Future Focus: Membership Textile Groups and Contemporary Art Organisations with Commission Work

Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor House — Dyed, screen-printed, and painted vintage French linen; 139cm wide x 136cm high. Photo: Ian Marshall http://www.joannakinnerslytaylor.com/

Ultimate Goal- Membership of the 62 Group as an artist led organisation which aims to incorporate and challenge the boundaries of textile practice through an ambitious and innovative annual programme of exhibitions.

Audrey Walker MBE noted that in 1962, the belief that co-operative effort can be more effective than individual enterprise united several young embroidery graduates in a common enterprise – they formed the 62 Group of Embroiderers to be a pressure group and a support system for its members. They knew that their work deserved wider recognition and that for this, it needed to be seen in prestigious venues with appropriate publicity and critical attention. Embroiderers were then joined by practitioners in other textile disciplines and so the 62 Group of Textile Artists was established.

Through such membership I can be part of a vibrant, innovative, and creatively challenging textile group which will help to ensure my own continuing development within the arena of contemporary weave and print. Through joining a textile group for artists and run by artists expectations will be high including the requirement to exhibit regularly as a key prerequisite to membership. Through the capacity to liaise with so many well established, informed, and successful contemporary textile artists my own creative practice will continue to be stimulated and thrive. I have already been influenced by several textile artists within the 62 Group and often referenced them throughout my blog entries and learning logs to date so I anticipate this will continue to keep me rooted within the contemporary domain. What particularly impressed me with the 62 Group was their unrelenting standards. Groups often abandon rigour in favour of a kindly indulgence towards members but the 62 Group has always resisted the temptation. Members know that their work will be subjected to appraisal by a panel of their fellow members before it is accepted in any 62 Group exhibitions and that they will be asked to serve on such selection panels from time to time. I relish the opportunity to become involved and to participate, to continue to learn from others to keep moving my creative practice on. With the groups continuing programme of annual exhibitions, and its established international reputation for professionalism, quality of work and strength of purpose my own creative practice can only improve and expand with such academic and creative rigour.

Morris (2020) A4 Tapestry Weaving using Linen and Cotton Thread on Inkjet Printed Cotton Muslin with Cardboard Support. Designated areas of cardboard were removed to highlight the sheer fragility of muslin with the beauty of line and stitch in accordance with the print. https://weaveprint.com/

One of the more recent exhibitions Ctrl/Shift (2019-2020) takes shifts and changes as its theme; it is centred on artists whose practice is or has transformed, in small or large ways, especially towards expressions of innovation in textile art. These shifts may be around changing attitudes to control; the introduction of new materials and techniques; and/or the impact of innovative and contemporary themes and ideas, and evolving technologies.

The exhibition comprised over thirty artworks by twenty-five artists, including carefully selected outcomes from a collaboration between three artists who reflected on and were inspired by each other’s work.

Caroline Bartlett (2019) Imprint: Materials: Linen, porcelain, cotton thread. Techniques: Print, stitch, and pleating for Ctrl/Shift Exhibition Scunthorpe 20/21 Visual Arts Centre and Scunthorpe Central https://www.62group.org.uk/exhibitions/20-21-visual-arts-centre/

For Caroline Bartlett fragile and transient, cloth encapsulates ideas concerned with the regenerative and degenerative processes of life. As clothing, it witnesses routines, rituals, and intimacies. The clothing imprinted porcelain occurs as a deposit of memory. https://www.62group.org.uk/artist/caroline-bartlett/

Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor (2018) Recast. Materials: Belgian linen, wooden battens, metal T pins Techniques: Dyed, painted, screen-printed and laser cut for Ctrl/Shift Exhibition MAC Birmingham https://www.62group.org.uk/exhibitions/control-shift-mac-birmingham/

Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor noted that Recast takes as its theme the shifting dynamic of interior space…  As we move through our environment, so light changes and our sense of space alters. Using multiple pieces of cloth in a grid format, has enabled Joanna to work on a larger scale than usual. Whilst maintaining a sense of individual compositions, there is also an overall rhythmic structure. This textile artist seeks to capture a particular moment, atmosphere, or environment. http://www.joannakinnerslytaylor.com/

Dawn Dupree (2018) Flux. Materials: Dye, Pigment, Resist and Flock on Linen and Cotton Techniques: Silk Screen Printing and Heat Press Processes for Ctrl/Shift Exhibition MAC Birmingham. https://www.62group.org.uk/exhibitions/control-shift-mac-birmingham/

Dawn Dupree’s new work explores the process of change and transformation. Influenced by her personal and clinical experience as a psychotherapist Dawn’s work is concerned with the internal landscape, our embodied experience, intersubjectivity and unconscious processes. This textile artist explores narrative and process. Her constructed landscapes often reference the environment, transition, and relationships. Collaged images, drawings and mark-making are integrated, often creating distorted, ambiguous, and potentially unsettling results. Intensely coloured and layered surfaces are printed using dye-pastes, discharge, pigments, and flocking. https://www.62group.org.uk/artist/dawn-dupree

Morris (2020) Passing from Sight: Implicit Traces and Imprints of Environmental Breakdown within the Print on Repurposed Sheer Muslin. Use of an antiqued and worn colour palette of printing inks. (1.3 x 5 metres) https://weaveprint.com/
Morris (2020) Enveloped- A Personal Response to Natural Forms in Crisis. Detail from larger-scale screen-printed smoke grey coloured upholstery linen with oxblood, deep turquoise, light grey reactive dyes, and dilute discharge. Linear artwork and textural elements from natural surface qualities including shells was used to explore key themes of fragility in nature (1.5 metres x 1.5 metres) https://weaveprint.com/

Like so many textile artists I hope to gain so much from membership of the 62 Group, for this organisation to continue to offer me a well-established outlet and significant platform to showcase my creative work to be known and to get known. For me to reciprocate through offering what I can to such a prestigious textile group through fully capitalising upon every learning opportunity to promote the continuing quality of others creative work as well as the quality of my own weave and print from within my own continuing context.

Molly Bullick “In the Night Garden” Printing Inks on Discharged Cotton 20x20cm https://edge-textileartists-scotland.com/edge-artists/molly-bullick/

Ultimate Goal- Membership of the edge textile artists Scotland group as membership assures joining a group dedicated to promoting excellence in contemporary textile art in Scotland with the expectation of continuous development within creative practice. Keeping aspirational as well as inspirational is at the core of the Edge philosophy and that is achieved by following the constitutional premise that we are bound to a selection process both to join the group and to exhibit work. https://edge-textileartists-scotland.com/

Again, like the 62 Group I was drawn towards the academic and creative rigour to maintain standards throughout their regular exhibition programme with their ongoing creative processes, learning and development opportunities. Through such membership there will be many options to share and exchange roles and responsibilities which will help to extend my creative practice within the contemporary field, to keep abreast of textile art in Scotland.

Their most recent exhibition referenced Gerda Stevenson’s book Quines: Poems in Tribute to Women of Scotland (QUINES- Poems in tribute to women of Scotland Luath Press – 1st edition, 2018, 2nd edition, 2020)

Gerda Stevenson’s book Quines: Poems in Tribute to Women of Scotland was the catalyst for this 2020 exhibition by Edge Textile Artists Scotland. A unique collaboration between the poet and artists resulted in Edge members creating a piece of work inspired by selected poems from the book. Launched on the eve of International Women’s Day 2020 at the Central Library in Edinburgh, this exhibition of poems and textile art celebrates and explores the richly diverse contribution women have made to Scottish history and society. Readings by Gerda Stevenson herself accompany several of the works. https://edge-textileartists-scotland.com/exhibitions/quines/

Molly Bullick The Red Duchess Print, Embroidery, Felt work https://edge-textileartists-scotland.com/exhibitions/quines/the-red-duchess/

Katharine Stewart-Murray, Duchess of Atholl, 1874-1960, Edinburgh; first Scottish female Member of Parliament; Scottish Unionist Party MP for Kinross and West Perthshire, 1923- 1938; the first woman to serve in a UK Conservative and Unionist government; resigned the Conservative Whip in 1938 in opposition to Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement of Adolf Hitler, and to the Anglo-Italian agreement; was then deselected by her own party, who dubbed her the Red Duchess. From Quines by Gerda Stevenson.

Artist’s statement- Molly Bullick

I chose this poem because every word sang out to me. The inability of government to give credence to common sense or to ‘read between the lines’ as evidenced today makes me despair. I have been thinking a lot about the waves of immigrants and displaced persons all over the globe and various governments humanitarian and not so humanitarian responses. And so, history repeats and repeats. Good intentions tumble and the horrors remain hidden. I love the phrase ‘I told you so.’ So true. https://edge-textileartists-scotland.com/exhibitions/quines/the-red-duchess/

Liza Green The Living Mountain Addresses a £5 Banknote Polymer Particles – stitched distressed paper, polymer medium https://edge-textileartists-scotland.com/exhibitions/quines/the-living-mountain-addresses-a-5-banknote/

Nan Shepherd, born Peterculter, 1893, died Aberdeen, 1981; novelist, poet and writer of non-fiction, lecturer in English at Aberdeen College of Education; her non-fiction work The Living Mountain, written in 1941 but not published till 1977, describes the Cairngorms; first woman to appear on a Royal Bank of Scotland banknote, 2016. From Quines by Gerda Stevenson

Artist’s statement-Liza Green

I begin by drawing, writing and mark making in my sketchbook as ideas emerge. The poem is the voice of the mountain; the imagery describes the passage of the littering banknote, Nan Shepherd’s walks in the landscape, and the ever-changing mood of the place.  It ends with the words ‘all I contain…… held in her steady gaze’, Nan Shepherd discusses walking into a mountain, and that ‘books work from the inside out’.  I saw links to stitch, textiles and drawing in the language of the poem and the book, both convey a sense that the mountains hold us and in turn we are caretakers of the mountains.  I decided on a piece which could change in scale, expand, or contract, be contained, and held.  Books being containers of a sort seemed appropriate. I stitched and distressed sheets of blue paper, coated them with a polymer medium, ‘polymer particles’, sewed the pages into book forms and made a container. Ideas for a long coiling ‘walking’ scroll were taking shape, designed to convey a sense of Nan Shepherd’s long walks and the journey of a piece of litter.

Morris (2020) A4 Inkjet Print Sampling: Personal Response to Environmental Fragility and Beauty on Cotton Muslin with collage, line, ink, and text. https://weaveprint.com/
Contemporary Applied Arts has a long and rich history as a membership body for craftspeople and advocate for the applied arts. Paramount to everything they do is the act of making.

Ultimate Goal- Membership of Contemporary Applied Arts (CAA) as it is known and respected for its rolling programme of skilfully curated temporary exhibitions. A range of thoughtful, well curated exhibitions, including thematic, solo and group shows, keep CAA in the public eye and attract visitors to the gallery. https://www.caa.org.uk/  Given their online presence, capacity to launch regular high-profile exhibitions and to promote contemporary art and artists with a significant following I hope to join such an organisation to further develop my creative practice, profile, and quality of work.

As stated, CAA mount exhibitions to promote the work of thier makers and to spotlight individuals and their work or specific disciplines. CAA often use these exhibitions to celebrate changes of direction in their makers’ artistic practice and to support the experimental. They endeavour to achieve an appropriate balance between the ‘commercial’ and the ‘artistic’; and produce ground-breaking exhibitions of work that is daring and thought-provoking. There are curated displays which highlight CAA’s inter-disciplinary approach and extend their reputation as a premier venue for seeing new and exciting contemporary craft of the very highest quality. https://www.caa.org.uk/

Jo Barker (2015) Flow Hand Woven Tapestry-Wool, Cotton, Embroidery Threads 72x130cm https://www.caa.org.uk/artists/jo-barker/#gallery-6
Sara Brennan Broken Linen Line with Whites 1 Hand Woven Tapestry with Linen 108x106cm https://www.caa.org.uk/artists/sara-brennan/#gallery-1

CAA Exhibition-Neil Bottle: Thirty Years in the Making – All That Remains (2019)

This exhibition constituted a series of wall hung pieces, created as a celebration of Bottle’s 30 years working as a textile artist who skilfully combines analogue techniques with computer-aided design and digital print. The exhibition represents a milestone for the artist, repositioning his practice in a research context unconfined by the constraints of his commercial fashion print designs and allowing a new burst of creativity. This solo show also marks his 30 years as an active maker member of CAA. Part of London Design Festival and Marylebone Design District, 14-22 September 2019. (Sue Prichard 13/10/2019).

Neil Bottle (2019) In Process- All That Remains https://www.caa.org.uk/exhibitions/neil-bottle-thirty-years-in-the-making-all-that-remains/

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