Friday, 27 August 2010

Chapter 13 A study of contemporary textile artists

Sorry I have not included pics on line as I don't want to impinge on any copyright laws. I've heard horror stories of someone being fined £600 for publishing what she thought was copyright free material, so I'm being very careful, but have included links to all the artists' web sites.

This last chapter of the module has taken me a great deal longer than I thought it would as I struggled to find more than 3 obvious textile artists that I felt were relevant to my current theme and also the 3D project.
But as usual with these exercises the more I delved the more I discovered artists that were not known to me and who did resonate strongly with the way I like to work, so the list is probably longer than it needs to be and is in order of those artists whose work I've known about, listed first.

Barbara Lee Smith

I discovered Barabara’s work through her exhibition Mapping the Mysteries at the Knitting and Stitch show in 2006. I was completely awe struck by the size of her pieces and the sense of scale and peace that emanated from them. They also appeal to me because she uses so many layers within the work that every time you look at it you see something different.

Becky Knight

Becky Knight also often works in many layers to produce her quilts, expressing emotions and statements on our lives and how we live them. Some times this has a sense of sadness as in the Veil, where she expresses her anguish at her mother’s stroke. And at others times there’s a sense of humour as with ‘the drunkards’ path quilt made from cans of Guinness. I love the irony in this quilt. I think it helped that I saw these pieces in an exhibition at St' Fagans in Wales 2008.

Sandra Meech

Sandra Meech has long been a favourite textile artist of mine. I like the fact that she trained as a graphic designer, as I think this gives her work another dimension. She’s very definite in her choice of imagery and colour, which I feel relates to my early work in textile print design.
Again she works in layers and her early use of computer based printing, both from photographs and sketches has always appealed to me.

Carole Waller

I find Carole Waller’s work interesting, as she paints on clothing, in a way that gives the garment a unique identity of its own, quite separate from that of the wearer, and again this harks back to my Textile/Fashion training.
I also like the vibrancy of her glass pieces and the way she uses layers in both the glass and the textile hangings to create different effects.

Cas Holmes

I have only recently discovered Cas Holme’s work and find it very interesting, again because of the layering of different elements that she uses to build up her pieces, which has long been a method of paperwork design that I’ve enjoyed since my college days.

Sally Freshwater

I came across Sally's work in The New Textiles, Sally Colcheser and loved her use of fabrics in sail like structures, particularly her Commission for the Highgate Group Practice for the Atrium waiting room, and her 1990 installation for BAA, "Two groups of 15 sails were installed on the ceiling of the arrivals concourse of the South Terminal of Gatwick Airport."

Carol Shaw Sutton

I love the scale of Carol's work and the fact that there's so much hidden meaning in the pieces, the shapes too are very rhythmic, especially her piece entitled 'Our Bones are made of Stardust, again this was featured in The New Textiles, Sally Colcheser.
There's also a haunting quality to some of her work as in Seas of Dream and Despair.

Léa Stansal

Léa's work, by complete contrast, really resonates with me from it's quirky imagery and bizarre stories behind the pieces.
Some time ago I started working on a collection which follows a similar idea and this is how I described it .

These pieces are part of my recent work where I have woven a history into each piece in order to bring it to life within its own environment.

Although, my pieces have a story/meaning they don't have the sense of humour/quirkiness that Léa's do and I would like to develop that more with experience.


  1. We had a discussion on copyright issues on the OCA student forum. From what I could work out as a student you can use things as long as you attribute them properly to the artist. Not sure if this applys to blogs though so you've given me something to think about because I've put up studies of artist including photos for my C & G. I think I'll delete them once I'm sure I've passed.

  2. so pleased you chose Carole Waller as one. I did a workshop with her one summer which was wonderful. I love the way she paints the colour on, its so quick compared to dyeing! and gives lovely results.

  3. Some great links to follow. I shall have to come back and visit this post again, as there is a lot to take in but good luck with your studies ... sure to be a huge success if these are the artists that inspire you. I also love Sandra Meech's work