• Thelma Afford Award: An interview with Charlotte Lane

Charlotte Lane

APDG member, Charlotte Lane, outlines her experiences since winning the Thelma Afford Award in 2016. We extend our thanks to Perpetual Trustees for their generous contribution. Charlotte writes:

The Thelma Afford Award has given me a wonderful opportunity to develop my craft as a designer. After receiving this award, I spent time undertaking short courses and educational development in the UK and Melbourne.

The grant allowed me to spend three months in London, attending a term of the ‘Textiles: Ancient to Modern’ course at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Comprised of a variety of lectures and gallery talks and referencing garments from the museum’s archives, this course examined the history, techniques and designs of textiles around the world, with the term I attended focusing on 18th century textiles.

I was also afforded the opportunity to further explore my interest in textural and sculptural details of costume design through a short course at Central Saint Martins in London. The course looked at finishing and surface treatments, with a focus on dying, printing and painting; and gave me the chance to learn techniques and experiment with new technologies and processes.

During my time overseas I was also able to participate in a design development intensive with the immersive theatre company Punchdrunk, and make a pilgrimage to the Théâtre du Soleil on the outskirts of Paris to meet director Arianne Mnouchkine.

Upon my return home I completed short courses in sewing and patternmaking at RMIT in Melbourne, which consolidated practical skills that will inform my design practice.

Pursuing my specific interests and honing skills through further education has been integral in shaping my professional development as a designer. I feel very fortunate and thankful to have had the opportunity to study and learn in such incredible institutions, thanks to the Thelma Afford Award.

Applications for the Thelma Afford Award close on 16 November 2018. Professionals and students wishing to participate in further education in costume design are welcome to apply. The award is an initiative of the late Thelma May Afford, an Australian designer, theatre performer and journalist. Thelma Afford was a talented designer who explored the uses of various media for her costume work and was a recognised authority on the history of costume and theatre in Australia.

Read more on the Thelma Afford Award here

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