Textile art inspiration in the digital age - TextileArtist.org

Textile art inspiration in the digital age

Textile art inspiration in the digital age

Nothing can beat experiencing textile art ‘in the flesh’. Visiting an exhibition of tactile work created by an artist you admire offers an opportunity for discovery; pondering on the intricacies of a stitched design up close and personal, breathing in the detail, absorbing the craftsmanship. For enthusiasts of fiber, this inspiration is unparalleled.

But how do you bottle that? Dedicated textile art exhibitions are sadly rarer than they should be. And there is still a baffling resistance on the part of many galleries to feature work created with fiber, no matter how innovative or contemporary.

And that’s one of the reasons TextileArtist.org exists. And it’s also the reason we decided to curate some of our favourite contemporary work by some of the most exciting artists working with textiles today in a series of digital books.

We selected a series of compelling subjects, including Textile Art Inspired by Nature and Textile Sculpture and sought out the best artists working in those mediums and styles. Our aim was to make the work of these incredible international practitioners accessible no matter where you are in the world.

Textile Art Inspired by Nature

Leslie Morgan, Little Bird

Leslie Morgan, Little Bird

Nature is one of the most enduring inspirations for art of any form. Fascination with forests, seas, wildlife and the sky doesn’t seem to ebb.

In Textile Art Inspired by Nature, we celebrate the work and worlds of 10 artists speaking of this well-trodden subject matter in new and resounding voices.  Each chapter delves into a different artist’s take on nature and the techniques and processes they use to bring their concepts to life.

The array of beautiful images of their work prove that there really is no limit to the possibilities of how nature can be harnessed to create original, breathtaking art and how textiles seem to be the perfect medium to capture the rhythms and textures of the natural world.

Anne Honeyman, Meadow Bowl

Anne Honeyman, Meadow Bowl

You’ll share in the stories of long-time TextileArtist.org contributors Cas Holmes, who uses found materials as the foundation for her work, and Anne Kelly, who creates densely embroidered and multi-layered works.

You’ll also be invited into the worlds of machine embroiderer Anne Honeyman, mixed media practitioner Lesley Richmond, and abstract artist Pat Bishop. And you’ll take a glimpse into the processes of Dionne Swift, who uses drawing as the basis for her work, Susan Beallor-Snyder, who creates natural manila rope sculptures, and Nicola Henley, whose process is instigated by the movement of birds. Finally, you’ll discover what lies behind the work of applied artist Maria Boyle and quilter Leslie Morgan.

Find out more about Textile Art Inspired by Nature here.

Textiles: A Response to Landscape

Jan Beaney, Purple Hedgerow

Jan Beaney, Purple Hedgerow

Landscapes have been a source of inspiration for artists throughout the ages.

Far-reaching vistas have been depicted literally and portrayed abstractly by practitioners working in a wide range of media. But there is something about the depth and tactility of textiles that seems particularly apt when taking the natural world as a starting point.

Textiles: A Response to Landscape brings together 10 incredible contemporary artists who speak of the subject matter in a unique way. In compiling the book, we sought to highlight the vast range of opportunities textiles offer as a means of interpretation by exploring the stories, influences and techniques of the artists featured. There’s also a wide selection of beautiful images of their work.

Daren Redman, Three Flowers

Daren Redman, Three Flowers

You’ll share in the stories of Alison King, who is inspired by the hills and valleys of Scotland, and Shona Skinner, who became frustrated with the flatness of paint and moved to textiles as a means of expressing the landscape of the Shetland Isles.

You’ll also be invited into the worlds of the longest serving member of the renowned 62 Group Jan Beaney, Indiana-based quilter Daren Redman, and long-time TextileArtist.org contributor Carol Naylor. And you’ll take a glimpse into the processes of Pauline Nijenhuis, who uses acrylic paint and stitch on untreated linen, Debbie Lyddon, who makes non-representational objects and wall hung pieces, and Carol Shinn, who creates photo-realistic machine embroidery. Finally, you’ll discover what lies behind the work of collage-artist Barbara Lee Smith and Licentiate member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen Diana McKinnon.

Find out more about Textiles: A Response to Landscape here

Contemporary Stitch

Debbie Smyth, Trolleyed

Debbie Smyth, Trolleyed

Contemporary Stitch is a celebration of the work and worlds of 10 incredible embroidery artists.

You’ll share in their stories, discover what makes them tick and take a glimpse into their processes. You’ll also feast on an array of beautiful images of their work.

We couldn’t compile a book on Contemporary Stitch without including the woman who started it all; the first chapter is dedicated to mum, Sue Stone. Alongside her you’ll find fellow 62 Group members Tilleke Schwarz, who uses stitch to create ‘visual poetry’, and Alice Kettle, who creates painterly pieces of work using machine embroidery.

Sue Stone, Some Things Never Change

Sue Stone, Some Things Never Change

You’ll also be invited into the worlds of USA-based fiber artist Nike Schroeder and image-hijacker Inge Jacobsen. And you’ll take a glimpse into the processes of Debbie Smyth, who has become renowned for her thread drawings, Emily Jo Gibbs, who creates both portraiture and textile sculpture, and Stewart Kelly, who takes his inspiration from the human form. Finally, you’ll discover what lies behind the work of needle and thread sketcher Elisabeth Rutt and mixed media artist Kirsty Whitlock.

There are two defining factors that unify all of the work featured in Contemporary Stitch; it is made using embroidery as its basis, and it represents the best that modern Textile Art has to offer.

Find out more about Contemporary Stitch here

Artistic Embroidery

Melissa Zexter, Woman with Veil (Detail)

Melissa Zexter, Woman with Veil (Detail)

Artistic Embroidery brings together the musings of 10 more incredible stitch artists working today.

You’ll learn about their journeys, plus why and how they make their mark in the world of modern art. You’ll also enjoy a huge array of high quality inspiring images of their work.

You’ll share in the story of Nigel Cheney, an artist we’ve featured many times on TextileArtist.org and someone we admire for the scale of his ambition and his unique take on a well-worn subject matter. Alongside him you’ll find Melissa Zexter, who creates embroidered photography, and Jean Littlejohn, who is internationally renowned for both her art and her teaching.

Jean Littlejohn, Renewal

Jean Littlejohn, Renewal

You’ll also be invited into the worlds of textile designer and illustrator Naomi Ryder and figurative artist Nicole Ladrak. And you’ll take a glimpse into the processes of Caren Garfen, who uses textiles to explore women’s issues in the 21st century, James Hunting, who started life as a freelance fashion embroiderer before discovering a more personal approach, and Willy Schut, who uses a combination of painting, appliqué and freehand machine embroidery. Finally, you’ll discover what lies behind the work of quilt artist Bethan Ash and graphic textile designer Evelin Kasikov.

We’re sure you’ll agree that the work represented in Artistic Embroidery brings together a breath taking array of modern art, which all just happens to be created using stitch techniques.

Find out more about Artistic Embroidery here

Textiles Re:Imagined

Isobel Currie, 3-dimensional embroidery

Isobel Currie, 3-dimensional embroidery

Delve into the minds of 50 of the world’s most innovative and inspiring textile and fiber artists.

Textiles Re:imagined takes you on a journey of discovery as you share in the stories of 50 diverse artists, all of whom demonstrate excellence in workmanship and design. This is your ‘behind the scenes’ pass into how the artists got to where they are today, what inspires them and the processes they use to create their breathtakingly beautiful work. Immerse yourself in a world of possibility within the realm of textile and fiber art and embrace the freedom to explore new concepts and ideas.

In compiling this book for you and other passionate, creative people just like you, we sought to challenge preconceptions about what constitutes ‘textile art’.

Jennifer Collier, Photo Camera

Jennifer Collier, Photo Camera

The work of the 50 featured artists honours tradition in many cases, but is always innovative, exciting and contemporary.

In Textiles Re:imagined, you’ll find well established, highly respected practitioners, such as Jean Draper and Karen Nicol, rubbing shoulders with those at the start of their journey, such as Bella May Leonard. You’ll discover artists drawing inspiration from a multitude of sources including nature (Heather Collins), foreign culture (Pippa Andrews) and the human condition (Hilary Bower), using a diverse array of materials including felt (Janice Arnold), rope (Judy Tadman) and recycled objects (Barbara Cotterell), and working in a wide range of methods including hand-weaving (Alice Hume), beading (Jan Huling) and basketry (Polly Pollock).

By covering such a wide and varied range of materials and techniques, our aim is that you’ll be inspired to experiment and push the boundaries of your own practice.

And of course, as fiber art is a visual medium there’s a huge array of sumptuously vibrant images of the artists’ work to stimulate you further.

“This book is full of inspiration. I feel that I have had the opportunity to visit one of the best mixed media museums in the world and have browsed and read and mused for hours over this ebook. Do yourself a favour, if you love mixed media you will love this book” SJ Fisher Amazon

Find out more about Textiles Re:Imagined here

Get the entire collection

ebook collection

We’re offering all 5 of the textile art ebooks featured in this article in an exclusive discounted bundle. Check out the offer here.

Monday 25th, January 2021 / 06:48

About the author

Joseph Pitcher is the son of textile artist Sue Stone. He is an actor and voice-over artist and has worked at the RSC, the National Theatre, West End theatres and several other leading regional venues across the UK. Find Joe on Google

View all articles by Joe


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2 comments on “Textile art inspiration in the digital age”

  1. PirateCanvas says:

    Lots of nice pieces! To me art is all about creativity and expressing yourself, it’s good to see traditional style art hasn’t gone out of style.

  2. jordi walliser says:

    all of this art looks really cool, it should be more acknowledged

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