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Miriam Griffiths Knitwear: LUNA landing

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LUNA runs from 6 - 8 September at Sidney & Matilda.

Forget Paris and Milan - Miriam Griffiths Knitwear is an independent luxury brand based right here in South Yorkshire. They're doing something a bit different to celebrate their new LUNA collection, with a pop-up art exhibition and accompanying film at trendy new gallery Sidney + Matilda. We spoke to Miriam Griffiths herself to find out more.

Tell us a bit about the business.

Miriam Griffiths Knitwear is a small scale luxury knitwear label based in Sheffield. The pieces are created from high quality, locally sourced materials with a focus on using natural materials. All my collections are designed, knitted and finished by myself in my studio at Yorkshire Artspace's Exchange Place Studios. The knitwear I make is hand framed using domestic and semi-industrial knitting machines, and is hand finished to a high standard.

Through my work I try to take a technique and experiment with it until I find a result that looks different to the expected

The pieces include accessories; hats, scarves and snoods as well as jumpers, waistcoats and cardigans. They are available from our online shop and at makers fairs such as the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in Sheffield and Manchester, and Lustre in Nottingham.

How does art inspire your work as a designer?

Art inspires me as it is always questioning how things should be seen by the viewer and what is 'normal'. The artists that inspire me push their mediums to the extreme to express what they are trying to say or emote to the viewer. Through my work I try to take a technique and experiment with it until I find a result that looks different to the expected. I like people to question how I have achieved what I have done rather than it being obvious.

What made you decide to launch your new collection with an art exhibition?

I realised that the people I had worked with on the film were artists in their own right, and as they had helped me I wanted to thank them by showcasing their work. I think it's really important to highlight how much creative people support each other in an industry where it is so difficult to make a living.

Fashion is such a toxic industry and even though I make clothes I want to portray my brand as an alternative option to 'fashion' per se. Organising an art exhibition will hopefully help the audience see clothes from a different perspective and as more than just a throw-away commodity.

What is the film about?

It is about two explorers who have found a new otherworldly landscape for the first time. The 'short' follows them as they explore and react to this new environment. Both of them are wearing Miriam Griffiths Knitwear and the textures in the landscape mirror some of the textures and techniques used in the collection. It's a way to show my designs in a more in-depth way than in static images. Sections of the film are shot using a Super 8 film camera because the analogue feel fits in well with the craft aesthetic of my brand. The film is sound tracked by 'I Hear We Hate Each Other Now' by Toucans, a Sheffield-based musician and friend. It was made using funding I received from a Making Ways Micro Commission. Making Ways is an ambitious three-year project aiming to demonstrate, celebrate and develop exceptional contemporary visual art produced in Sheffield.

Sam Gregory

LUNA runs from 6 to 8 September at Sidney & Matilda gallery. Exhibition entry is free.

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Photo by Miriam Griffiths Knitwear.

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