It is admirable that Loewe, a house that has fore fronted luxury since 1846, has recognised a work that replaces perfection for intimacy like Celia’s. The official judging panel of six – architect Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, ceramist Claudi Casanovas, textile designer John Allen, glass artist Markku Salo, jewellery artist Ramon Puig Cuyas, and Loewe accessories designer Sara Die Trill – had nothing but praise for ‘Norweigan Sweater’.
“The result of this artist’s work is a wearable piece that paradoxically comes from apparently useless waste. Her work illustrates a process that goes from destruction to reconstruction. It speaks of recycling and recuperating while it also has to do with taking care of the other. It is the creation of a beautiful piece out of nothing. A piece that could almost look like tattoos on a body.”
With an extensive list of academic qualifications, education has been an enriching tool for Celia. From a BA in Sculpture at Harvard University, a diploma in Secondary Education at UCL, an MA in Constructed Textiles at RCA, and a diploma in Adult Nursing at Kings College; her educational scope is diverse.
“IT UPSETS ME THAT STUDENTS ARE HAVING TO PAY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION. I THINK IT DOES ACT AS A BARRIER.”
Now teaching mixed media to MA Textiles students at RCA, she has witnessed firsthand an evident change in the approach to art education. “It upsets me that students are having to pay for higher education. And maybe that’s because I’m from a time where I didn’t. I think it does act as a barrier. Because resources are now tightened, you have to prove yourself in a different way.”
At a time when the creative world feels under threat, it is wonderful to see money being put into celebrating craft through the Loewe Craft Prize. €50,000 of winnings would be liberating for Celia’s work. “I’m always looking for space, not physical space, but headspace to be making something or collaborating. I think it would be incredibly freeing, it would allow me to grow the work.”
Regardless of whether Celia wins the prize or not, ‘Norwegian Sweater’ will travel the world with the other Loewe finalists, inspiring themes of nostalgia for those who need a little mending.