Figurative textile art: 5 amazing artists -

Figurative textile art: 5 amazing artists

Figurative textile art: 5 amazing artists has been growing since 2013 and our aim is to embrace the diversity of the medium and attract influencers from the world of textile and fiber; as well as bringing emerging talent to the fore, we are determined to honour established artists. A popular discipline amongst our readers is figurative textile art; in this article we take a closer look at 5 amazing artists working in this field.

Nigel Cheney

Nigel Cheney

Since graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1991 Nigel has been in demand as an artist as well as an educator. His designs encompass gallery work, fashion, commissions and interiors. Nigel describes his work as “process led, grounded in tradition with a passion for cloth and textile craftsmanship, striving for technical excellence”.

As a lecturer in Embroidered Textiles at NCAD since 1993, Nigel has a passion for sharing his knowledge about blackwork, voiding, applique and hand stitch. His interaction with students keeps his textile work relevant and fresh. As a result, he often combines historical techniques with more modern practices like digital media for a contemporary aesthetic.

For more information visit

Raija Jokinen

Raija Jokinen

Raija is from Finland and began her career as a figurative textile artist after graduating from the University of Arts and Design, Helsinki in 1990.  Her interest is structures, the feel of materials, colours and patterning.  Her work often reflects everyday feelings and situations and observes the relationship of the emotional and physical surroundings.

Raija combines painting with paper making, graphics and textiles to achieve her stark, honest and beautiful pieces. Together with her colleague, Leena Lukkarinen, they founded the Northern Fibre event, which is a forum for international artists to exchange ideas and cultural perspectives.

For more information visit http:

Marjolein Starreveld

Marjolein Starreveld

Marjolein’s art is inspired by what makes people tick. On finishing art school, the Utrecht based Dutch artist began working on contemporary quilts, which she exhibited widely. She eventually turned her focus to the art form of collage with hand embroidery. She describes her work as a mix of “conceptual ideas and technical aspect”.

From experimentation her work appears to cross over forms and disciplines but always maintains a distinct figurative truth.

Sue Stone

Sue Stone

Sue Stone is based in her home town of Grimsby  She studied Fashion at St Martins School of Art and Embroidery at Goldsmiths College, and exhibits both nationally and internationally. She is chair and exhibiting member of the 62 Group of Textile Artists and fellow of the Society of Designer Craftsmen.

Sue learnt to sew at an early age as her Mum was a seamstress trained in tailoring.  Her work always has a strong connection with the past but, in the making, her pieces develop a contemporary twist. Her technique is to combine, layer and build hand stitch with machine embroidery and paint which gives her work a very potent and immediate feel.

For more information visit

Debbie Smyth

Debbie Smith

Debbie has cornered the market in statement thread drawing. Her contemporary artworks appear to combine the playful and sophisticated, leaving the viewer both charmed and disconcerted. She beautifully blurs the boundaries between fine art drawings and textile art, both flat and 3D. She achieves this by stretching a network of threads between accurately plotted pins with breathtaking results.

Not allowing boundaries to hold her back, Debbie plays with scale and pushes the expected scope of her work even further. She says, ” I feel as if I am taking thread out of its comfort zone, presenting it on monumental scale and creating an eye-catching, and in some case jaw dropping effect”

For more information visit

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Thursday 29th, October 2020 / 18:05

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5 comments on “Figurative textile art: 5 amazing artists”

  1. Thank you this was such nice reading , Esp forpeople like me who live in countries where fiber has not many outlets.

  2. kay says:

    appreciate the curation and the links always take me on a journey where i discover new artists and ideas

  3. Ally says:

    I have been enjoying thread painting and sketching in the last 6-7 years. I belong to several online groups and have been part of many swaps and group projects.
    I mainly sell my work through a local group of artisans called Kindred Spirits where I take part in a yearly show.
    I have a page on FB. Etched in Thread by Ally. Where I display some of my work. I use some painted background using ink tense pencils and blocks. Or use my photography then print onto fabric then etched in thread, with thread painting to enhence the picture. Also I do flower pounding and once the juices from the leaves and flowers are dried on the fabric I then embellish with my thread painting.
    I have just found your group and love seeing art work of other artists.
    I look forward to seeing your newsletter and updates of other artists.
    Ally Bryant

  4. Pat Bishop says:

    Your articles are so diverse and enlightening, thank you for the continued quality content.

  5. Barbara Bexley says:

    Debbie Smyth – what an amazing artist, taking textile art to new heights and a whole new audience. And what a nice young lady. Long may she be successful in her chosen career.

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Lecturer in Embroidered Textiles at NCAD

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