Rhona MacKillop is a knitted textile designer from Scotland currently studying MA Textiles at Royal College of Art. Her work challenges the comforting associations of knitting by exploring uncomfortable and sometimes unsettling subject matter.
With a strong focus on research and technical detail, her work is often inspired by scientific imagery and collections from the history of medicine. Combining this interest in medical imagery and history with a strong environmental and ethical focus, she aims to become a creative voice in a scientific world.Her current collection, The Diseased Textile, explores the question: How has the human body suffered physical, social and mental pain through the use of textiles? Throughout her research she found that as well as draping and protecting the body, textiles have caused serious bodily damage and disease throughout history.
The Diseased Textile project explores this unsettling relationship by highlighting the results of toxic fashion practices, such as the use of toxic dyes and hazardous processes, which affect both those who wear textiles and especially those who create them: for example the lethal effects of arsenic dyes in the 19th century and more recently the destructive effects of formaldehyde poisoning.