Johanna Alisha Pinto.
London, UK, 1988.
Artist in Residence 2021.
Johanna is interested in the craft and digital sphere of textile making. She draws her inspiration from natural pattern generation, which is slowly evolving in our surrounding environment. As a print designer, pattern plays a key role in her work. She is sensitive to how these materials translate onto the body in terms of scale. She works with small engineered weaves to large body-scale patterns.
Johanna is interested in the mathematical way in which nature creates a pattern, and how digital design also operates systematically. This starts as a basis for her design process, which she then explores through material processes. Her aim is to create digital textiles that have traces of handwork in them, and have an organic feel and quality in the pieces. Her material selection largely involves natural materials, particularly silk, which is influenced by the place she grew up in, Bangalore, India. She invites people to come close and study the minute weave structures, and appreciate the large scale of the pattern from a distance.
The data shell project, started when she decided to break away from painting by imagination but to mimic nature’s pattern generation. Seashells develop in time in a linear way, much like textiles. Inspired by ‘cellular automata’ which predicts pattern growth, the Data shell fabrics use codes from nature translated into woven textiles. The aim of the project is to develop textiles for an imagined future where production is mainly digital but the materials will still have intangible qualities embedded in them like familiarity, comfort, and warmth, being rooted in natural growth patterns.
At Art House Holland
As a part of the Data Shell project, Johanna focused on developing a black and white palette with Bone Black, Mother of Pearl, and from shells she collected on the beach at The Hague. She created slow weaves from linen and woolen yarns sourced locally from Leiden. The pieces are a reflection of slow growth in a space reflective of time spent through the pandemic. The prints are minimal and reflect the ‘basics’ of life. They are inspired by elements seen at the Tyler museum - Natural history and science museum in Haarlem from the start of life in the sea, imprints of fossils, bones, and shells.
Johanna is currently based in London, UK. She graduated from the Royal College of Art with a degree in Textiles and specialized in printed textiles. ‘My passion centers around developing ‘new ways’ to make and produce. I focus on aesthetics, functionality, and sustainability in designing textiles for the body in sports, health, and extreme climate’. In her most recent project, she worked on an exoskeleton suit for space travel on the ‘Fairspace’ grant at The Hamlyn Center in Imperial college in a multidisciplinary project.
MA Textile Design (Print)
Royal College of Art;
London, United Kingdom
B.Design (Textile Design)
National Institute of Fashion Technology;
Residencies and research trips
Art House Holland, Holland 2021
Block printing, Sanganer, India 2019
Kyoto Design Lab, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto, Japan 2018
Royal Amateur Expedition Society and Sail Britain, Scotland, United Kingdom 2018
Royal College of Art Abraaj Innovation Scholarship 2017-2019
Fundamentals of Printed Textiles 2nd edition - Alex Russel, Bloomsbury UK.
Features DSP laser-cut coded leather piece 2021