June Russell

Drawings by June Russell inspired by work in Bradford College Textile Archive

Fabric samples held in Bradford College Textile Archive which inspired June Russell's work "I was struck immediately by the liveliness and personality of the 1790s Vint & Gilling hand-drawn designs on paper from the SDC Collection.

I’m assuming they are actual size and that they would be re-drawn on to copperplate to be repeated on to the fabric. Imagining the final effect from such small, precise designs must have been quite a feat.

As I am a printmaker, my first thought was to create my own etchings based on the drawings, but then I considered that one of the things I loved best about them was the evidence of the artist’s hand and thought; almost like a signature. I know that when I move a drawing on to print, some of that original signature is, necessarily, lost in translation. And it’s quite possible that the copperplates made from the drawings here would have been created by another technician altogether.

So I decided to stick with drawing, which is the basis of all my work, but which is usually an unseen, preliminary process, just like these.

There is a sense, in the designs, of that almost automatic ‘doodling’ that the hand completes, while the mind is very nearly somewhere else. I do this frequently, in meetings, or while on the phone. So what I’ve created for the exhibition is a series of drawings in my own hand, using the motifs that come to me unbidden when I doodle; my own signature. They are in pen, on notepad paper and will remain ‘preliminary’."