Inspired by Althea McNish

About the project

As part of the Althea McNish: Colour is Mine programme and with the support of our sponsor Liberty FabricsWilliam Morris Gallery commissioned 3 designers - Simone Brewster, Yemi Awosile and Rita Keegan - to reimagine and reinterpret Althea’s original designs. To take her aesthetic, her creative essence, her inspirations and make bold new designs to be incorporated into a product.

Inspired by Althea McNish is a wonderful celebration of, and tribute to, McNish’s work. The new products created will help to present McNish’s story and legacy as a way of inspiring and motivating a new generation of young designers from under-represented backgrounds. On this page you can learn a little more about each of the commissioned artists and their approach to the project.

To order Inspired by Althea McNish products, visit the William Morris Gallery shop HERE.

Simone Brewster

Simone Brewster is a London-based artist and designer who creates large scale, statement, sculptural furniture, objets d'art, and jewelry. She holds a degree in Architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London and an MA in Design Products from the Royal College of Art. Across media, her collections explore “intimate architectures,” the relationship that texture and three dimensional form has on memory and emotion, drawing on architectural principles throughout. As part of the African Diaspora, her work marries the European influences of her education with an aesthetic understanding of her Caribbean heritage, bridging the gap between these two histories. Brewster's work has exhibited at the British Embassy as an example of British Design Talent, been shown internationally with the Crafts Council UK, showcased during Collect at the Saatchi Gallery, among other domestic and international venues. Simone has been profiled in Vogue UK, Vanity Fair  and Elle Decoration for her work in jewellery and design.

Yemi Awosile

Yemi Awosile lives and works in London. Her work is informed by cultural insights expressed primarily through textiles and printed matter. The broader scope of her practice bridges design and visual arts through social interventions. Recent projects include collaborations with Tent Rotterdam, Tate Gallery, Contemporary And (C&) magazine and the British Council. Her investigation into materials can be seen in the V&A Museum textiles handling collection and she was recently commissioned to produce two permanent public artworks in London due to be completed in 2022.

Rita Keegan

Rita Keegan is an artist, lecturer, and archivist from the Bronx who has lived and worked in London since 1980. Her work explores memory, history, dress, and adornment, often through the use of her extensive family archive—a photographic record of a black middle class Canadian family from 1890s to the present. She cofounded the Brixton Art Gallery in 1982, established the Women of Colour Index (WOCI) in 1987, and was Director of the African and Asian Visual Arts Archive (AAVAA) until 1994. For many years, she was a lecturer in multimedia arts at Goldsmiths.