OCA Textiles 3 Sustaining My Practice

Part 5- Exhibition Folio and Review

Assignment 5 Review- Exercise 2 Textile Artist’s Statement

Gillian Morris Student No. 511388

Visual Representations of Mental Distress and Recovery (2021)

Gillian Morris (2021) “Help me, I’m struggling to want to be here” Mental Crisis- A Visual Account of Emotional Distress. 203cm x 274cm behind the central installation visualising mental recovery. Screen-Printed Vintage Linen Bedsheets using intuitive emotional relating with the materials. Various greys, black, sugarplum pink, ruby red and pomegranate printing inks used on vintage dyed grey linen which explored greater emotional arousal and resilience.
Morris (2021) In Crisis- “Being me is really too hard” Detail from completed screen printed dyed vintage linen bedsheets using intuitive relating with the material through multiple layering effects including various greys, black, sugarplum pink, and increased use of ruby red and pomegranate printing inks on vintage dyed grey linen which visually explored emotional arousal from mental distress.

Making textiles through print, weave and stitch represents much of my creative practice and creative life. I work intuitively with the materials in use to ensure respect for the cloth and the environment, to establish a form of reciprocal relating in action as I create. Given my studio practice is embedded within environmentally supportive ways of making and creating I intuitively react and respond to how the material relates to and with the print, weave, and stitch processes to ensure their qualities are best promoted. I prefer to use reclaimed, repurposed, reused, recycled, and found materials, to promote environmental sustainability with no waste including natural fibres, fabrics, and threads which includes wool, paper, cardboard, MDF, rope, string, cord, cable, and wire. Vintage linen represents one of my favourite materials and threads given its proven sustainability, strength, resilience and capacity for repair and recovery. My family have long had a strong affinity with linen as home and mill workers, so provenance is important to me, of knowing the place of origin or earliest known history of something that I am working with.

As a psychologist and a textile artist I am interested in relating and relationships within material use and throughout my professional work. Given the complexity of human relating I continue to investigate and reflect upon my own emotional reactions in creative process to evoke emotional responses in others when viewing my work.  I like to explore the many effects of layering through print using a range of printmaking techniques and strategies especially screen printing but also ink jet printing, heat transfer printing and relief printmaking, woodcut, linocut, and collagraph. I visually represent relationships within an abstracted contemporary format involving emotional resonance. I work in a larger scale which stems from my own original mixed media artwork including sketching, drawing, and painting with hand printmaking alongside extensive sampling processes to create unique mark making for screen printing and/or stitch/weave. From the initial inspiration through researching my thoughts, and feelings alongside my findings and ideas, my artwork evolves and is translated onto the materials through print, stitch and/or weave as I continue to be open to how I relate with materials as this affects my creative outcomes.

I use more of myself emotionally through personal expression to increasingly challenge the status quo, to address and respond to how mental distress is viewed, to raise awareness to generate discussion, to re-evaluate and reinterpret to help foster change in how dysfunction is perceived, to move towards telling a story which can be readily heard and responded to, for the audience to see and understand, to convey something which is important and meaningful through my creative process. The project of work and related exhibition offers a new way of relating with the experience of mental health and ill-health to fully engage emotionally within a more immersive process.

Morris (2021) In Crisis- “Being me is really too hard” Detail from completed screen printed dyed vintage linen bedsheets using intuitive relating with the material through multiple layering effects including various greys, black, sugarplum pink, and increased use of ruby red and pomegranate printing inks on vintage dyed grey linen which visually explored emotional arousal from mental distress.
Morris (2021) Detail from Preferred Framed Sampling for Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair. (IKEA White RIBBA Frames A1 Size with white mount card 61 x 90cm) alongside my textile artist’s statement at the exhibition.

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