Exhibition review: Tide Marks – Alice Fox
Textile artist Alice Fox is inspired by the natural world and detail of organic things. In 2012 she was the artist in residence at Spurn Point National Nature Reserve where where she developed her work based on coastal landscapes. Here, regular TextileArtist.org contributor, Sue Stone considers Alice’s recent exhibition ‘Tide Marks’ which is currently showing at the Gate Gallery in Grimsby, Lincolnshire.
Tide Marks: Alice Fox
Gate Gallery, 12, Brighowgate, Grimsby, N E Lincolnshire, DN32 0QX
Exhibition runs from 24 October to 30 November 2013
Words by Sue Stone
The venue for the exhibition is Gate Gallery, a small independent gallery in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, UK, the town where Alice Fox grew up. Grimsby has close connections with the sea and so it is entirely appropriate for Alice to show her latest body of work ‘Tide Marks’ here.
The first thing I notice on entering the ‘Tide Marks’ exhibition is the tranquility of the work displayed. The images celebrate the coastal landscape and really capture that peaceful feeling of being at the beach with waves lapping the seashore, the ebb and flow of the tide and the imprints on wet sand. Alice has an affinity with nature and, in particular, the sea coast and it shows. She is a trained naturalist with a degree in Physical Geography who later returned to college to complete a Textiles degree as a mature student, graduating in 2011. She has been developing a close relationship with the shoreline and this series of work is an extension of the work made during of her residency at Spurn National Nature Reserve in 2012.
The work on show consists of a selection of abstract images in various different media, including works on paper, cloth and tapestry weave.
It ranges from a series of large scale, wall hung textiles, and large, framed works on paper, to small, intimate prints and concertina, hand made artist’s books whose colour and printed marks are derived from beach-combed items, including rusty metal and collected man made and natural fragments.
I really enjoy the mark making aspect of the work; the layers built up with the use of rusty metal, collograph printing and embossing (using textured plates made with found items which are then put through a printing press) before adding hand stitch. It is apparent from looking at the work that Alice has observed, and made careful decisions on which marks should be included, after recording and gathering patterns and textures on her way.
My own favourite is the series of unframed hanging cloths which incorporate rust print, collograph print and stitch. The rust print is made using found rusty objects which have been collected on beaches that Alice has visited. They are used to make unpredictable, experimental marks and stains, the marks changing each time the object is used. Creases, tucks and stitches are used to then add texture and form to the individual hangings and when brought together they make up an installation measuring approximately 5 metres wide by 2 metres high.
The exhibition is accompanied by a series of specially commissioned poems and prose by the writer Nigel Morgan. These, and a selection of images of the coastal landscapes that provide Alice’s inspiration, sketches, found objects, work in progress as well as some of the final work shown in the exhibition are included in an A5, 80 page landscape book ‘Tide Marks’.
The exhibition is well worth a visit if you are in the Grimsby area.
Further information can be found at: alicefox.co.uk
The ‘Tide Marks’ book is for sale at: alicefox.bigcartel.com
About the reviewer
Sue Stone is a member of the 62 group of Textile Artists and the Society of Designer Craftsmen. She studied Fashion at St Martins School of Art and Embroidery at Goldsmiths College and exhibits both nationally and internationally.
For more information on Sue Stone please visit: womanwithafish.com