Last month I was interviewed by Laura Connelly for Material Source. I'm delighted to say that the full article is now available to read online (scroll down to find the link for the full article)
You’re one of the only hand passementerie weavers left in the UK - can you tell us how you got started?
"I’ve always loved textiles and trimmings and I’ve always collected scraps and bits and bobs. It wasn’t until I was a student at Central Saint Martins that I learnt about passementerie. We undertook a short project to produce trimmings and I was hooked. For the rest of my time there I taught myself the basics of passementerie.
"I continued to teach myself techniques, mainly by studying drawings and looking at antique examples. I worked for two years between CSM and the RCA (freelancing and selling passementerie samples). At the RCA I continued to teach myself more skills and I also experimented with scaling my designs."
In your view, why is this skill dying out?
"I believe there is a number of reasons for this: 1.Tastes – The use of passementerie surges in popularity in times where ornateness and maximalism were popular – such as the 1980s. Good passementerie is also expensive to purchase/commission and I think a lot of people are unsure of how to use it.
"I also believe it's dying out as there isn’t anywhere you can actually go to learn the skills. You can learn to create a simple tassel easily but anything more than this is very complicated. The creation of passementerie is also so time consuming and laborious – you need to be extremely patient and happy to sit at a loom for hours on end on your own!"
I will be exhibiting two of my latest framed hand woven passementerie artworks at the London Art Fair between January 22nd - January 26th 2020 at the Business Design Centre, Islington. The fair showcases contemporary, museum quality fine artworks to the capital and 'connects the best galleries from around the world with both seasoned and aspiring collectors, providing a unique opportunity to discover and champion the most outstanding modern and contemporary art of our time.' (London Art Fair).
'Last year the London Art Fair launched Platform, a new section focusing on a single theme or discipline. For 2020 it will capture the breadth of different artists working in textiles and the growing appreciation of the medium as a beautiful and collectible art form.
Future Icons has chosen 6 leading textile practitioners to create exclusive artworks to displayed within the VIP Lounge for guests to enjoy and buy. These will be accompanied by a selection of ceramic installations, metal sculptures and wooden vessels. To compliment our collections we are proud to be supported by British furniture manufacturer ercol and Ptolemy Mann Rugs supplied by The Rug Maker.' (Text courtesy of Future Icons).
Two of my latest framed fine art textiles, Loop (2019) and Arthur (2019), will be available to view and purchase as well as the work of Claire Coles, Jo Davies MA RCA, Kate Lewis MA RCA, Katja Angeli MFA RCA, Lee Borthwick MA RCA, Remy Dubibe, Sally McGill, Zuzana Lalikova.
I am delighted to announce that four pieces of my work will be exhibited in the Over Under: Under Over exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh alongside artists Celia Pym, Dail Behennah, Sue Lawty, Sarah Jane Henderson and Sadhvi Jawa.
The exhibition, arranged by the Cordis Prize and Visual Arts Scotland will explore contemporary weaving within its widest context. Cordis writes:
‘Straying from their usual adherence to the traditional principles of woven Gobelin tapestry, this project aims to explore the wider applications of the woven form. Cordis have selected six artists whose work is constructed in a similar way to tapestry, or whose techniques resonate with the principles of weaving, whether that be through the interlacing of materials or of repetitive gesture’.
Over Under : Under Over
Royal Scottish Academy Upper Galleries, Edinburgh
22nd December - January 30th 2020
Exploring Weave in its widest context. Presented by the Cordis Trust.
I am delighted to announce that I am now represented by Future Icons who represent 'a select collection of design and craft led businesses that produce the finest interior accessories, furniture, jewellery, fashion accessories, artwork and object d'art internationally.'
'Future Icons client collections can be found in museums, galleries and private residences across the world. Our clients have amassed over 30 awards between them and editorial mentions in significant international publications throughout their careers. Future Icons collections are presented as heirlooms of the future. An opportunity for design conscious individuals to invest and enjoy now.'
'Each brand has been selected based on their craftsmanship, originality, heritage and commercial appeal of their collections.' (Text courtesy of Future Icons)'
Earlier this summer I was interviewed by Ateliers d'Art magazine, who have now written a lovely feature about me and my work in the September issue.
Late last year I was invited by the Clothworkers' Company to create twenty-five hand woven artworks using my signature passementerie style. The Clothworkers' Company were looking for a contemporary and fresh design based on their branding and history as a company. I created the twenty-five artworks, that were then turned into award trophies and given to winner of the Charity Governance Awards, a scheme the Clothworkers' Company runs.
I am delighted to announce that my work has been shortlisted for the Carter Preston Prize. Four of my fine Passementerie artworks will be exhibited at the Bluecoat Display Centre in August 2018.
This exhibition prize, held biennially in Liverpool, is in memory of the potter Julia Carter Preston. The shortlisted artists for the prize were selected by an independent judging panel and include Elizabeth Ashdown, Tom Collison, Tessa Eastman, Joanna Hejmej, Irina Razumovskaya and Tara Squibb.
The 6 shortlisted makers will feature in an exhibition at Bluecoat Display Centre from 4th August – 22nd September 2018, with one selected to win a prize of £1,000 awarded by the selection panel at the private view on the 3rd August 2018. There will also be a People’s Prize Vote when visitors will be invited to select their winner during the exhibition to be announced on the final day of the show; Saturday 3rd August. This artist will win an In the Window solo exhibition opportunity in our 2019 series.
Julia Carter Preston (31.8.1926 – 6.1.2012) exhibited regularly at Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool’s leading contemporary craft gallery, and was also a studio neighbour. The annual exhibitions of her unique sgraffito ceramics with their beautiful lustre glazes drew large crowds of private collectors and her works were also purchased for public collections around the UK.