In 2014 the Textile Study Group Graduate of the Year award was awarded to Maria Boyle, who had achieved a 1st Class BA Hons in Textile Design Crafts from Banbury and Bicester College delivered in partnership with De Montfort University.
Maria’s Lichen Collection, which was exhibited at New Designers, references her love of the forest environment, fostered by childhood visits to her maternal family in Northern Sweden. The work is concerned with the migration of reindeer, along with the Sami, from their mountain grazing lands towards the lichens of the life-sustaining forests.
There is an emphasis upon colours of specific hues that are skilfully developed through dye and print. The rich colour subtleties reflect Maria’s qualifications from the Society of Dyers and Colourists and her strong interest in Colour Psychology. Intriguing textural qualities within the work are achieved through stitch, knit and needle felting, which combine to create layered organic cloth. The beautifully cohesive body of work was professionally presented and contained a strong narrative.