Like traditional artists we use colour and form as a base but an entirely new layer of design comes into play when stitches are added. As the thread travels across the surface, stitches create paths which can direct the viewer's eye, create a focal point, draw or deflect attention from a particular element and create a texture that is at once visual and physical.
In 2012, a judge on a BBC2 programme Show Me the Monet ruled out an embroidered landscape scene because, in her words, embroidery cannot compare to the artistry achievable with a paintbrush.
"I am struggling to find a purpose for doing this in embroidery over paint or another medium"
All the judges seemed to consider the piece good and the artist’s skill was commented on more than once, but as the presenter noted, the work seemed to take the judges out of their comfort zone.
As one Guild member commented:"And isn’t that what art is supposed to be about?"
We invited a number of leading textile artists to contribute their views. Doubtless, they will only be starting the ball rolling.
There are also a couple of very interesting facebook pages that showcase some wonderful textile art that you might be interested in:
TextileArtist.org is a place for textile and fiber artists to promote their work, be inspired and connect with like-minded creatives
The South of England Textile Arts Forum has been set up to enable local groups and artists to share their information with other like-minded groups and individuals. We will endeavour to keep members informed about local events, exhibitions and group meetings. Keep us informed of your forthcoming events, current work and status.