Printed Whispers, an artwork using textiles made by designer and former OSE student Yemi Awosile, will decorate a new community cafe in Margate.
Open School East is one of two ‘alternative art schools’ in Margate. The Margate School is based in the old Woolworths building, and Open School East is based in the Adult Education Centre in Hawley Square.
The new artwork will decorate a new communal space in the Adult Education Centre. It is launching as part of Margate NOW, a festival of art, events and performances running alongside the Turner Prize at Turner Contemporary.
Yemi’s work is inspired by an interest in what textiles and printed matter can tell us about culture. The designer researchs the subject by holding workshops with a range of participants, largely new to the field of textile design, over a long period of time.
Yemi has worked with local groups and organisations Quarterdeck, Kent Community Learning and Skills, Garden Gate Project, Broadstairs Town Shed and the Despacito Art School to design and test the new communal space, which will be open to the public and includes a new cafe.
Over a period of three months, the designer has led a series of fifteen workshops, leading nearly 150 members of the local community in workshops in printmaking, using a heat press, and printing from wood blocks.
The final design for the space makes use of local chalk and old objects found in the local neighbourhood. It combines hand crafted elements with digital embroidery techniques. It includes a collection of large-scale, colourful fabrics, and the surface designs are covered with motifs that have been created by the community groups.
The project took inspiration from designs by previous students of the original Thanet School of Arts and Crafts – which from 1931-74 operated in the same building that Open School East now occupies.
Open School East delivers an art education programme to students who have graduated from art school. It also runs workshops and events for people less likely to have access to traditional art schools. Founded in 2013, Open School East moved to Margate, first at Resort Studios and since January 2019, at the Adult Education Centre.
Printed Whispers opens on Friday (September 27), 2pm-5pm at the Adult Education Centre ground floor cafe.
Opening times: Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm, Saturday 11am-5pm