Interview with Lichen Kemp- Sunday Morning Designs
You use a of reclaimed material in your artwork , do you believe in re-incarnation?
I do believe in magic in the here and now though, especially the kind of everyday magic involving transformation and metamorphosis.
The D.I.Y. masks we produce are one of my favourite products because they assist with the momentary transformation of people into fantastical beings, and also because they involve the public in the magical process of being a designer- taking something 2 dimensional and transforming it into a wonderful and interactive physical object.
This process has been taken to the next level by the folk artisans of Yogyakarta who made the amazing paper mache masks in the Pop Craft window. Like our D.I.Y. masks, these masks are made from recycled paper, but with these you can see still pages of children’s maths and science homework and articles from the local Indonesian newspaper lining the heads of sheep and hens. The masks are made for carnivals and traditional performances, when homework is put on hold for a fantastic celebration!
Some of these masks we had made up from Dylan’s drawings and it was interesting stepping back a bit from the illustrator/designer/maker process and seeing objectively how collaboration can eventate. Dylan’s original sketches became almost unrecognisable through the elaborate process of carving a wooden mould and then paper mache and handpainting – but we didn’t mind a bit, because the results were so amazing- and surprising in that they had developed their own personalities along the way!
I really enjoy reusing and recycling materials in new ways, it is a good feeling breathing new life into something that was otherwise going to be discarded. The first paper streamer weavings we made were from streamers we collected from the floor after a kids party, and awhile back we did a range of textiles using patchworked pieces of worn out laundry bags we used to tote our goods to markets.
If I was anyone in a past life I think I was a nomadic trader, traipsing the silk route with bags of mysterious and beautiful goods from far away lands.
Inspiration comes from the realm of the fantastic- especially in costumes, handmade architecture and children’s play- my dream job would be designing a playground!!