Personal Specialism: Initial Project Work-Exercise 2 Reviewing and Editing-Dawn Dupree, Contemporary Textile Artist

Dawn Dupree is an experimental textile print artist who continually pushes the boundaries within the arena of printed textiles whereby she will use several different techniques and methods within any one piece of artwork. Dupree will use dye-pastes, discharge, pigments and small areas of flocking to create contrasting textures and colours alongside different screen printing, heat transfer printing and hand painting approaches. The artist focuses on the grittier side of city life including abandoned objects and derelict spaces. She uses a range of narratives in the related imagery to promote meaning through the collections of mark making and their relationships, placement and interaction.

Turbulence, Dawn Dupree (2008) Dye paste, pigment and flock printed cotton satin 119x76cm

Dawn Dupree produces one-off textile artworks with various print processes with brightly coloured multi-layered surfaces (The Sixty-Two Group). I have been influenced by the artists use of colour, free-flowing mark making including circular type shapes and line with painted effects and mark making. Using themes of domesticity have shown this off to good effect.

Domestic Bliss, Dawn Dupree (2008). Screen-printed wall panel with flock printing 105x76x6cm
Tiled Location, Dawn Dupree (2008). Dye paste, pigment and flock printed furnishing satin 58x88cm

Turbulence, Domestic Bliss and Tiled Location (2008) encapsulate best Dupree’s use of imagery placement and vibrant colour palette with a range of mark making. Related imagery has been show-cased alongside vigorous painted, drawn and printed marks and abstracted shapes through layering. While the juxtaposition of such varied imagery, marks, shapes and colours should jar Dupree managed to create dynamic and contemporary ways of seeing through such placements and arrangements. This has created a different way of responding to what is experienced in daily life through textiles. This idea of domesticity has been modernised and brought up to date.

Maternal, Dawn Dupree (2009) Dye paste, pigment and flock-printed linen 19×11.8cm

The continuing themes centre around the use of printed texture as the backdrop to the range of mark making, drawn line and colour within and around the shapes. There seems to be a balanced use of shape, line, and colour with imagery and mark making with an increasingly diluted colour palette as in maternal (2009). This piece of work seemed more experimental and evolving compared to the earlier pieces centred upon domesticity. Noted developments in the textile artists work meant that a selection of her artwork was chosen to best represent her overall work with textiles.  Dupree’s artwork appeared to change to coincide with how her life changed through psychotherapy training and divergence of roles. In considering this earlier work has been selected alongside later work to compare and contrast the changing narratives and to represent a clearer edited format. To only consider parts of the artist’s overall body of work from a specific time frame would not offer a sufficiently comprehensive perspective of what she has achieved and how she has done it. The collection has remained succinct to aid engagement and understanding of key themes. More recently the artist has practised as a psychotherapist which has moved her artwork in new directions, see below. Dupree started to consolidate her creative art processes with her therapy process using key concepts including reflecting and reconnecting to express herself. The selection, placement and layering of areas of colour, expressive and gestural marks, drawn and painted pattern, objects and line all seem to come together to join to form a sense of overall meaning. This appears to resemble the therapy process where meaning and understanding evolve through time in relationship.

Flux: Reflecting, Reclaiming, Reconnecting & Repairing (2019) Ctrl/Shift National Centre for Craft & Design

Given the artist’s narrative and contemporary visual imagery using textiles a range of audiences are possible. Dawn Dupree has been heavily involved with the provision of workshops for textile enthusiasts, textile artists, multi-media artists, textile designers, and those interested in contemporary art and abstracted forms so I would consider that a range of audience options are available given the dynamic nature of her artwork. See artwork below used within workshop programmes.                     

The presentation of her artwork within a white walled gallery setting, educational establishment or public space with interactive elements would work well. More specifically workshops run from within the selected space would offer a greater opportunity to understand the artists creative processes through demonstration, which would aid further engagement and understanding.  Through the audience having the opportunity to engage with some of these print, drawn and painted processes, to experiment with mark making would aid greater involvement and development of their relationship with the artworks on show and contemporary art as a whole. Separate exhibitions within the main exhibition to highlight audience engagement and development would attract a wider audience to contemporary textile art. Greater audience viewing and participation has the potential to fuel more positive support for contemporary textile art to see it differently as an art form in its own right from enhanced audience experiencing.  

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