Marjatta Heikkilä-Rastas | Professor of Fashion and Textile Design
The artistic practice of a fashion designer generally centres on designing fashion collections or unique eveningwear. A designer may also work in the theatre sector, working in cooperation with the theatre to realise an artistic vision in costume design. I have become acquainted with all of the above-mentioned areas of work over the years but have in recent years committed – although not bound – myself to the world of university research and focused considerably less on my own artistic work.
My practice while writing my doctoral dissertation (2003) and since has been mainly oriented towards solo and joint exhibitions, resulting in only a handful of new artistic projects being undertaken per year. The need to do something has nonetheless led me, for example, to make the sketches and create the prototypes for a retro collection (Caisu 2) based on some of my old models and prints. In all, I haven't, however, produced a great deal recently and the sales and distribution of my work has been mainly by the "Käden taidot" fair, "Sata metriä taidekäsityötä" events (both arts and crafts fairs), art markets, arts and crafts markets and bazaars.
Things have been livelier on the exhibition scene. Joint exhibitions have included Pirkanmaa Design I and II; window dressing and pieces in the Tampere Main Library Metso as part of the Interi joint exhibitions; children's clothes and drawings at the Amuri Workers' Museum in Tampere ("Amurin lapset ja Näsilinnan neidot"); the Tevanake Women's joint exhibition "Pumpulin perilliset" in Verkaranta, 2007; "Naisten kaupunki" in the TR1 Exhibition Centre in Tampere, 2006; "Oikku" at the Gallery Valo in the Faculty of Art and Design, 2007. Other artistic work has included children-themed postcards in pastels, designs for choir and priests' robes (2000-2001) and unique outfits for individual customers.