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Fashion (MA)

Rosa Avilez

Rosa Avilez is a British/Honduran artist and researcher, exploring the borders of her landscapes.   

Rosa's background in menswear and fabric development informs her relationship with the codes of dress, textile and identity. Her practice explores her cultural heritage and gender equality.

Her work moves away from fashion design for commerciality and she positions her work in the public realm, as an artist and researcher.

Rosa was recipient of the Roger Walls Binns Scholarship and was a finalist for the British Library x BFC research award. She also contributed in the Design Museum’s Restore exhibition in the Future Observatory, led by resident Delfina Fantini van Ditmar.

Degree Details

School of DesignFashion (MA)MenswearRCA2023 at Truman Brewery

Truman Brewery, F Block, Second floor

The designer wearing menswear. In jeans an oversized black and white scarf and a cowboy hat made from woven textiles.

"The power to make change lies in our hands, but it must be wielded with humility, respect, and a deep understanding of our place within the larger web of life." Robin Wall Kimmerer (2013)

In this body of work I hope to spark a more nuanced and informed understanding of Honduras that goes beyond simplistic stereotypes of issues on crime and corruption. Informed by my relationship and frustrations with impacts on the landscape and inhabitants from a colonial and capitalist legacy. I create a visual archive that weaves together my encounters, feminist values and mappings of a communities vibrant and dynamic culture.

The Traditional craft of weaving, has a rich history and cultural significance in Central America and Honduras. My work seeks to celebrate and honour the skill and artistry of the weavers, while also exploring the ways in which the craft is evolving and adapting in response to changing landscapes and global influences.

What place does this language have in a technocentric future? My work involves many references to the organic natural world through field recording. And I introduce data bending from sounds to textile to create new methods of communicating rich bio-diversities of the landscape on textile. Influenced by Mesoamerica material culture and its depictions of the natural and avian environment.

By collaborating with weavers, and interviewing, I aim to reflect and celebrate the unique characters and identities of the communities I encounter. I hope to share the vibrant landscape and culture of Honduras without creating a blindfolded romanticised presentation, I remain open and curious by embracing the complexities and contradictions.

From The depths: weaving Identity a short Film

This video was created in collaboration with women of Honduras. Weaving concerns, cultural pride, values and community efforts. I invite the viewer to travel and delve into the essence why women’s narratives are paramount in the discourse of this geography. This short film brings together an introduction to the stories of the weaving cooperatives of Intibucá, and the voices of women from Honduras. 

With special thanks to Doña Enemecia, Illeana, Andrea, Monica, all the women at Telares El Cacao and Camera operator and Editor Emily Baker.

Honduras literally meaning “the depths” is a kind of metaphor for its mystery and duality of the harsh political conditions and rich natural world… Like the bountiful nature of it waters and jungles, yet the forces and danger that might also come with them. Reference to deep waters and borderlines can be understood in themselves to have moving relationships and changing environments, something I return to throughout the work.
A tie in the shape of a flower growing upwards made from a hand woven textile.
Orchids thrive by attaching themselves to trees, blossoming from the sides while gaining nourishment from a symbiotic relationship with a root-dwelling fungus. Growth emerging from the untamed depths of nature. Irregular shapes, challenge the conventional patriarchal symbolism associated with ties. In the face of rampant industrial capitalist practices that afflict our surroundings, the floral ties embody the resilience and potency found in the establishment of small-scale weaving cooperatives.
A back view of the tie in the shape of a flower growing upwards made from a hand woven textile.
Through these endeavours, women are empowered, social change is fostered, and access to education is facilitated.
black and white woven textile with green tropical foliage creeping out from a gap.
the end of a red and black woven textile with long loose threads draping out like the legs of a spider.
Weaving from the sounds of birdsong. By combining data bending technologies with ancient traditional craft I translate the sonic landscapes into textile Flags. This translation of the birds in the natural world as a flag highlights the borderless bio-geographies of Honduras, while also commenting on freedom of migration.
design fitting with a tall male in a woven skirt and woven cowboy hat
Flags as Sound Woven Landscapes, media item 3
stills from a filmed fitting of a female model wearing various assemblages of woven textiles.
stills from a filmed fitting of a female model wearing various assemblages of woven textiles.

Roger Walls Binns Full Scholarship

With Thanks to The Roger Walls Binns Scholarship for enabling my study at the RCA.