I am Joanna Zenghelis, a London-based printed textile designer.
I design uplifting colourful patterns that shimmer with movement and light, inspired by my childhood memories of the Aegean Sea, the pine trees, and the olive groves of the island where my family comes from. I want to bring Mediterranean sunlight to homes in sometimes gloomier parts of the world.
My patterns are about the irregularity and movement found in our surroundings, how changing light affects colours and what happens when you start to overlap them. It’s like swimming underwater and seeing the sunlight ripple on the sea floor and the change in intensity of the blue depending on the depth. The anticipation during a printing session is rewarded as you hold your breath and lift the screen away from the fabric…
I used to work as a graphic designer for magazines before I followed my heart to do textiles. It all started when I was at primary school aged 10 and Mr Mead introduced me to silk screen printing at ‘hobby’ time and I fell in love (with screen printing!) I’ve held on to this passion to this day as I develop my line of homeware products that weave together threads of inspiration from art, design and the Mediterranean which are full of energy, warmth and sunshine.
I screen-print everything by hand, using top-quality cotton and eco-friendly water-based inks. The products are sewn together in Whitechapel by the Working Well Trust, a mental health charity and non-profit organisation that supports people through training to get back into employment. Everything is made in the UK.