Continuing the inspiring women theme, the keynote speech was given by renowned textile artist and designer Jilli Blackwood, who gained a first-class honours degree at Glasgow School of Art. Jilli has gone on to garner international recognition for her wall hangings and ‘Art to Wear’ works held in private, corporate and museum collections around the world. She spent time as artist-in-residence at the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh and was the designer of Team Scotland’s Commonwealth Games 2014 Opening Ceremony uniforms.
Guests had the opportunity to take part in a diverse range of interactive workshops including traditional spinning and weaving with the West of Scotland Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers; as well as the chance to learn from students and Academics at UWS’ School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences about how digital technologies can transform the modern-day textile industry.
Also on show at the event were five of the tapestry panels used to create the BBC’s 2018 FIFA World Cup trailer, further highlighting the possibilities of combining traditional textiles with digital technology to create highly engaging content.
The event marked another textile art initiative UWS has been involved in, with the University one of the driving forces behind the highly-innovative Paisley Pearls digital art project, which transformed the traditional Paisley pattern for the digital age.
Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of UWS, said: “We’re thrilled at the success of our latest Inspiring Women event and I would like to thank the speakers for sharing their experiences of the textile industry with our guests.
“Not only did it highlight the pivotal role of women in Scotland’s past and present textile industry, but it also revealed the lasting effect UWS’ home town of Paisley, and the wider Renfrewshire area, has had on the art form over the years."