Brixton designer Isabel Fletcher’s new exhibition Downstairs at The Department Store on Ferndale features clothing, textile-installation, dance and film inspired by a Thames Estuary landfill site.
Offcut Two, the second part of an exploration of waste, runs from 5 to 8 March, 10am to 5pm.
It was conceived during a visit to East Tilbury’s historic landfill site – a 20th century time capsule packed with ceramics, glass and more contemporary plastics and synthetics. Coastal erosion means this waste is being unearthed and swept into the Thames.
East Tilbury’s content, which includes asbestos and battery leachates, is beyond use physically so, instead, Offcut Two aims to further its lifespan by observing its weathered shapes and colours to inform contemporary designs.
“Through this collection, I want to convey an important message to care for and respect our possessions, while finding beauty and purpose in the discarded fragments of our lives,” says Fletcher.
Every piece in the collection is made using a variety of environmentally conscious fabrics which are gathered, draped and structured, mimicking the patterns seen in Tilbury’s landfill waste.
Earthy tones and washed out reds are scattered with small pops of colour referencing the shredded waste strewn across the landfill. This colour palette has been achieved using food waste and plant dyes applied by hand, with the addition of Global Organic Textile Standard certified digital printing.
As with her earlier Offcut One, Fletcher has kept every offcut of fabric left from the collection to feed into further work, including rugs and quilts.
Film recorded at the Tilbury landfill acts as a contextual backdrop while a live dance performance makes a connection with viewers.