics were misogynistic and generally distasteful. Disco as a subculture and music genre was pioneered by gay and black communities. The song on the contrary, is a white-washed appropriation of Disco. It is emblematic of Disco’s surge into the mainstream media in the mid-late 1970s, made for a white heterosexual audience. I wanted to bring the character Disco Duck back to life, addressing the cultural changes in pop culture that have ensued since the song’s development. My main focus was to consider who this duck was in his heyday and how he was subsequently trying to stay relevant in a world that has outgrown him. I was keen to explore the toxic effects of living with and after fame – with attention to how it builds the ego, which is subsequently difficult to navigate once the fame is gone.
Curious While Calm
Alice Bates, a student graduating from Textiles at Edinburgh University, asked me if I could illustrate a narrative to demonstrate her concept for her final collection. She gave me the outline of the narrative and her research to work from. Alice’s final collection consists of a variety of garments and homeware that are heavily textured. The textures act as a sensory aid for anxiety. The project is called ‘Curious While Calm’. She asked me to follow the narrative of an anxious individual who manages to break their jumper by fiddling with it so much. They discover Alice’s scarf, and are then able to feel the garment’s textures to alleviate their anxiety.
The brief for this project was to make a three-colour poster for the online film festival we would have as a class. We were assigned films – mine was Frank Borzage’s ‘Desire’ (1936).