The masses of paper kites that fill the skies during the Uttarayan festival, marking the end of winter, inspired the exuberance this print radiates. Rooted in tradition yet completely graphic in form and colour, it is a dramatic eye-catcher. The pattern of grey dots on the reverse offers a interesting counterpoint and a quick visual switch.
65 x 45 cm Screenprinted onto 100% cotton Flouro red and turquoise on the front, grey dots on white on the reverse Zip on the bottom of the cushion Machine washable at 30 degrees Insert included
Textiles really run in my family; my great grandfather started a fashion textile business in Punjab over a 100 years ago, so from age five that’s all I wanted to be involved in. Along the line the fashion influence translated into interior textiles and homewares.
After finishing her Textiles degree at Central Saint Martins, Kangan worked for the wonderful print designer Lisa Stickley where she says she learned everything they don't teach you at college - how to run a business, management, press, production and more! She was part of a team of five and worked on both retail and web sales and organised all their events – from season launches to pop-up shops! After a year and a half, she felt ready to build her own brand and so she took the plunge and set up studio in her room (in the flat she shared with 4 Japanese designers).
For the next year she developed a small range of screen printed and embroidered cushions that she showed at design markets every other weekend in different parts of London. It was only in the winter of 2012 that she rented a permanent studio space in West Norwood where she still works.
My main inspiration has consistently been India; I never tire of the hustle and bustle and visual assault of people, pattern and colour. More and more, I also find myself being influenced by the tumble-dryer of creativity that is London, but it is to the colour, energy and eclecticism of home that I’ll always be drawn.
Kangan’s design process starts with hundreds of photos she takes of things that inspire her – windows, people, buildings, markets… she then abstracts forms and motifs from one, colour from another and roughly puts it together… A lot of the designing actually happens on the go in the studio: when she puts two or three patterns she’s happy with on silkscreen, and just plays around to see how they work together - and in which colour combinations. This experimentation and happy accidents are really the fun part of the whole process – she describes it as being similar to unwrapping presents and never knowing what you might receive next. Once she’s happy with a final print, the making happens at her dinner table at home with a background score of old 60s Bollywood music and masala chai on tap.
Thanks so much for chatting with us Kangan - we wish you much success ahead!