Textiles 3: Personal Specialism- Assignment 1

Project 1.2-1.3 Reveal Own Textile Work & Engage On-line and Face to Face

Blog Slideshow, Instagram Gallery, Artist Facebook Page & Textiles on Show-Wasps Studio, Glasgow

Gillian Morris   Student No 511388

From curating my own work, I learned a lot about what I liked and what I did not like as much and why, what worked and didn’t work which was evidenced through my learning log- blog entries. An edited version of my own work to date was presented as a digital slideshow on my learning log-Blog Website: http://www.weaveprint.com (WordPress) for my OCA Personal Specialism Tutor to see, as illustrated below. I have continued to update this blog regularly and contemporaneously with any relevant learning on an ongoing basis.

Morris (2020) January 2020 Textiles on Show-WASPS Studio, Glasgow as part of the OCA Reveal and Engagement Processes
Screenshot of WordPress Learning Log-Blog WeavePrint http://www.weaveprint.com including recent blog entries

Admittedly the curating process was not easy, but much time was afforded for reflection. That said however the main learning point for me centred around my use of digital technology in generating digital versions of my folio. I made every effort to project my work positively on-line. My aim was to present a clear and informative folio of work which highlighted my textile interests, of my love and use of colour within multiple screen-printing and tapestry weaving processes. Through chronological ordering I felt my preferred personal directions in textiles could be readily evaluated. Tapestry weaving was also highlighted to compare my textile interests beyond screen printing. A range of hand printmaking techniques continued to influence much of my textile work. Ultimately, I tried to present the textiles which best showed off my strengths with colour, line and shape and of my creative preferences centred around progressively increased scale and dynamic imagery.

In the second project I extended my on-line presence further to show my work, to engage a new audience as I am new to Instagram and Facebook. As stated, my focus was to develop my understanding of and use of several digital platforms to try and reach a wider audience especially textile artists. I also felt that in doing so this would help my capacity to be known and to show my work here and now and in the longer term. To set up an Instagram account I downloaded the app on my mobile and once installed I signed up and created a new account. When up and running I regularly posted imagery of my work, others work and imagery that influenced me. For this engagement project I specifically set up a gallery of images of my work and asked for feedback. While I have regularly received many likes there has been little actual feedback despite following over 100 artists-creatives. I have nevertheless continued to enjoy sharing my work and seeing others work, of learning and developing from such experiencing.

Screenshot of Instagram account Weave Print Repeat with some of my recent images from the Tate Modern and the V & A, London

From my experience with Instagram I continued to extend my on-line presence. From setting up a Facebook account I established a separate artists page for sharing my textile work as well as encouraging engagement with and eliciting feedback from other artists. Although again I have received likes little feedback has been left despite using video to show case my textile work and being linked to other female artists in Scotland organisations. I aim to continue to progress with my Facebook artists page, to network more extensively through WASPS Studios and beyond to become more known on-line.

Screenshot of Facebook Artists Page WeavePrint with initial posts including imagery of my textile work

More recently I have organised a little pop-up within WASPS Studio in Glasgow to put my printed textiles on show for other artists to have a look at and feedback. I selected the printed textiles which I deemed to be most impactful and successful but also offered a range from my OCA textile degree process.  I was able to use some space within an artist’s studio on a temporary basis, to spread my printed textiles out so they could be more readily seen and experienced. Other artists were invited to visit and comment on a face to face basis. Due to the informal nature of the event artists just popped in and offered comments in a conversational way. I took notes of the feedback as soon as it was practical to do so. Emma Jo Webster, Tapestry Artist and Weaver/Textile Artist (Self-Employed-WASPS Studio and Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh) and Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor, Printed Textile Artist and Designer (Self-Employed-WASPS Studio) were both particularly helpful in offering feedback. Their initial impressions and overall feedback of my printed textiles was recorded and with their consent was uploaded for my ongoing learning process and for assessment purposes for the OCA and Personal specialism course, see images below.

Morris (2020) January 2020 Textiles on Show-WASPS Studio, Glasgow as part of the OCA Reveal and Engagement Processes

The artists feedback included many compliments centred around the bold use of colour schemes or palettes, the dynamic mark-making, use of contrasts with line, texture and shape, the use of layering with colour and discharge. There was discussion around the development of layering and some of the decision-making processes involved. Some noted the particular use of motifs and queried the source influences and inspirations which came from natural forms and their outer surfaces. The use of natural fabrics including cotton, linen and silk as well as velvets was acknowledged. Connections were discussed between and amongst the many different printed textiles on show and the common themes which were reflected upon including the use of abstraction and experimentation.

Morris (2020) January 2020 Textiles on Show-WASPS Studio, Glasgow as part of the OCA Reveal and Engagement Processes

The use of half tone imagery was acknowledged and how well it was used on cotton velvet as some of my artwork was also on display with the screens. There was an acknowledgement of the dots disappearing like a handmade mark.

Another noted that I was ‘filling the fabric to the very edges’ and how the different fabrics gave off a different feel’.

The colour range was repeatedly commented upon alongside the hand dyeing of the fabric.

Given the ordering of the printed textiles on show from the earliest to the most recent the continuing development of my printed textiles was noted alongside the varying trends with fabric use.

There was mention of hand mark-making, of using discharge and colour straight onto the cloth.

Someone acknowledged the depth of colour and the natural glow concerning my series of screen-printing on silk velvet.

Another said that there was a lot going on in some of the printed textiles with a range of contrasts in imagery.

An artist said that my printed textiles ‘were at home with themself’ and that ‘they work well together,’ there was ‘a rhythmical quality’ to many of the screen-printed textiles.

There was acknowledgement of asymmetrical repeats where the same imagery was used differently throughout the one piece or series of screen-printed textiles.

Someone noted the range of mark-making, of various applications of marks, of overlapping lines and shapes, of the scale of the printed textile collection. Another emphasised the need to look at the larger scale screen-printed textiles from all perspectives and viewpoints for a different impact, to keep looking at my textile work when hanging up to really see the work.

Morris (2020) January 2020 Textiles on Show-WASPS Studio, Glasgow as part of the OCA Reveal and Engagement Processes

The artists feedback also included how I could take my work forward: –
There was mention of some of the larger and more recently printed textiles being compositionally more resolved, of continuing to work in larger scale.
Someone said that the screen-printed textiles could be reinterpreted well in different mediums including rugs.
An artist noted that some of the larger-scale printed textiles seemed flat in comparison with other screen-printed textiles and to mix up the techniques more to increase the depth of imagery.
There was mention of using blank screens and hand-cut stencils on one series of large-scale printed textiles. Screen-based textural imagery was focused on in another series to create textural marks with no or little layering or discharge.
Suggestions included the need to continue to work large-scale whilst also combining an increased range of imagery, to have more of a focus within some of my larger printed textiles.
Through discussion the merits of an increased series of printed textiles was highlighted using a greater range of techniques to build up the layers including the use of imagery on screens, blank screens, discharge, dyes, masking off areas and hand-cut stencils on the fabric and/or screens. Another noted that there were intriguing options for a modular series from any direction.
Given the larger scale of the most recent screen-printed textiles someone suggested further work on heavier linen for improved draping and hanging, to fully capitalise upon the quality of the cloth and exploit more of the grain through the screen-printing processes to tie in with the overall presentation of my screen-printed textile work.
Scaling up specific sections of my screen-printed textiles in a range of sizes, fabrics and series of works was intimated.
There was a suggestion to continue to scale up, to work in larger scale as my imagery would translate well to very large textile wall-hangings, to use larger single prints to cover a larger surface area.

Morris (2020) January 2020 Textiles on Show-WASPS Studio, Glasgow as part of the OCA Reveal and Engagement Processes

From the feedback received I have reflected deeply about the way forward.

I plan to review my continuing textile work on an ongoing basis, to seek out others regularly for ongoing feedback given the range of feedback received, which has helped me to see my screen-printed textiles more clearly.

I can increasingly see the merits of being part of a group for textile artists and I aim to join Edge Textile Artists Scotland and/or the 62 Group of Textile Artists so I can show my work regularly on-line and through exhibitions.

In relation to its presentation, I need to see my textile work hung on walls regularly to help appraise there overall worth, to aid reflection, to enable me to develop directions for my continuing textile practice.

I have been pleasantly surprised at the positive feedback and the practical criticism, of the ongoing focus on colour, scale, and fabric. I intend to work on much heavier linen and to increasingly capitalise upon the natural properties of the fabric as my use of imagery lends itself to such fabric. I also plan to increase the scale of my screen-printed textile work and to use larger-scale imagery with an increased depth of layering and focus for increased impact.

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