Durga Shanthakumar is currently in her third year on the RSN’s BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery.
“As I am Sri Lankan, I have seen a lot of embroidery used in the clothes I wear for special occasions, so I have always been intrigued by embroidery.
I chose the RSN’s Degree Course, because it is the only course that teaches traditional hand embroidery and studying at Hampton Court Palace is a plus point! I love all the techniques I have learned at the RSN, and I particularly love combining and mixing different techniques and materials.
The theme for my Third Year Final Major Project is festivals and holidays that I celebrate, for example, Diwali and Christmas. I was mainly looking at holidays with a variety of colour like Holi (festival of colour) as colour is a focus in my work. I chose this theme as I want to spread happiness and joy within my work, particularly due to being very restrictive last year because of Covid-19 when friends and families couldn’t meet to celebrate holidays or even birthdays together. My project involves making 3D shapes and finding a way to apply embroidery to these shapes, using techniques like Tambour Beading, Goldwork and Raised Work.
My favourite moment so far at the RSN is being a finalist for the Hand & Lock 2020 Prize for Embroidery. To be short-listed, even though I was only a third year student, was a very prestigious moment for me.”