Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor interview: The shape of things

Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor interview: The shape of things

In part-two of our interview with print textile artist Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor, she talks about what inspires her and how her work has evolved over the years.

Exploring ideas of boundaries

Textile Artist: What currently inspires you and which other artists do you admire and why?

Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor: There is a theme of memory and the domestic landscape running through much of my work, where imagery takes on a new form through abstraction, repeatition and a change in scale. Recent work has become more abstract. I like to fuse things so imagery may have multiple connotations. Compositionally and metaphorically, I am exploring ideas of boundaries, junctions and intersections, where one thing may start, end, or overlap another. Creating an atmosphere is important and the multiple layers don’t just give a visual depth, but also try to give a certain ‘presence’ as well as symbolising the transience and complexities of life, a constantly shifting landscape.

Sally Greaves-Lord is a textile artist I have long held in high regard. I am deeply moved by the quiet, yet strong spirit that permeates her work and the integrity with which she pursues her chosen path. I also like Jo Budd’s work for its boldness in scale, the compositional qualities of Tilleke Schwarz’s embroideries and the sparse truthfulness of Polly Binns’ stitched pieces that reference the North Norfolk coast, a very special place.

Other artists whose work inspires me are Ben Nicholson and John Piper; I am also very interested in graphic design and illustration from the post and inter-war period – Abram Games, Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious.

Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor – Mapping The Shape of Things

Mapping The Shape of Things, Printed, stitched and collaged paper; 89cm x 168cm
Photo: Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor

The creative process journal

Tell us about a piece of work you have fond memories of and why?

The Shape of Things’ came about from responding to archive material as part of a staff project at Glasgow School of Art in 2008-09, where I found a resonance with some of my own interests in a travel diary created by a student in the 1950’s. Making this piece coincided with my father’s illness and subsequent death and it became a sort of tribute to him. The development of the work and the accompanying ‘creative process journal’ we were asked to produce, really helped move my work forward and brought me to a new train of thought that I am still exploring.

Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor – The Shape of Things

The Shape of Things
Screen-printed Irish linen; 133cm x 260cm
Photo: Electric Egg Ltd

Exploring printing on paper

How has your work developed since you began as a print textile artist and how do you see it evolving in the future?

All my core interests have remained over the years, but through experience and a constant desire to reflect and grow, one finds new ways of conveying these essential elements. In some ways I am more systematic in how I develop my ideas, and this along with increased technical confidence, have encouraged a broader viewpoint and ability to remain more fluid in my approach on the print table. I am keen to keep producing one-offs on a large scale, but would also like to do more repeat printing as well as exploring printing on paper.

Do you give talks or run workshops or classes? If so where can readers find information about these?

I run both 5-day courses and weekend workshops. Further information is available on my website where you can contact me for full details and booking forms. The second edition of my book [easyazon_link asin=”1408124750″ locale=”UK” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”wwwtextileart-21″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Dyeing and Screenprinting on Textiles[/easyazon_link] on Textiles (pub. A & C Black) may also be ordered.

Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor – Lost and Found

Lost and Found
Dyed and screen-printed wool; 134cm wide x 200cm high
Photo: Ruth Clark

How do you go about choosing where to show your work?

Because I work across a number of different areas, from site-specific public commissions to domestic linens and work for exhibition, the venues will be very different. The 62 Group remains a focus for gallery work, but I also like to show in group exhibitions that are not specifically textile-based.

For more info please visit:

Read Part 1 of this fascinating interview with Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor: Printed textile art techniques.

Let us know us know if you’ve enjoyed this interview by leaving a comment below.

Saturday 18th, May 2024 / 00:49

About the author

Sam is the co-founder of and son of textile artist Sue Stone. Connect with Sam on Google+c/a>

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