THROUGH OUR HANDS Stitched Textiles - Painting - Mixed Media
Curated by Annabel Rainbow and Laura Kemshall First Issue September 2013
Published by Through Our Hands, designed by Laura Kemshall, 2013 ÂŠ Through Our Hands, Kemshall/Rainbow. Images copyright to individual artists, 2013. All rights reserved.
The Artists Bethan ASH Linda BARLOW Elizabeth BARTON Eszter BORNEMISZA Bobby BRITNELL Elizabeth BRIMELOW Dijanne CEVAAL Jette CLOVER Michala GYETVAI Laura KEMSHALL Linda KEMSHALL Sandra MEECH Alicia MERRETT Mirjam PET-JACOBS Olga PRINS LUKOWSKI Annabel RAINBOW Bente VOLD KLAUSEN
About THROUGH OUR HANDS
Cover: Eszter Bornemisza. This page: Dijanne Cevall.
About Through our Hands
Formed in 2012, Through Our Hands provides a showcase for artists working in a variety of media, primarily stitched textiles including quiltmaking and embroidery, and also drawing, painting and print. The selected artists are amongst the foremost in their respective fields and their work demonstrates originality and quality both in execution and design. The website offers curators, publishers, patrons and the public at large an opportunity to browse and enjoy a carefully selected portfolio of works, learn more about concept and technique, and make contact with the artists. Through Our Hands exhibitions offer an opportunity to experience the work first hand, attracting a diverse and enthusiastic audience keen to appreciate the skills and exploration of ideas demonstrated by artists considered to be amongst the best in the world. Curated by Annabel Rainbow and Laura Kemshall.
Discover the website: www.throughourhands.co.uk Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/throughourhands.co.uk www.throughourhands.co.uk
What the AUDIENCE says
What the audience says
“I didn’t think quilts could make me cry! Wonderful and inspirational - Thank you.”
“Thought provoking! Disturbing, beautiful.” “I am blown away!!”
“Inspirational - touches the soul.”
“Superb collection, thank you.” “A visual and sensual treat.” “Brought tears to my eyes, wonderful.”
“Powerful, innovative, exciting work.”
When making each new piece I always search for a sense of movement, harmony and balance. The surface techniques I use range in approach from computer-manipulated imagery and collage to painting. I am strongly influenced by social and popular culture.
I make art quilts because I have a deep respect and love for their history as a vehicle of personal expression. I believe that they are tactile evidence that we were here and let something of value “as a mirror of ourselves and accomplishments”. It is meaningful to me that quilt-making is a woman’s art and heritage and that I am but one link in a tradition – a chain of women expressing their opinions and feelings in cloth, needle and thread.
I believe that colour is the subject matter of quilt making and this is shown in my work which vibrates in colourful, abstract and geometric shapes of clean crisp lines.
I love that quilts historically have been the unrestricted voice of women. I feel part of this tradition and so make work that tells of my experience â€“ hoping it will resonate with others.
I have focused on a few particular themes: buildings and cityscapes (I come from a medieval city and this is what I saw as a child), industrial landscapes (my first job was in a chocolate factory and
I have a lot of ideas and prefer to sketch out many possibilities and then choose just one or two ideas per piece rather than stuff everything into one jumble. I never completely finish a series: when the idea flow dwindles, I switch to another one for a while because I want every piece to feel fresh and energetic. I want a dynamic balance and rich color. . I’m happy when the piece is pulled together, strong, and compelling. My goal is to enjoy a marvelously expressive activity that yields something tangible that came right out of my head and heart and hands.
I paint or dye all my own cloth; I don’t like the tightness of imagery in most commercial fabric and I want every part of the quilt/fiber collage to be my voice, my hand, my heart. Sometimes I make fabric for a particular piece, but more often I just dye the colors I relate to that day. I do have a list on the studio wall: “need more blue fabric with dots” etc so that I have a good inventory. When the fabric is washed, dried and lovingly ironed (a very sensual task involving the power of smoothing out wrinkles, making the colors glow, and the spreading warmth and soft ironing smell!) then I can cut out the really juicy bits of fabric and arrange them into strong designs that are always a little off – they just don‘t quite follow the rules. When the work is going well I’m floating! I love it when colors and shapes come together to make a rich, satisfying, and fascinating mix.
I love walking through this amazingly weird cathedral dedicated to the cocoa bean), black and white curves and lines (always loved woodcuts, they are sensuous and nostalgic). Landscape (I love space, light, sky, distance).
I work with cloth and dye, I am a quiltmaker. The quilts, however, are not at all traditional; they are “contemporary” or “art quilts” or “fiber collages”. I have always sewed and find myself comfortable and skilful with cloth and stitches. I love the medium of quilts because it’s so accessible to everyone. People are not put off by unfamiliarity with the medium and immediately start relating to the work. But then they notice the difference from the quilts they remember and begin to really look and explore my pieces and (I hope!) are delighted by the richness of light, texture and color. I want to express in an exciting, visual, colorful way the excitement that a certain scene or pattern of shapes and shadows creates within me. I would like everyone to realize how much having a piece of original art can add to a home.
in history, the cities that live within us undergo an endless and (continuous evolution. The exploration that appears in most of my works also determines my working process: on the one hand research of civilisation’s history and on the other hand experiments to find the right techniques for my expressions. In recent years my interest turned towards large scale transparent textiles while keeping my sources of inspiration in patterns of urban living. Lately I have tried to expand the multi-layered networks of the cities into the form of three dimensional objects and installations. I use recycled paper, reprinted newspaper, discarded threads and yarns, or even cut into netted and dimensionally shaped pieces.
I have always been fascinated by applied arts. I originally pursued the field of mathematics, earning a Ph.D. and worked as a researcher for nearly twenty years. In the late 90’s my attention turned to textiles and I started to work as a quilter, having been influenced by the modern, experimental trends of contemporary art. In my practice I try to work the unique characteristics of textiles while striving to find ways to make my own statements. My starting points are ideas that reflect our relationships with traces and settlements of past cultures: the layers of existence. City plans appear as motives, signs, traces, ruins, and the silt of the past. As the urban structure develops, widens, thickens, clots and creates subsystems
Drawing is my initial response to my subject. I aim to produce some of the qualities in cloth that I have found in my paperwork.
Fibre has been grown, spun, woven, dyed and stitched for thousands of years. I stitch and manipulate cloth which I use for its tactile quality, its intimacy and its substance. Through my hands I have a story to tell, and this connects me to other times, places and cultures.
The inspiration for my work is landscape. Nature and history have shaped fields, woods, paths and open spaces. I am fascinated by marks made on the land, particularly those left by interventions by man such as planting, harvesting and ploughing.
Landscape is where I live, what I look at, what I draw and what I stitch.
The beautiful Shropshire Countryside where I live and work, reflects my current working practise and has engaged my interest for some time. Marks and surfaces underfoot and the process of making these marks on cloth, has played its part in recent works. I enjoy the entire process of designing and drawing and an imporant stage in formualting ideas, is to start by making bold drawn statements in charcoal and pencil. The move into fabric is also very important and I constantly seek out progesses which I feel keep the vitality of the drawings in the translation into fabric and stitch. I enjoy changing the surface of fabrics through, dyeing, colouring, printing and at times continuing to employ the heavily machine-stitched surfaces that I enjoy using in my work.
Â All the fabrics in my work are hand dyed, and I employ simple printing techniques to create original one-off fabrics used in my work. I love simple resist techniques such as folding and tieing, having fallen in love with the indigo cloth of West Africa. I tend to work in fairly simple colour contrasts though the cloth I use is often complex in the colours they contain. Stitching both by machine and hand are important elements, as is the creation of texture.
My quilts are a product of a lifelong engagement with textiles, the mobility of the stitch, the interaction of colour created by dyeing and printing, and the creation of stories. As a small child I built constructions that were stitched and embroidered and this love of embroidery continued through my teenage and adult years. I have finished a Masters degree at Charles Sturt University, NSW which has pushed me to examine the textile surface in a more immediate way, not simply as a vehicle for imagery, but a return to the touch and textuality of textiles, its intimacy and its narrative content.
I am especially inspired by the walls with torn posters, faded advertisements and overlapping graffiti – arbitrary layers creating meaning through systems of fragmentations and associations, a language well-known to us from the media, advertising and computer.
Through my walks in the city I collect street – memories. I photograph signs and symbols and text fragments and make (thermofax) screens with which I print onto cloth. I apply a variety of surface design techniques including painting, printing, rubbing, rusting and discharge and construct my quilts like a collage with many layers of cotton, linen, cheese cloth and paper joined by extensive hand- and machine stitching.
Almost all of my quilts refer to writing. I was a journalist before I became an artist, and language and communication continue to be my main source of inspiration. I like words, both because of their graphic quality and because of their ability to convey meaning. The text on my pieces, however, is not meant to be contemplated for its meaning. It is there to be seen – rather than to be read – and to be seen as a symbol of communication.
My most recent quilts are part of a series that explores ideas about protection, longing, loyalty and control, using a variety of motifs including small birds, hands, hedges, cages and keys.
I realise after making this work that the imagery I have used has an accidental symbolism. I hope that the viewer will find there is an element of storytelling and progression as the same images, characters and references recur in one piece to the next.
My work is always about the things I know, my home and my family. I love to draw and paint working often in sketchbooks to gather and develop ideas. The relatively slow process of making quilts and other textiles provides a contemplative time when I can stitch my thoughts into the cloth.
The use of wide-format digital fabric printing is enabling me to fully exploit my love of drawing and painting which, combined with digital collage and stitch, is now frequently the basis for my textile work.
These quilts are part of an on-going series about the fragile and fugitive nature of our thoughts, especially as we age. The moths represent our dreams, imagination and memories. They arrive unbeckoned and can disappear just as suddenly. Moths are illusive and secretive. Touch them and they turn to dust. Are these particular moths arriving to fire the imagination or escaping as the characters forget? You decide. The work has been digitally printed using drawings from my sketchbooks in combination with photographs I have taken of my moth collection.
Bente VOLD KLAUSEN
My work process is experimental. I very seldom make sketches or plans ahead. I prefer to start with the fabrics and the paint and just choose the colours that I feel good about at the moment! I work fast and often let coincidence happen. But I choose only to proceed further if I like what coincidently happened!
Bente VOLD KLAUSEN
My art is getting more and more painterly over the years. The expression is more important for me than techniques. I sometimes think I should try to just paint on canvas, but still, I am a textile person and I love the tactile feeling in soft fabrics and the structures I can make with quilting.
I am concerned about our planet and many of my quilts are a statement about that. War and peace, environmental issues are both themes I work with all the time.
Originally from Ontario Canada, I trained as a graphic artist and designer at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. After a career in publishing both in Canada and the UK, I completed a Diploma in Stitched Textiles in Britain, fulfilling an early interest in an artistic approach using fabric and stitch. As part of my research for the course I discovered the textiles and clothing of the Caribou Inuit in Northern Canada and it was this fascination with the Arctic landscape, and these northern people and their traditions that led to a visit to Baker Lake and Rankin Inlet and a series of work called Arctic Expressions. Transferring photographs onto cotton, with painted fabric and collage has been my favoured technique over the years, but imagery isn’t enough. The use of light and shade with machine quilting and stitch are the ‘marks’ that bring the surface to life.
When we wear clothes we do so not only for protection and modesty, but also as a statement about ourselves. I wish to take away all the assumptions and prejudices associated with that, and look at the human being underneath in itâ€™s true and natural state.
Each quilt tells a story about the person depicted, and the text is blistered and ingrained into the skin, and then painted over with acrylics. The person and the story become one. The text is intentionally difficult to read, but not impossible. I do not want the image to exist only to illustrate the text, but to be a subtle extra layer; one you have to look for. I feel as if I am whispering my stories to you and not shouting.
Iâ€™m currently working on a series called Life Stories; these are large quilts, which I hope will eventually hang together in a gallery space.
My passion is colour; I use it in my own unique way. The natural and urban environments, as well as literature and history, are the main inspiration for my stitched and quilted pieces. Maps fascinate me; I believe them to be an ancient and important part of mankindâ€™s need to interpret and understand the world around us. My maps are sometimes completely imaginary, and other times they are loosely based on historical or contemporary maps and aerial views. I work mainly with hand-dyed fabrics, using the techniques of freehand cutting and stitching gently curved seams, fine pieced lines and fused collage. I was born and brought up in Argentina, but have lived in the UK for a long time, first in London and now in Somerset. I exhibit my work widely, locally and internationally, and work to commission, as well as teaching and lecturing. My award-winning quilts have been featured in books and magazines.
My love of art and textiles began as a child. I spent endless hours playing with threads and fibres, this has influenced my choice of materials. My interpretation of nature and my reaction to what I feel in it reveals itself through my sketch books into my final stitched works. I gain enormous freedom and passion from the immediacy of sketching. This is developed and channelled through paintings, and then consolidated in my textile pieces. My understanding of art is not purely the process of my individual craft, but encompasses a larger historical understanding of artists working in many mediums.
Olga PRINS LUKOWSKI
Olga PRINS LUKOWSKI
When I was 46 I saw on a whiteboard at a center for personal development a little note with the following text: “There is an artist in everybody, perhaps deep down under a layer of concrete, but you only have to let it come out and develop it.” I cannot say that I was convinced at that very moment, but I decided to give it a chance. I started with painting and clay modeling. The last was very exciting to do but the wet clay was not good for my hands so I searched for something else. From time to time I still love to work three-dimensionally, making either clay or stone sculptures. Cocky, my best friend since childhood, had been making quilts for a very long time and she convinced me to give quilt making a try. So I started with patchwork and traditional quilting techniques in 1986. Two years later I met Michael James. He stimulated me to consider quilt making as an art form and advised me to work hard. His statement was: “art is more transpiration than inspiration”. From that moment on I have been working regularly 4 to 5 hours a day in my studio. Besides making studio quilts, I spend a lot of time studying design principles, photography, the work of other artists with the help of books, and visiting exhibitions and museums.
I am primarily interested in human interaction. Topics investigated are relationships and communication. I love the contrast of the soft, friendly fabrics with the, often, harsh topics like domestic abuse and suicide bombers. With more poetic artwork I contemplate about the ‘why’s and ‘what for’s of life in a sober manner. I try to capture the intangible: like experiences and time.
The material I mainly use, textile, is so commonplace that we usually take it for granted. But, maybe just because of this quality, it has probably more than any other material the enormous power to evoke recognition and tell stories.
My work is in principle theme based. I start with an idea, work it out and then use appropriate materials and techniques, usually fabric and paper, sometimes combined with photography or video.
Textile has the ability to touch everybody in a real intimate way. Its tactility makes our fast-moving and technically oriented lives more sensual and less impersonal.
Talk TO US
Biennially Through Our Hands creates an exhibition featuring new works by its artists. We actively seek gallery venues who already embrace fine art textiles and mixed media or those looking to add work from this diverse and exciting arena to their programme. The Through Our Hands exhibitions are carefully designed to include a varied collection of works representing a wide range of subject matter and technique. Alternatively galleries may choose to select from the Through Our Hands collective to create a specific exhibition of pieces tailored to their own gallery requirements. We can be contacted at any time for an up to date list of available works. Many Through Our Hands artists are established teachers and can often provide workshops and lectures to accompany exhibitions. We hope youâ€™ve enjoyed a taster of what Through Our Hands has to offer. This portfolio can only provide a glimpse of the work being created by the artists and so we invite you to visit the Through Our Hands website to find further information and numerous examples of work. www.throughourhands.co.uk Should you require any further information, or wish to enquire about the availability of Through Our Hands exhibitions or work by individual artists please donâ€™t hesitate to contact us. firstname.lastname@example.org
Through Our Hands 11 Knightcote Drive Royal Leamington Spa Warwickshire CV32 5FA