Sophie Dyer is a designer and researcher.

As a freelancer (medieval mercenary) she specialises in visual, open source, and human rights-based investigations.

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Teaching & Learning


Barrie Girls

Group exhibtion.
(July 2013)
Off Site

An exhibition of six poster works, archival materials and the text, C’est Ci N’est Pas Une Foto, created by graphic designers, Sophie Dyer and Maeve Redmond, in collaboration with artist, Fiona Jardine.

Part archival encounter, part set design, the installation recreated the work desk, drawings and persona of a fictional textile designer working in the 1950s Barrie Knitwear factory. Found photographs of ‘factory girls’ showing modelling a knitwear collection, historic records and a visit to the contemporary factory combined to trace the existence of the “effervescent” Barrie Girl.

Work commissioned by the design curators, Panel and developed response to the informal archives of Barrie Knitwear factory in Hawick, Scotland.

Extract from C’est Ci N’est Pas Une Foto by Fiona Jardine:

In the look-book archives, annotated with information concerning style, colour, shoulder shapes and yarn ply, the photographs hint at the provenance of place. Styles carry the names of solid, stone-built towns – Dunbar, Nairn, Brodick – and regional rivers – Ettrick, Esk, Slitrig. The colours are colloquial Ling and Whin. Wormholes open to the memory of unheated morning rooms, patrolled by grizzly terriers, stacked with copies of the Scots magazine. Those are your wormholes as much as they are mine.

There’s a lot channelling through names – tradition, ambition, instrumental association. Indeed, ‘Braemar’, the name of a long-established, weill-kent firm that laid daim to originating the term ‘knitwear’, is a name that properly belongs on Royal Deeside not in Teviotdale. Huddersfield Street and Wakefield Mill, (in Galashiels), carry names borrowed from the locale of trading partners in Yorkshire

A few years on, we might imagine the look-book annotations might refer to Cumbernauld, Livingstone, Glenrothes and East Kilbride; to Pastis, Cointreau and Grenadine. The collusion of spirit and place seems appropriate. Prestwick in Rinquinquin. Here, the Barrie Girl is effervescent, sportif, running through a barre of set pieces. She’s on location (Park Circus?) and on a photographer’s paper roll (it’s hardly Blow Up) fully-fashioned, perfectly coiffed in her neat ski polo. She’s next door. Pleated for play. Mothproofed.

We had names for her.