Guild Scholars 2019/2020

Libbertine Vale

Libby Vale workI graduated last year from Hereford College of Arts with a first class degree in Contemporary Design Crafts.

Before then I had been working for the last decade in education on a modern music course in further education, I had always been a maker but decided it was time to do something for myself and nurture my creative talents rather than facilitating those in others.

Lbbertine ValeIn the beginning I was unsure of which medium to settle on with my practice but when I was introduced to free motion sewing I felt like I had come home. As a child there was always fabric, wool, cotton and needles around and I had been taught to use a sewing machine before senior school so it felt like a very natural process.

I have been focusing my work on an interactive approach, whether that means asking people opinions and embroidering those, or asking people to move things within my exhibits or place their image within the work. I am interested in alternative methods of engaging with textile art rather than just staring at something 2D on a wall. For instance, I embroidered people's comments about their social anxiety on a chair which I called the Harm Chair. I also used a vintage ironing board to express the exasperation many women have felt at the never ending chore of domestic tasks.

Libbertine Vale Music BoxSince leaving the degree course I have been lecturing on the course that I have just graduated from. I have loved promoting the value of stitch and textile art to a new cohort of learners with my almost fanatical devotion to the cause of embroidery. Also, being chosen to be an Embroiderers' Guild graduate has opened many doors and opportunities for me.

During the previous season's exhibitions I have been asking women about how they feel they need to be everything for everybody and I have been embroidering the responses onto strips of stiff calico. I am going to make this into huge crinoline skirt to demonstrate that even though we have come a long way in a century, we still face restriction and constraint. I have titled it "Be Everything".

I am delighted to have been accepted as an EG scholar and I am developing a body of work that is at present entitled ‘My place in the Countryside’ . It takes an informed look at rural gentrification in the rural idyll of Herefordshire where I live. I am looking forward to finding a way of expressing the situation in stitch in an imaginative way.

Emma Wilkinson - Guild Scholar (under 30) - Kiltmaker, Embroiderer, Designer

Emma WilkinsonAward winning textile designer, Queen Elizabeth Trust Scholar for kiltmaking and Hand & Lock prizewinner for embroidery. Working from my Edinburgh studio my work celebrates both traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design thinking. My embroidery work explores colour and texture to recreate all sorts of feelings and experiences I have had whilst my kiltmaking embraces culture, tailoring and heritage.

Beadwork by Emma WilkinsonEdinburgh has influenced much of my work. A decaying yet progressive city where we lead modern lives surrounded by iconic landmarks from Scottish history. I take inspiration from what has been damaged and turn this negative into a beautifully encrusted piece of work that I interpret as high fashion. Beading and goldwork feature heavily in my work - always a nod to tradition but with contemporary thinking pushing colour and texture into new directions. I hope to keep pushing into new realms and producing work that respects and challenges tradition while always being what I perceive as beautiful.

Emma Wilkinson's work My vision for embroidery and kiltmaking have been allowed to come together thanks to the support of the Embroiderers' Guild, creating an exciting fusion of the two. Within embroidery I work hard on my precision, attention to detail and accuracy at speed, while always looking to refine and improve my skills. Within textile and fashion design as a whole, I combine my unwavering respect for the tried and tested techniques passed down through time, with new and exciting technology and thinking.

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