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Lucinda Newton-Dunn - The Link Collective

Lucinda Newton-Dunn - The Link Collective

There's a certain art to seeing the beauty in the every day – and the best people make it into their raison d'etre.

Globe trotting English artist Lucinda Newton-Dunn is a prime candidate. She doesn't just have toast for breakfast, she has toast with “some very good apricot jam and a strong cup of coffee.”

On California: “I like the positivity of Californian people, and the landscape here is so beautiful - desert, hills and coastline. There's lovely weather, light and beautiful vegetation. I am now a big fan of succulent plants and their weird beauty..”

From just outside San Francisco where Lucinda is currently living and working as a full time cross disciplinary artist, she describes her childhood – which naturally sounds like something out of a Virginia Woolf novel:

“I grew up surrounded by art, with two creative sisters in a house with a huge garden in the middle of the countryside on the South East coast of England. We were quite isolated there, so we were always creating things to keep ourselves entertained; building stuff out of junk, painting, collecting stuff, taking pictures,” she says.

These days Lucinda is one part of the multicultural kaleidoscope that is The Link Collective. She undertook a Bachelors in Fine Art and Graphic Design at the Royal College of the Arts in London with the hope that the course would make her practice more specialised.

“But I still left as a bit of an in-betweener,” she says, “which later I learnt was my strength.”

Based in Tokyo, The Link Collective produces traditional Japanese wrapping cloths (furoshiki) that are hand printed with one-off designs by connecting traditional craftsmen with contemporary designers around the world.

Lucinda joined the collective somewhat fortuitously after coming across Link's founder: designer Kyko Bowskill, through a mutual friend in Tokyo. After discovering a shared obsession with tenegui – the small printed cotton towels used both in martial arts and around the home (naturally) – the two struck up a friendship so close that a creative side project eventually became inevitable.

Lucinda took inspiration from Japanese textiles and layering, as well as the particularly Japanese juxtaposition of modern and traditional, to create the three incredibly popular designs she has produced for Link. But the production of each has been more complicated than the next.

“The challenge for me is transforming a design from the original form into digital form, retaining an attention to detail, texture and colour. I want to avoid something that looks too much like it's come straight off the computer,” she says.

Each design's artwork has had to be dealt with in a different way technically, and there's also the difficulty of working long distance and not being able to oversee the printing of what are very intricate and precise designs. But, unsurprisingly, for Lucinda it's the opposite of a problem.

“I now have complete trust in our printers as they always do an amazing job,” she says. “They live up to Japan's reputation for close attention to detail and fine craftsmanship.”

Check out Lucinda's furoshiki here and here.