Knitting has come down the ages as a means to turn wool and other fibres into useable, usually domestic objects. Despite being a highly skilled activity knitting is most frequently seen as a handicraft and marginalised by the conventional art world into a feminine form of expression. As with crochet the technique has plastic abilities that allow the artist to express freely in 3 dimensions. In the hands of contemporary artists and practitioners both women and men are bringing knitting into galleries and to the forefront of artistic expression.
If you are interested in using embroidery in your own creative practice I suggest you research widely, exploring the approaches of other contemporary practitioners. Be open-minded about the surfaces you stitch into, the places where embroidery can appear, the patterns and designs you create and what can be communicated through stitch.
Many OCA textile students come to their studies after years of developing and becoming highly skilled in a range of traditional textile techniques. I am writing a series of blog posts that introduces a number of contemporary practitioners. My hope is to widen the knowledge base of our textile students, broaden your outlook to different possibilities and encourage OCA textile students to create innovative engaging and contemporary textiles during their studies. I am starting with crochet.
Sketchbooks. Context. Presentation of work. Articulation of ideas. Peer-group feedback. What do these topics have in common? They all come high on the list of absolute nail-biters for students of the creative arts – and they were all addressed in some way at the most recent meeting of the OCASA Thames Valley (Photography) Group.
On Sunday 13 November OCA tutor and programme leader Rebecca Fairley will host a study visit to two venues in Manchester. In the morning the group will visit The Whitworth then move onto Manchester Art Gallery for the afternoon. The day will be full of gorgeous textiles from stylish mid century fabrics to cutting edge fashion.
Following on from my previous blog post about sustainability in textiles I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at some textile practitioners and artists that use textiles to convey messages or evoke discussions about ethical issues. In the post I will use a number of practitioners to illustrate the diverse ways textile practices and materials are used.