"Our approach can both support and celebrate nature for this and future generations; moving away from mass produced textile prospecting, which our generations have inherited from the industrial and post-industrial world; and rethinking traditional economic models of consumption by only making what is immediately required.
Nature brings life and invigorates our attention; persistently inspiring, yet increasingly endangered. Together we can create interior products that bring that life-affirming power to built environments, through considered making and business practices.
By reducing waste, and damage to the environment, we may continue to revel in the joy of creation. The beauty of the ecosystems highlighted in my designs becomes a tool in the hands of interior designers and homeowners, helping them to create a lasting, sustainable and inspired living environment."
What excites you about patterned textiles?
Patterned textiles, especially botanicals, have survived the minimalist and brutalist aesthetic of the past few decades as they undertake a kind of call to duty in this age of environmental activism. Recently designing textile pattern for a Marylebone bistro the opportunity to extend scale well beyond reality with botanical motifs made it feel like you were cradled in a safe jungle of nature's beauty. We have realised how important their mnemonic and representative qualities can be, to our mental life and wellbeing. There is tactility, reassurance and delight in the imagery.
Pattern can be an intercession, a celebration, a prayer, and a voice. As a very young child I remember lying on the floor upon thousands of patches of cloth, watching my mother create quilts. The patterns were like little books to me; each pattern seemed to have its own story, references, colours and characters. Detail is exciting. Sketching from life is pivotal in my work. The detailed illustrations, created from real-life narratives, shape how I then communicate wider, universal questions and ideas.
We know the natural world is one of your main inspirations, what else feeds your work?
Definitely the human spirit inspires me, with all its search for meaning, so I love diving into cities, hubs and centres of history and learning. Spending time in collections is invaluable in design development, and when writing about design. I'm often considering how our own day fits into the timeline of history, articulating responses to the past, and thoughts for the future. The most exhilarating projects see textiles eliciting a response in the viewer, which is highly satisfying and far reaching.
Becky Johnstone launched her signature collection of interior textiles in 2021. Hand drawn and hand painted in the UK, she uses techniques honed from training in classical approaches, with a passion for gesture-of-hand and tactility. Conservation, habitats and the joy of Creation are her inspirations, History and the human spirit are also constant reference point.
Becky has worked as a professional textile designer for over twenty years; based around the world designing for textile mills in the UK, US, EU, Asia and Australia; consulting for interior design and architectural firms on many luxury residential and hospitality projects. She holds a Masters in the History of Design from the University of Oxford, a BA in Textile Design from RMIT, a Diploma in Fashion Manufacturing from the Sydney Institute of Technology, and several years studying painting, drawing and printmaking at Julian Ashton's, Australia's oldest art school in the classical academy model.
Sweeping gestures that celebrate the joys of creation,
classically drafted characters;
the story of nature and its bounty, both for earth and hearth.