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10x10 John Alexander Skelton

12 September 2019

Tell us about yourself or your practice. What are you working on at the moment?

Currently I’m working simultaneously on the production of my last summer collection and the research/textile development and planning for my new winter collection. There’s a lot of dyeing and washing going on at the moment as with my summer collections I use a lot of antique linens that I garment dye. I also did a lot of overdyeing with natural dyes this summer, so the studio is very busy.


What key issues are you addressing with your work? / What impact do you hope to see through your work? / Why is design important? (feel free to answer one, or all!)

I think the future of design is incredibly important to our continued existence on this planet. I do not agree with the rejection of entire industries and firmly believe that it is an imperative and essential role that designers show and prove that we can coexist with the natural world reversing the deficits we currently face.


Tell us about something you’ve seen that’s inspired you recently? / Tell us about something you’ve worked on that’s made you feel proud. (please answer one or both)

I recently visited the biennale in Venice and whilst it’s not directly related to my work I found both the Ukrainian and French Pavilions extremely moving. They both dealt with the Anthropocene and the ambivalence of society in different but very powerful ways. It’s always more interesting for me if the work carries a relevant and potent charge, it’s something that I aspire to reflect in my own work.

What is the role of design in addressing/communicating global issues? What are the challenges you face in communicating your work to a global audience? How do you approach inclusivity and accessibility in your work? (please answer one or all!)

I don’t think I have any issues in communicating to a global audience, it’s not something that I actively pursue though. I’m more interested in people discovering my work through their own devices rather than it being forced down their neck. I think it’s more special this way and allows for the simple pleasure of discovery.

I have a proactive approach to inclusivity, I have a lot of textile work done in India where I utilise the work of NG0’s and other cooperatives. In terms of accessibility there is one major issue in that if you want to make very good quality clothing in an ethical way and not mass produced then the prices will always be high. However, I believe that owning fewer better quality items is the way forward in almost all forms of consumption.