Exploring the subtle differences that emerge through observation and habitual making – the quiet act of visualising and listening. Melissa takes the role of the independent observer, focusing on listening rather than talking. This discreet approach gives a strength and focus for creating work that translates knit and stitch into a physical manifestation of time. Each mark and pattern becomes a recording of personal thoughts and emotions, allowing the creation of a narrative.

‘I was able to grow, as a knitted textile designer, to see the functional properties that lie behind a visual concept of manual and digital machine knitting. This also incorporates hand manipulation techniques with its movements of piercing and building. Everything knitted was constructed on the machine as a form of seamless knitwear. This practice captures time and structures, along with the key focal points of shape, texture and fluidity between the machine and myself, challenging my concept and capabilities. Merging the colourful flashes of uplifting brightness I experience in everyday life contrasted with the subdued tones I find in the city where I live gives me an instant colour palette.’

Observation and repetition create not only an experiential pattern but also a visual and textural pattern. The use of narrative, detail and colour creates a statement that translates into wearable art, wearable art that strives to achieve a greater depth of understanding in capturing the essence of a moment.

Thus, an artist’s greatest strength is people watching.

As a Final Year student at the Ulster University Melissa’s collection will be showcased at the Ulster University Graduate Fashion Show as one of Northern Ireland’s most exciting emerging designers from Ulster University’s Belfast School of Art, held on the 19th May from 7.30-9.30 at St Anne’s Cathedral, Donegal Street, Belfast.

Melissa’s work will also be at the launch of the Ulster University’s Belfast School of Art Degree Show, held on the 2nd June from 6pm-10pm in the School of Art itself.