In 2009 Neil wrote, validated and set up the BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles degree at UCA Rochester, for which he is now the Programme Director. Neil also wrote and leads the our MA Printed Textiles for Fashion & Interiors course at UCA.
Neil’s academic and creative involvement with development of new degree-level fashion textiles courses at the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (from 2007 to 2008) enabled him to take his research from a national to an international level.
From 2011-14 Neil was lead research academic for the Crysalis Textiles Regeneration project at Rochester. The Crysalis project was a three year project part funded by the EU through the European Regional Development Fund and the Interreg 2 seas programme, which supports cross border, cross regional collaborative projects.
The Crysalis Project was a collaboration between the University for the Creative Arts in Rochester, leading the way in digital textile development and engaging young entrepreneurs; Plymouth College of Art which has a many years of experience in education and crafts; International Center of Lace and Fashion in Calais, and TIO3 Textiles Open Innovation Centre in Ronse, Belgium, both of whom have a rich heritage of textile tradition and a strong focus on public engagement and entrepreneurialism.
In her review of his MA show Sue Prichard, Curator of Fashion & Textiles at the Victoria and Albert Museum, comments: “This relentless pursuit of the creative possibilities still to be discovered by a combination of the artisan with high tech applications is risk taking at its most exciting. Bottle delights in pushing the boundaries – this is a cause for both celebration and breathless anticipation for the future”.
Neil has completed a PGCE course and a part-time MA in Digital Design (with distinction).
Neil’s research explores the relationship between craft and technology and how these seemingly opposite methodologies can work together to create innovation in textile design and production. New innovations in both digital design and print methods have revolutionised the way in which printed textiles can be created. Neil’s focus has been to apply his previous knowledge of traditional screen printing in textiles to new digital textile media.
This research into computer aided design programmes has yielded surprising similarities to the hand crafted screen-printing techniques that he has developed for over 25 years. In this respect, he explores the application of computer-aided design from a craft perspective but with the added flexibility that digital printing offers, such as the ability to alter scale, colour, layer order, intensity and layout more efficiently.
The result is a unique object, which can be flat or designed around 3D forms, encompassing both traditional crafted techniques as well as developing a new level of expertise in the digital textiles design process. The concept of the “Digital one off” is an important part of the work and this echoes the way in which Neil used commercial screen print techniques to produce labour intensive one off crafted pieces of collectable textiles.
Contribution to the approval or review of research or research supervisory provision in another UK or international HEI:
- 2016 Development of MA Printed Textiles for Fashion & Interiors at UCA Rochester.
- 2009 Development of BA Fashion Textiles: Print course at UCA Rochester.
- 2007 to 2008 Academic and creative involvement with development of the new degree-level Fashion and Textiles course at the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
Professional Membership, Affiliation and Consultancy
- Crafts Council Selected Index of Makers
- Contemporary Applied Arts
- Design-Nation Organisation
- South East Arts Specialist Advisor
- Edge Consultant UCA Rochester
- UCA Research Institute
- FTC Course Leader Association
- 2008 Wesley-Barrell Craft Makers Award shortlist
- 1992 Crafts Council ‘Setting Up’ Award
- 1990 Painter-Stainers’ Livery Company Award
- 1990 New Designers Printed Textile Prize
- Victoria and Albert Museum - commission for accessory collection, London
- Turner Contemporary - commission for accessory collection, Margate
- Shakespeare Globe Theatre - commission for accessories and wall hangings, London
- Philadelphia Museum of Art - commission for designs and silks, Philadelphia
- The Guggenheim Museum - commission for exclusive designs and silks New York
- The Royal Academy of Art - commission for scarf and tie designs, London
- The Royal Opera House - commission for scarf and tie designs, London
- Zenkoru Choson Kia Kan - commission for wall hanging, Tokyo
- M.A.F.C.O. HQ - series of 12 x large hangings, Abu Dhabi
- The Millennium Dome - exclusive accessories, London
- Langham Hilton Hotel - wall hangings, London
- The Aurora P&O Cruise Ship - silk panels, London
- Nortel Telecom - hanging installations, Essex
- Middle Temple Hall - commission for accessories
- 1989 to present day - Neil has been commissioned by The British Museum in London to create a collection of designs, involving consultancy with a manufacturer in Italy.
- A major design contract with the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, 1996 to 2003, continued the development of relations with leading museums and galleries.
- Neil’s work has been included in The Permanent Collection of Textiles at the V&A, the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York and the Crafts Council Permanent Collection.
- He has designed ranges for Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, John Lewis, Brown’s, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Joyce Stores, Stuart Weitzman and Liberty, as well as bespoke collections for the Shakespeare’s Globe, The Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal Opera House and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
- Neil’s work is currently represented by a range of selected galleries in London UK and USA.