Digital Portfolio

Bio-Inspired Design

Collaboration Application

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My name is Alondra Ruiz-Hernandez, I am a Mexican Canadian cross-disciplinary artist based in London, England. I am keen to Collaborate with Bio-inspired Design. I recently completed an MA in Fine Art at UAL’s Chelsea College of Arts in 2020-2021 (graduating with First Class Honours). I completed a BFA in Drawing and Painting and minored in Social Sciences (I graduated from both with First Class Honours and Distinction) at OCAD University in Toronto, Canada. My interest in diverse cultures and passion for informed research helped me win a coveted place at OCAD University’s self-directed Florence Program, where I studied from 2017-2018. In 2017, I won a scholarship to study Chinese culture at Jiangnan University, China.

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I have spent six years in academia expanding my knowledge of Fine Art. This work has made me extremely comfortable with understanding  history as well as contemporary practises as well as  working harmoniously and closely with others. My focus is in painting, fashion, textile patterns, installations, and photography.

Working as a freelance cross-disciplinary artist I have been committed to contributing to the community and understanding the range of individual’s experience. I have worked on various projects. The following are a few selected examples:

My dedication to my work has led me to participate in 37 national and international exhibitions, including three solo exhibitions, six large-scale festivals, and 14 juried exhibitions, eight international publications, a published paper along with an award in academic writing, and 20 awards in Fine Art. I have exhibited at the Archäologisches Museum Innsbruck, The British Library, The Bloomsbury Festival, MAFA International Festival, ‘LATE AT TATE’ Tate Britain, Toronto Biennial of Art, and Kitchener’s TheMuseum.

For three years (2022, 2017 and 2016) I acted as a juror for the Etobicoke School of Arts (ESA), Canada. Additionally, from 2015-2017, I worked in ESA’s summer programs to help build portfolios for prospective applicants.

 

In 2021 Arts & Humanities Faculty Representative for Goodenough College. I was responsible for assigning chapters, explaining material, and conducting group discussions. I also planned and organised lecturers. I also worked with the co-chairs of student welfare at Goodenough College and gave them step-by-step art therapy tools to help students who are struggling with anxiety and/or their mental health. 

Furthermore, in 2019 I teamed up with a like-minded institution and non-for-profit PERIOD (an organisation fighting to end period poverty and stigma) and was featured in their Instagram as an example of how imagery has the capacity to transform perceptions.

 

2018-2020, I executed the interviews, documentation, and promotion of the artwork of over 200 students via the University social media outlets. I was responsible for the documentation of events in or related to the university. Toronto, Canada.

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Textile Design

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I have participated in eight public panels including at Toronto Biennial of Art Unknowable Unknowing, Kitchener’s TheMuseum, OCAD University, and Goodenough College. On these panels, I have discussed topics ranging from my artistic practise to Cop26, climate change, politics, the de-stigmatising of menstruation, and period poverty, all from an artist’s perspective.

My Mexican heritage, international academic pursuits, and living in England, Canada, Italy, and China have allowed me to not only study but exist and grow within various cultures and countries. I have learned how to be flexible and adapt to new circumstances. I am well versed in the “western” form of artistic making, however, thanks to my heritage and cultural studies at Jiangnan University,  I can easily step outside the ‘Eurocentric frame of art making’. Mexicans have a particular way of existing within their environment that is rooted in the syncretism of Indigenous and European culture. Magical Realism permeates our artisans, literature, art and is integral to our reality.  Offering me a range of understanding and inspiration to draw upon.  I place an  immense effort I put into every project I undertake, I fully  intend to dedicate that same energy into Bio-Inspired Design. 

Textile Design Printed & made into Clothing and Tablecloth

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Textile Design

The Identity Clothing Collection

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Additional Textile Design

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Potential Clothing Designs

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Patterns made using Earth

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Philosophy

In my view it is a myth that the future is forthcoming; That the changes of our future begin at a different time. We can only dream of a better future when we fully embody the present and confront the contradictions of our past. This is why there is a vital need and value for design to learn from nature at the present moment.

Historically, we are situated in a unique, pivotal, and uncertain place. We no longer need to just contemplate and address our own struggles and mortality, but due to the climate crises, we must be self-aware of the needs and trajectory of our entire planet. 

Design from the items, clothing, and jewelry we use and adorn ourselves should not only fulfill our needs but embody and express our core values. Constant turn-over products are no longer a desired system. Design must integrate, learn, and work with nature to create items that are sustainable and regenerative. 

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Engineer George de Mestral and Lillian van Daal demonstrated the immense power of learning from nature in the creation of Velcro and biomimicry design. Nature has an abundance of wisdom to draw and study from.

 

The statement “we want to do something for the environment” implies that we as humanity are somehow separate or external from the environment. The reason to do something for ourselves is because we are part of the environment; we are interwoven–without any sense of separation–into the material and psychological fabric of the earth. Bio-inspired works furthers that integral unionization to our earth through design

 

If the Covid-19 Pandemic has taught us anything, it is how deeply intertwined and interdependent beings we really are. On a day-to-day basis, it is incredibly easy for individuals to disengage and withdraw from the wider society. However, this pandemic doesn’t just have to be a difficult moment we endure, but rather function as a catalyst for change. I do not want to go ‘back to normal’. I want a more egalitarian, collaborative, and sustainable future. 


Sustainability becomes a moral responsibility, not only to yourself, but to those around you. Paul Hawken is a world-renowned environmentalist, activist, and author “Our job is not to fret and cling to threads of hope. Our role is to solve problems. Blame, demonization of others”. We need to be dedicated to creating a wiser and kinder world.

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