Textile artists inspired by architecture
Throughout the year we’ve taken a closer look at the materials and subjects that inspire some of our top artists to make their work extraordinary.
From felt and wool to birds and landscapes, each article revealed what material or subject the artist is drawn to and why it fires their imagination.
In this article, part of our Discover… series, we look at the work of four wonderful textile artists inspired by architecture.
Debbie Smyth is textile artist most identifiable by her statement thread drawings; these playful yet sophisticated contemporary artworks are created by stretching a network of threads between accurately plotted pins. Her work beautifully blurs the boundaries between fine art drawings and textile art, flat and 3D work, illustration and embroidery, literally lifting the drawn line off the page in a series of pin and thread drawings.
Since establishing her practice in 2009 Debbie has worked with many high profile clients both nationally and internationally including Adidas, the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Sony and Hermes. 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: www.debbie-smyth.com
Harriet Popham is an illustrative print designer specialising in unique interior textiles.
Drawn with intricate detail and a lively density, her work playfully combines architecture and animals in print and embroidery. Through first-hand research from city visits to studying the wildlife that surrounds her Somerset studio, Harriet creates engaging and visually rich designs that often tell a story.
Alongside developing her homeware brand, Harriet has worked freelance for Harper Collins, Sheffield Museum and taken on a wide variety of commissions.
For more information visit: www.harrietpopham.com
Known for her finely detailed mixed media textile constructions that are influenced by her roots in quilt making, couture construction, and her life-long passion for the urban landscape and architecture, Goetzinger captures urban life through the perspective of treasured but fading memories.
Using painted and stretched canvas as a giant embroidery hoop, she sketches, with thread, the imprint of urban landscapes on individual memory. Each artwork is intentionally without figurative elements thereby allowing the viewer to become the city’s human element, in solitary interaction with the landscape and their personal narratives and fleeting memories.
For more information visit: www.karengoetzinger.com
Ruth chalk depicts the town of Leicester in her incredible knitted artwork. An important feature of her practice is the use of recycled and reclaimed materials. Her interest lies in the idea of making things out of rubbish or oddments and finding new uses for materials that perhaps wasn’t originally their intended purpose, such as making yarn by cutting up old tights or carrier bags. She says:
I like the ‘accidental’ nature of using reclaimed and found materials; not being able to get exactly what I need, or not enough of it, will force me to be creative and lead to different results.
I see these buildings as being a bit like people I see in my local area that I recognise but don’t know. By recreating them in that most domestic of crafts I hope to convey the sense of homeliness and familiarity that I feel when I see these buildings. I am particularly interested in buildings that many people may see as ugly eyesores and yet which are as part of our environment and history as more conventionally beautiful or decorative structures.
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