Title: Hidden Value, Points of Tension. An Investigation into Embroidery Practices in the Context of Socially Engaged Art
The purpose of this research is to re-assess embroidery in relation to socially engaged art practice and investigate the role of a maker within this field. The study will offer new insight into socially engaged art and shed light on the experiences of craft practitioners, as Harper (2012) acknowledges this has been overlooked in academic epistemologies. It will explore if embroidery lacks visibility because the stereotyping of hand sewing as benign, non-threatening and decorative still remains. Similarly, what part do the associations with low status community arts play in this, despite Kester’s acknowledgement that artists including Hirschhorn employ methodologies redolent of these community arts?
Title: Within, Between and Beyond: an enquiry into ‘the fold’ as a model of non-linear interconnectedness through textile thinking and practice
Textile thinking can weave difficult concepts and questions raised by quantum physics together with an interrogation of materials to create artworks that present an interconnected, holistic position in concrete form.
Textile thinking is a means to analyse and examine ideas originating from quantum physics by translating them to sensory objects. Materials are folded together to become mediations of a set of ideas. The ideas are paradoxical and difficult to understand intellectually, however, my artworks communicate them by appealing to the senses and a gestalt perception.
Title: The visualisation of chronic pain in cloth and stitch
We all feel pain but many of us have difficulty in putting it into language. I am investigating how creative practice is a more effective means of expressing pain. In particular, there is a significant gap in visually expressing chronic pain which needs addressing. Normal practice is to ask adults to score their pain in numbers from one to ten. The present numerical system of explaining pain is inaccurate andI am exploring how cloth and stitch can create an alternative visual system.
Title: Drawing Water, Drawing Breath, Drawing Thread, the body as a transformative medium for the spation-temporal interpretation of the littoral in cloth
My understanding of epidemiology and anatomy offers a unique perspective through which to consider the materialisation of space and time. In fusing my clinical professional knowledge and skills with my creative practice, this research will explore ontology of space and time with reference to the Mikhail Bakhtin’s concepts of chronotope and unfinalisability and the Japanese aesthetic of Ma.
Title: Embroidering and the Body Under Threat: Suffragette Cloths Embroidered In Holloway Prison 1911 - 1912
Cloths associated with British suffragettes 1905-1914, particularly those embroidered in prison, will be the focus of this study, situating the research within a discrete time frame and social space: a time-space of entanglement between women’s production of embroidery and the seeking of political representation. This research will seek to answer the overarching question, ‘Why did suffragettes embroider in prison?’ My experiential knowledge of embroidering and textile processes will inform the research throughout.
Title: Resist Dyeing: metaphorical and performance meanings in modern and contemporary cloth.
The investigation aims to develop a critical perspective of resist dyeing within the vacant spaces between historical surveys and technical handbooks. The research will explore the transition from traditional practice to modern and contemporary cloth. It will question how processes of resist dyeing, their associated substances and dyestuffs reveal metaphorical meaning, and how contrasting sites of practice convey materiality, gesture and concept. The research will consider how individual and cultural identity is reflected in resist dyeing, through an understanding of performance in making.
Title: The Talismanic Thread: Textiles, magic and Contemporary Art
The research examines the relationship between transitional and talismanic objects in the context of magical thinking and textile art practice. Transitional and talismanic objects are highly evocative and often play a significant emotional role in the life of the owner, potentially holding power over that person. For the purpose of this research, a talismanic object or talisman is taken to be any object thought by it owner to be imbued with some magical property, focusing predominately on objects used in witchcraft in the British Isles since 1950, after the repeal of the Witchcraft Act in 1951.