6 Abstract textile artists
Since the end of the 19th century, abstraction has been prevalent in all art forms. Textile artists using a visual language of form, line and colour to create compositions that don’t necessarily take inspiration from literal references continue to emerge. More and more exciting means of expression are being explored by such practitioners as we discover in this article, which celebrates the work of 6 abstract textile artists.
Sarah Symes has a background in architecture and graphic design, which informs the way she works with textiles today. She has also been influenced by the many eclectic cities in which she’s lived; London, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver all play their own part in Sarah’s work. Through her art she seeks to reinterpret her memories of these places and the people she has encountered in them.
Her process owes more to painting and collage than traditional embroidery techniques; she selects fabric, dyes it as necessary, cuts it into strips, squares or shapes and uses the sewing machine to stitch it together in a highly improvisational way. After a layering of colours and textures, the finished piece is stretched over a wooden frame ready for hanging.
Learn more about Sarah at SarahSymes.com
Jo Deeley creates abstract structural designs using a variety of techniques and textures. The juxtaposition of a contemporary medium and style with traditional methods such as knitting, plaiting, weaving and knotting, give Jo’s work a complexity and depth which make it extremely engaging visually.
Sketchbooks play an important part in Jo’s process and final pieces are often a direct reaction to images and research recorded in them. The sketches can be informed by man-made structures and buildings or naturally occurring constructions and patterns.
She is also an advocate of being driven by the particular technique she is using at any one time; her chosen process can dictate the direction in which a piece goes as it is being made.
An ongoing exploration is evident in the development of Jo’s work and each new collection uses space and surface, as well as fabric manipulation in evermore experimental ways.
Chilean artist Josefina Concha creates delicate stitched pieces using her sewing machine as a painter would use her brush. The thread is used as a means of abstract expression and the quality of the materials guides Josefina’s creative process.
The seeming simplicity of this artist’s work and her commitment to using just one material (thread) gives it an ethereal feel. The layering of colours and shapes add to its texture but take nothing away from its purity.
To discover more about Josefina’s process visit JosefinaConcha.Tumblr.com.
Self-taught and award-winning artist Lisa Call creates bold geometric contemporary artwork. She hand dyes fabric in vibrant and rich shades which is then used to compose her abstract textile art.
The inspiration for Lisa’s work comes from a range of sources; a fascination with repetition, pattern, and colours lends itself naturally to abstraction. But elements of her art are also strongly influenced by man-mad constructions and the geological forms of SouthWest America.
To learn more about Lisa and her work visit LisaCall.com.
Emily Felderman sews her work by hand using ‘simple and forthright’ stitches. The attraction of hand-stitch is the quality it produces, a quality that the artist claims cannot be achieved using machine embroidery.
Sketches are drawn, threads in a multitude of colours are gathered and then making begins. The use of thousands of highly colourful hand-stitches imbues Emily’s work with its own highly individual story.
As well as more traditional framed pieces, Emily has recently started working with vintage objects and combining them with her textile-based work. So far vintage scissors, gears and washers have been used as a basis for integrating portions of stitched art. The appeal comes from the history and story these items provide and the development of them as something altogether new; artwork.
To find out more about Emily you can follow her on Instagram.
Kathleen Probst‘s abstract art is driven by simple design and a love of dyeing and stitching fabric. The artist develops series of work, each with a specific set of rules, which may point to her previous career as a mathematics teacher. Simplicity, balance and spatial relationships are critical in Kathleen’s process, although her eventual hope is that the viewer will respond emotionally to the elegance and richness of her work.
Inspiration is taken wherever Kathleen can find it; architecture, the structure of automobiles, leaves, rocks and even children’s book illustrations.
To discover more about Kathleen’s work visit KathleenProbst.com.
More abstract textile artists featured on TextileArtist.org
Who is your favourite abstract textile artist? Introduce them to us in the comments below and don’t forget to link to their work.