“My work is inspired by a book called Testament of Youth, which is a memoir from World War One. The author, Vera Britton, was a volunteer nurse. The book is about how she was going to go to Oxford for University, but instead she decided to become a nurse. Then she subsequently lost her fiancée and her brother throughout the war. It’s about her account of the war as a woman.
The idea of loss and innocence and grief. That’s the main basis of my work, and it’s also influenced by childrenswear from that period as well. High bust lines and smocking with all the layers, sort of the child-likeness of it. The knitwear piece sort of unravels, and it’s about how they couldn’t really show their grief at that time, it was quite internalised. I think when the war ended, she felt like she had been left behind. All the people she knew before were gone, so it’s about it falling apart.
I really like this course because our class is only like 20 people, and that’s really nice. You get a lot of contact times with tutors and I think at the bigger universities you don’t really get that.”