Kerry Curtis is the Head of Fashion, Textiles and Three Dimensional Design, and as a practitioner Curtis has worked in the Fashion Industry with her main focus in the specialist area of Embroidery Design.
Kerry Curtis is currently working on ‘The Mantelpiece Project’ which explores at how designers discover inspiration and how they use the things they find to influence their design process.
The first Mantelpiece exhibition ran in November 2011 as part of STUFFBATH for more information go to http://www.stuffbath.com or for images http://pinterest.com/themantelpiece/the-mantelpiece/
The exhibition description:
‘In existence, the mantelpiece commands the focus of the domestic interior; an altar, serving as a place to exhibit precious and sentimental objects. It has a permanence and somehow stands quietly separate from the daily life around it. On the mantelpiece everyone is able to curate the things they most love.
For many designers visiting the car-boot or charity shop, is as regular as doing the grocery shop. Back at home, they cant help but curate and showcase arrangements of found and made objects, residing on mantelpieces, shelves, sideboards and window sills. Initiating the connection between looking for, collecting, sorting, thinking, designing and making.
The Mantelpiece looks at these inspirational collections of objects. Individually, the items may be viewed as beautiful, incredibly crafted or even plain ugly and pointless, yet when arranged on a mantelpiece this stuff creates a narrative, expressing the design handwriting of the creator.
In this exhibition, a group of designers, who have close links with the Bath School of Art and Design, recreate their mantelpieces, displaying personal, yet disparate windows through which the audience can catch a glimpse of the private world of design, designers and the objects that inspire the creation of new stuff.’
Curtis studied MA Mixed Media Textiles at the Royal College of Art in London and, just days before Curtis exhibited her final body of work for the 1997 RCA graduate show, she met with Franca Sozzani the Editor-in-Chief of Italian Vogue. On seeing the portfolio of work produced by Curtis, Sozzani immediately recommended Italian Fashion Designer, Alberta Ferretti visit London to take a look. Within moments of the show opening, Curtis had her first design position.
Working at Ferretti Studio in Italy, Curtis was able to explore deconstructing fabrics, creating beautiful torn fragmented to be re-configured into sophisticated garments. At Alberta Ferretti, Curtis developed a new direction, utilising hand embroidery techniques such as beading and began to work directly with India to produce highly embellished items.
In late 1998, Curtis moved to Rome to take a new position with the Design House, Valentino, before returning to London 2001 to work as a freelance designer.
Clients included Chloé, House of Jazz, Peter Jensen, Ghost, Luella Bartley, Dai Rees and Curtis also sold textile swatches to Donna Karan and Calvin Klein.
From her London studio, Curtis worked as a consultant for, the New York based, embroidery company Phoenix. For Phoenix, Curtis, designed embroidery swatch collections and further developed textiles for European clients such as Givenchy, Fendi, Dolce and Gabbana, Lanvin, Mila Schon and Sportmax.
Other exciting opportunities also arose and the designers work began to move outside of the world of fashion and became very varied such as creating illustrations for books and magazines, an embroidery for a restaurant canopy, an animated embroidered narrative for pop group Ladytron’s ‘Evil’ video, styling for Channel 4 and ITV idents. During this time she began to develop more personally directed research and presently continues to explore and push ideas.
In 2002, Curtis returned again to work directly within a Fashion Design House, this time in Paris for Nina Ricci. Parallel to designing for fashion, she undertook teaching as a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins and Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication and Bath Spa University. This has proceeded into Curtis becoming the current Head of the Fashion, Textile and Three Dimensional Design Department at Bath Spa University.
In addition to an academic career, Curtis continues to create work, undertake commissions, and work as a freelance consultant to the fashion industry.
The Department of Fashion, Textiles and Three Dimensional Design currently consists of the following courses and PhD study:
MA Design: Fashion and Textiles, MA Design: Ceramics, BA (Hons) Fashion Design, BA (Hons) Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors, BA (Hons) 3-D: Ceramics, BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design: Idea Material Object
To find out more about Bath School of Art and Design visit