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“I'm trying to do something that I love by taking pictures in places that I love.”

Inspired by Tekla’s muted colour palette and her own fascination with nature, London-based photographer Nikki McClarron headed to the beaches of her childhood town in Cornwall to capture Tekla bedding. The resulting photo story is a tender portrayal of family and a nostalgic memory of home. 

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In conversation with Tekla, she discusses the role textiles and nature play in her work, her artistic process and why sleep habits matter:

Can you tell us a little bit more about the inspiration behind your photo story?

A lot of my childhood was spent in Cornwall, so I liked the idea of bringing Tekla products here and playing with them on one of my favourite beaches. I photographed my cousin Abi with the collection as we share similar memories of growing up in this part of the world. She has the most beautiful free-flowing red hair and delicate freckles, which complemented the fabrics’ muted colours.

There is a recurring element of nature in your work. What role does that play in your artistic process and does it influence which brands you decide to work with?

Yes, it does. I have to be inspired by a brand, product or company before committing to doing anything. The outcome is always so much richer if the relationship is genuine. Nature is something I always look to for inspiration, whether it's through colour, textures or locations. I'm trying to do something that I love by taking pictures in places that I love. 

You’ve worked with many textiles in the past and are often captivated by different shapes, textures and tactility. What role do fabrics play in your life and how do you project this into your artistic approach? 

Personally, I love fabrics and textures for how they make you feel: a soft, cosy duvet for a rainy day; a tactile linen for summer. You can attach a fabric to almost any mood or situation.

What is your research process like? 

I enjoy looking at documentary photography from around the world. Visiting galleries when I travel gives me inspiration – I'll always try to visit a gallery in each city I visit to discover different artists and photographers. Films are also incredibly creatively stimulating for me, as well as visiting photo and art book stores. All of these elements allow me to pick up fragments of ideas along the way.

What role does light play in your work? 

It's everything. I mostly work with natural light, which comes with beauty and unpredictability. Like working in nature, this is what interests me the most as you have to move with and adapt to it, but it can create the most interesting moments that you could never plan for. It's part of the process for me and keeps me on my toes.

What is your relationship to sleep?

It's the ultimate gift to yourself. Maintaining a good sleep pattern is what keeps me functioning, so I try to stick to a good rhythm even when travelling. I always have a sleepy tea, lavender pillow spray and sleep mask packed in my suitcase.

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