Dorothy Ann Daly interview: Talking ‘Krickle Krackle’
Dorothy Ann Daly has been a member of the prolific 62 Group of Textile Artists since 1993. Her work consists of crochet pieces combined with embossed and handmade paper. She develops the crochet by experimenting with different stitches and cottons, and is interested in creating a variety of textures to produce stand-alone sculptures or pieces of a collage.
In this interview Dorothy tells us about her route to becoming a paper textile artist and how she came to coin the term Krickle Krackle to describe what she was trying to achieve with her work.
Using crochet to make art
Textile Artist: What initially captured your imagination about textile art?
Dorothy Ann Daly: Textiles are all around us. My mother was always making things and we were encouraged to draw and paint as kids. She showed me how to crochet when I was 7 or 8 and it was something that I could do, but it took me years to realize that I could use crochet to make art.
What or who were your early influences and how has your life/upbringing influenced your work?
My mother and Aunt Mary and my first college tutor Theresa McKenna. Also the countless women who made beautiful work whether it was embroidery or crochet or other hand work which was not seen as art.
What was your route to becoming a textile artist?
I studied fine art painting in the National College of Art in Dublin (1986 -1991) and I did a student exchange to the textile department of Glasgow School of Art. (Sept 1989 – Dec 89).
What is your chosen medium and what are your techniques?
I use crochet as my chosen medium. I am interested in traditional Irish crochet techniques and its history. I am fascinated when I find Irish Crochet collars in flea markets in Berlin – Who made the work? And how they ended up in Berlin?
How would you describe your work and where do you think it fits within the sphere of contemporary art?
I use crochet to make 3D drawings, objects and collages with paper. I have used crochet to make installations and depending on my idea I make sculptural pieces or flat work. I see my work fitting into contemporary art. I just happen to use crochet as my medium. I see my self as a fine/textile artist.
Tell us a bit about your process as a crochet and paper textile artist and what environment you like to work in?
I work best in the morning, when I know where a piece is going it is a matter of crocheting and making decisions about the next row of stitches or thickness of cotton as I work. If I am trying to start new work I make some drawings and write ideas in my notebook/sketchbook and work out pieces through making samples.
What currently inspires you and which other artists do you admire and why?
I find inspiration everywhere. I like looking at blogs and finding inspiration from people all over the world. It is great to see people making things and showing their work. I like going to galleries and looking at contemporary exhibitions and museums to look at their collections.
I admire Eva Hesse, Frida Kahlo and Louise Bourgeois to name but a few, these were all very strong women who worked in a very individual way in various media but always seemed to remain true to their own work.
Tell us about a piece of work you have fond memories of and why?
The piece Krickle Krackle (2007) was an important point in my work. My son came home from Kindergarten one day and he was really upset that one of the other boys said that he couldn’t draw; he was only doing Krickle Krackle. While comforting him I realised that was what I had been trying to do in crochet for years… We would say scribbling in English. I am happy with the piece and it became the basis of my solo show of the same name in The Lab in Dublin (2008).
I have fond memories of my son showing people at the opening what real (his) Krickle Krackle looked like!
How has your work developed since you began and how do you see it evolving in the future?
I am working smaller and framing more pieces now. I like the idea of pinning work directly onto the wall but this is not always possible or practical in terms of sales and protecting work.
My work has become more simple as I have learned to trust what I make and feel happy with the results.
Do you give talks or run workshops or classes? If so where can readers find information about these?
I used to, since moving to Germany I haven’t been teaching. It is something that I miss but at the moment it is not something that I do, may be in the future, who knows.
How do you go about choosing where to show your work?
I have been a member of the 62 group since 1993 and exhibit regularly with them. I had a solo show in a hospital in Waterford in Ireland. It was an open submission and I was interested in the project. I apply to exhibitions and projects if they interest me or sometimes I am invited to exhibit in shows.
Where can readers see your work this year ?
The Knitting & Stitching show and a group exhibition in Munich Germany.
For more info on Dorothy Ann Daly visit: dorothyanndaly.de
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