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Zelda Middleton

Textiles, Honours Bachelor of Craft and Design, Class of 2020


Supernova Blue: Connecting Creativity and Neuroscience

Mural and sculpture - merino wool, acid dye

48" x 72", 10" x 10"

The idea for this project was sparked by my interest in how creative thoughts originate in the brain. My research delved deeply into the genesis, brain location and actual moment of the creative thought. Throughout the project my knowledge, experience and technical skills increased vastly. I interviewed and visited experts and read and learned extensively about creativity, whilst contemplating how my creative process was nurtured, stimulated, interrupted or stunted and how this would ultimately contribute to my future body of work as a textile artist. I chose the felt medium for its rich symbolism of fibers connecting with each other to create the magic of a new textile and I saw in this a beautiful metaphor for creative thoughts, transforming into materiality and craft. The design was created in Photoshop and Illustrator, inspired from actual neurology lab images. The design was then sampled by hand needle-felting to establish colour accuracy and thereafter needle-felted with an industrial needle felting machine. The accompanying sculptural versions of the cell design elements were created by wet felting techniques including the shibori stitch technique. The wool used was 100% Corriedale and Merino wool and was hand-dyed by myself in the Sheridan Textile Design Studio. I would like viewers of this work to stand before it and internalize the strong relationship between creative thought and craftsmanship through design, against a bold gradient background which rises from dark and sombre to light and uplifting.

Award winner: $2,000

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