RGU alumna brings heritage craft to Chelsea Flower Show

Friday 27 May 2022

Andrea Chappell, RGU Creative Entrepreneur alumna from Acme Atelier in The Still Garden by garden designer, Jane Porter,  at Chelsea Flower Show
An alumna from Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Creative Entrepreneurship Programme, has collaborated with garden designer Jane Porter, whose Still Garden has brought a slice of Scotland to the Chelsea Flower Show, winning a RHS Gold medal and best container garden trophy in the process.

Andrea Chappell, of Moray based Acme Atelier, has designed and made her bespoke, commemorative kilt and a collection of collars in Harris tweed and Scottish linen, handprinted and hand painted to describe the plants in this Scottish inspired garden, showcasing species grown in the Highlands and Islands.

The Still Garden Kilt is created in copper coloured linen, combining traditional kiltmaking skills, with printmaking in a contemporary design. Andrea hand cut stencils for silkscreen printing and hand carved lino for block printing then silk painted the lining, depicting Angelica, Alchemilla and Anemones on the inside and outside of this wearable work of art.

The five collars refer to the colours of Sorbus, Alchemilla, Erica, Angelica and Cirsium, all elements of Jane Porters planting scheme. The ‘Angelica’ collar was worn by Scottish soprano, Lee Bisset from Loch Lomond as she sung Burns songs at the opening of ‘The Still Garden’ and was created using the same techniques Andrea uses to make garter flashes, in Harris Tweed remnants, paired with linens from the Isle Mill in Keith.

RGU Creative Entrepreneurship alumna, Andrea Chappell explains more about her recent success: “It has been an absolute privilege to design textiles for Jane Porter’s beautiful garden at the Chelsea Show.

“My designs are inspired by Jane’s wonderful collection of flowers and plants which I hope highlight Scotland’s heritage crafts. Scotland has a wealth of creative talent and produces quality, sustainable textiles which I’m passionate about. It has been an inspiring process to collaborate with Jane Porter and I’m absolutely delighted she has won an RHS gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show.

“My journey with Acme Atelier owes a lot to the confidence I developed on Robert Gordon University’s Creative Entrepreneurship Course. The programme gave me the tools and entrepreneurial skills to support my creative design work and take my business to the next level. I’m taking part in the Look Again Creative Entrepreneurship Showcase and it is a real credit to the course to see how diverse the creative activity is.”

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Bespoke kilt maker, Andrea Chappell of Acme Atelier is exhibiting at the Creative Entrepreneurship Showcase which runs until Saturday 28 May at the Look Again Project Space in Aberdeen. Her work includes other designs from her kilt collection, and are part of an exhibition celebrating alumni who graduated from RGU’s Creative Entrepreneur programme during the Covid pandemic.

Course leader Sally Charles from RGU’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group said: “I am absolutely delighted that Andrea has worked with gold medal winner, Jane Porter at the Chelsea Flower Show. Andrea’s business, Acme Atelier is going from strength to strength and it is really exciting that she is also part of our Creative Entrepreneurship Showcase which brings together creatives from across the North East and elsewhere in Scotland.

“Robert Gordon University is committed to supporting emerging, creative talent and developing arts and culture across Scotland. Our Creative Entrepreneurship programme offers tailored business support to those in the creative sector and it is fantastic to see Andrea build on the foundation from the course.

“Our next Creative Entrepreneurship course has just begun and we’re looking forward to working with creative practitioners from all backgrounds.”

Delivered in partnership between Robert Gordon University’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group and Look Again, the Gray’s School of Art creative unit, the Creative Entrepreneurship course is a fully-funded post-graduate course, providing business development to support creatives in Scotland. This intensive, eight-week course is open to ambitious individuals, sole-traders, free-lancers, small company owners and recent graduates starting up and looking to take their existing business to the next level.

Learn more about the Creative Entrepreneurship Showcase, open at the Look Again Project Space, Aberdeen until Saturday 28 May, 11am - 4pm.

Image shows Andrea Chappell of Acme Atelier in the Still Garden by Jane Porter at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022. Photographs by Ellen Wilkinson.

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