Jackie Martin Interview: Nature and the changing seasons
Machine embroiderer Jackie Martin’s extraordinary work is heavily influenced by nature and the changing seasons. Despite her focus on machine embroidery, dying and print making, Jackie is a master of many techniques, teaching workshops once a month from her own studio. She is also a member of the New Embroidery Group and East Surrey Embroiderers Guild.
In this interview Jackie discusses her work, influences and career, illustrating her answers with various pieces of work.
Colours, shapes, textures and patterns
TextileArtist.org: What initially captured your imagination about textile art?
Jackie Martin: Freedom of artistic expression with the opportunities for experimental work.
What or who were your early influences and how has your life/upbringing influenced your work?
Observing things in life, such as the changing seasons, of colours, shapes, textures and patterns. There were no parental influences, it was just accepted that I like to draw.
Influences of nature
What was your route to becoming an artist? (Formal training or another pathway?)
Art was a favourite subject at school and after A Levels I chose to do teacher training in the teaching of Art. In teacher training my eyes were opened to the different media in the coursework. On completing my teacher training, Textiles became my speciality – I needed further training so I worked through City and Guilds Fashion to Diploma Level.
What is your chosen medium and what are your techniques?
My chosen medium was machine embroidery with the opportunities for fabric colouration and different printing techniques.
How would you describe your work and where do you think it fits within the sphere of contemporary art?
My latest work shows the starting point of my interests in organic structures and with the influences of nature, and the seasons.
Mark making and printing methods
Tell us a bit about your process and what environment you like to work in?
My starting points now are digital photography. I carry my camera with me always, especially on my early morning dog walks. These are reference points in my memories developing through to dyeing, then on to mark making and printing methods.
What currently inspires you and which other artists do you admire and why?
Inspiration may come through my travels, visiting exhibitions – in particular the David Hockney Exhibition, his interpretations of how he sees nature and the changing seasons of the Yorkshire countryside.
Tell us about a piece of work you have fond memories of and why?
I have one piece of work I keep in my sitting room – the scene I see from my house. It’s of the cornfield at the end of my garden capturing how the wind blows through the corn when it is ripe and golden.
Opportunities for development
How has your work developed since you began and how do you see it evolving in the future?
My work has developed in particular over the last 10 years with the changes in ideas and expression with the accessibility of materials and processes that are now available to use in a home workroom situation.
Do you run workshops or classes?
Since the end of City and Guilds Embroidery in further education I have run classes and workshops from my own studio for 1 week each month. Sometimes I go to secondary schools giving A Level students opportunities for development in a wider range of media to show in their portfolios for further education applications. I give talks to Embroiderer’s Guilds and Craft Clubs.
Where can readers see your work this year?
I have shown my work nationally at the Knitting and Stitching Shows with the New Embroidery Group, at Ramster Embroidery and Textile Art Exhibition. Summer 2013 at Denbies Wine Estate with the East Surrey Embroidery Group.
How do you go about choosing where to show your work?
In the past I have displayed my work at restaurants and cafés. It’s rewarding to see it displayed and I am always open to put on displays in a non-exhibition environment. I consider my work to be a living piece of art suitable to be hung in many environments.
For more information please visit Jackie Martin’s New Embroidery Group page
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