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BLUE INNOVATIONS: CONTEMPORARY CZECH INDIGO PRINTS

The Blue Innovations exhibition, part of London Craft Week, showcases the work of contemporary Czech designers who create exceptional, high quality hand-made items using traditional indigo printing techniques for decorating fabrics. It will also introduce these techniques, which have been integral to Czech culture for centuries and are now on UNESCO‘s lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Blue Innovations enables craft that has been tested over the centuries, uniquely fragile and also with a trace of manufacturing secrecy, to meet its reflection in the work of contemporary Czech fashion designers, also within the terms of applied art.

Exhibition's curator Alice Klouzková who has collaborated with some of the most talented and specialised craftspeople in the country says: "The purpose of my work is to prove that indigo print is not fated to die out but can exist as a functional part of contemporary fashion design." Her work will be complemented by that of contemporary Czech fashion designers Monika Drápalová, who creates multi-functional clothes supporting the owner's freedom, Petra Valentová, who combines traditional wood block printing from Rajasthan region in India, Martina Dvořáková, who seeks beauty in the ordinary and students of the Studio of Textile Design at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, who use traditional indigo block printing to create unusual accessories for interiors.

The exhibition also presents contemporary Czech indigo printing and dyeing production and the only two remaining block printing workshops in the Czech Republic via photography, video and the components used for printing while focusing on unique interpretations of the traditional methods.

Since its beginning in middle ages, the Czech indigo print has undergone extensive development - from a luxury fabric for the highest classes, to folk costumes. But what was used to be an industry with indigo print workshop practically in every town, is now down to only two workshops in operation in Olešnice and in Strážnice. Printing in them has been carried out as family business over generations and the equipment which is over a century old is still in use. Patterns are printed mostly by hand using original woodblocks, the fact that contributed to the traditional indigo printing technics being listed on the UNESCO‘s lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Part of the exhibition is also Blue Innovations: Contemporary Czech Indigo Prints workshop where Alice Klouzková will guide the participants through the traditional techniques and their transfer to modern applications in fashion and applied arts. They will also have the opportunity to work with the indigo dyed fabric to create their own fashion accessories.

Alice Klouzková is an acclaimed Czech fashion designer, curator and lecturer whose main focus is on traditional handcraft techniques and their use in contemporary fashion. She teaches at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague and heads the Studio of Fashion Design at Scholastika, the school of contemporary arts. In her own artistic practice, she often employs indigo print, a technique she promotes herself worldwide. Her successful Blue Innovations exhibition project has already toured in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary and Japan.

Blue Innovations: Contemporary Czech Indigo Prints is part of London Craft Week (8 - 12th May 2019).

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Exhitibitions dates:
25 April - 14 June 2019, Mon – Fri 10am – 6 pm, Sat 11 & Sun 12 May 10am – 5pm
Opening drinks reception & introductory talk by Alice Klouzková: Fri 10 May 6.30 - 9pm Admission free, booking not necessary   
Workshop: Sat 11 May 10am – 1 pm & Sun 12 May 10am – 1 pm, booking on https://www.eventbrite.com/

Location
Czech Centre London
30 Kensington Palace Gardens
London
W8 4QY

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NOTE TO EDITORS:
More information: www.czechcentre.org.uk
For images and other press enquiries please contact:
Tereza Matysová - comms@czechcentre.org.uk, 07768 935 361
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CZECH CENTRE LONDON
The Czech Centre's mission is to actively promote the Czech Republic by showcasing Czech culture in the UK.  Its programme covers visual and performing arts, film, literature, music, architecture, design and fashion. As well as hosting its own events, the Czech Centre offers support for other groups organising Czech related initiatives in the UK. It is a non-political organisation supported by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of a worldwide network of 22 Czech Centres. The Czech Centre is a member of EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture). 


You can download the press release in pdf format here:




Blue Innovations, Textile, photo: Peter Fabo


Blue Innovations


Blue Innovations, design: Alice Klouzková, photo: Tomáš Brabec 



Blue Innovations, design: Alice Klouzková, photo: Tomáš Brabec 


Blue Innovations, Workshop Olešnice, photo: Tomáš Brabec