As readers of our blog know, we love a collaboration and we were very excited to work with local designer Ayomide Ogundayo recently on a flower-themed photoshoot showcasing a collection of her latest bags. Ayomide grew up in Hackney but moved to Cornwall to study printed textiles at Falmouth. We spoke to Ayomide to find out all about it.
What was the inspiration behind your bag collection?
Going back and forth between London and Cornwall, it was crazy to see things changing at such an alarming rate. We all know Hackney is up and coming but it’s even more noticeable when you’ve been away for six months! Grayson Perry – whose artwork focuses on the life of the working class and its relation to politics – talks about the need for affordable housing as rich people do not create culture. This idea of culture being sucked out [of Hackney] to create a homogeneous scene was one I was not looking forward to, especially as I had grown up here.
In relation to my print, they start off as classic floral/stripes and more traditional looking designs but then they are warped, distorted or manipulated in a way that represents the dilution of what once was something more authentic. They are still pleasant to look at but they are just different from the original. Taking a more positive stance on it I believe that, what was once there will always be the foundation for new and more exciting things to come as long as the old is combined with the new rather than discarded.
Why were you drawn to flowers with the designs?
To be honest, I’ve not ever really been drawn to flowers as I found it a very ‘textiles’ thing to do, very traditional and sometimes over interpreted in our field. Being in a new environment like Falmouth made me appreciate and notice new things – there’s more green space there and people take pride in their gardens. Seeing people’s gardens change through the seasons fascinated me and from there I started taking photographs and scans. I ended up doing a whole floral collection for my final major project and referenced a lot of work by Viviane Sassen. I find her use of colour and shadow play very fascinating.
What are your favourite flowers?
Such a difficult question! I really love orchids – they’re such an elegant flower. I love that you can find them in almost every colour and the animal-like prints some of them have. Also, daffodils bloom around my birthday, so I love them too – they just look like happy flowers.
What was the experience of working with McQueens for the photoshoot?
It was a great new experience for me. It’s exciting to cross-collaborate with people from different fields with different levels of experience. Opportunities like this don’t come around every day and I was lucky enough to pick my own team. Collaboration is the way forward, and I think this approach is catching on. It brings together a range of expertise and skills and I had the chance to work with people I admired.