21 May Craft Crush #13 is Alex Noble
As the Craftivist Collective we love to showcase people who have spent years honing their craft & created beauty in our world. They teach us new skills & new ways of thinking and challenge us in how craft can be done, seen & have a positive mark on the world. These people keep me and the Craftivist Collective moving forward and growing and basically I have a big Craft Crush on them for that reason & want to celebrate their crafty brilliance with you so you can be inspired by them too.
Craft Crush #13 is…. Alex Noble
Alex is a multi-disciplined Artist, Fashion Designer and founder of EMG Initiative, repurposing high end waste to create beauty in aid of fighting human rights issues. He has worked in collaboration across sectors from MTV to Cirque Du Soleil, Wimbledon to Red Bull. He has worked with Lady GaGa and Florence Welch for their tours and music videos. One of his current projects is a ‘Rights of Massive’ collection made in collaboration with TRAID for their The Traidremade Pop Up shop open 22nd May-14th June in Soho, London which will also include three weeks of ethically made fashion, workshops (including a craftivism workshop by us), talks & screenings in the heart of Soho. He has created an incredible fourteen piece unisex capsule range heavily influenced by 1980’s streetwear and made exclusively from textile waste.
I don’t know how this man manages to do all that he does, across disciplines & still have time to talk his dog & come across so chilled out and as well as refreshingly humble. It’s an honour to be part of The Traidremade Pop Up with him. I really recommend you go to his #traidtalks talk on 11th June 7pm-9pm to explore Alex Noble’s creative journey through art and fashion, while increasingly striving to build a more sustainable and ethical industry. Free with suggested donation of £5. Booking essential as spaces limited. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Over to the man himself…
What do you do?
Multi Disciplinary Fashion Designer and Artist doing all sorts
What are your first memories of crafting/making/stitching?
Using a tapestry template with my gran, it was an A4 piece with a picture of a giraffe. My other gran showed us how to make pom poms around the same age. Grans and wool. I must have been about 6
What inspires you?
Ive been inspired by so many things through my life. Growing up in London amongst so many cutlures, being the son of two architects and the youngest of three, exposed to my siblings interests and practices like graffiti and trip hop and rave flyers at an early age. I had an early passion for mythology through films like Clash of the Titans, and Sci Fi through Blade Runner and Flash Gordon. I think inspriation is the ingredients for brain waves and most of my ideas come from a forming of concious and subconcious inspirations, slowly cooking together and suddenly the alarm goes off.
Who do you have a craft crush on?
I just went to the Sonia Delauney show at the Tate Modern. My mum took me because she saw similarities in our painitngs, but the exhibition opened out into a huge collection of fashion, print and textile design work alongside interior decoration and other applied arts.
Her brand was called ‘Simultane’ which I think is so cool. An artist who was abe to turn her hand to all decorative practice, and industriously at that.
What three things could you not live without?
My brain, my hands and my ideas (and peanut butter)
How has craft been a positive influence for you, your community or society at large?
My practice has always given me freedom of expression. When I realised the majority of my work was spent focused on satisfying an elite few, when in reality I was struggling alongside many other practitioners and workers . I felt I needed to find a way for my work to advocate those who need help, support or representation. For my practice to be outwardly positive yet retain its subversion.
Through this realisation I set about trying to make all my work have a positive effect, leading me into projects using remnant material and waste. To be sustainable but also to celebrate the design process, and keep alive the work that so often becomes redundant after its featured season and collection. I started creating projects that raise money for charities. I launched the EMG Initiative with a group of like minded friends and contempories where we use waste to make new products, sell them and raise money for charities like Childhope,
Through this I met Traid and they invited me to create the Traidremade collection. The profits from the collection go to obtaining birth certificates for children of garment workers in bangladesh, recognising them as citizens and their right to education and medical treatment.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I would want people to understand that we are one human race and that we are all connected. Sadly most connections have negative connertations through politics, production chains and consumerism.
Our choices have a global effect and that we could all look out for one another alot more effectively.
Have you got any words of encouragement for our readers about the power of crafts?
Making is creating and that is so powerful. Your art can be your voice so use it and shout about how you feel.