After the leather day this afternoon, I was thinking again about an artist who has kept cropping up over my research, but who I’ve not followed up yet. This is Michael Brennand-Wood. He describes himself as ‘an artist with a sustained interest in textiles’. He makes vibrant pieces that are part sculpture, part textiles with elaborate visual patterns which mask more profound meanings. He puts into practice some of the embryonic thoughts I have at the moment, about mixing up materials using a range of textile-based techniques and paint. I particularly like the use of the paint!
His website notes that “A defining characteristic of his work has been a sustained commitment to the conceptual synthesis of contemporary and historical sources, in particular the exploration of three-dimensional line, structure and pattern. He has persistently worked within contested areas of textile practice, embroidery, pattern, lace and recently floral imagery. Sites, which offer unbroken traditions, cross cultural interventions and a freedom to work outside the mainstream. He believes that the most innovative contemporary textiles emanate from an assured understanding of both textile technique and history.
“Recent work inspired by traditions of floral imagery have utilised computerised machine embroidery, acrylic paint, wood, glass and collage. Exploring the illusionary space between two and three dimensions, these works are colourful, dramatic, rhythmic and holographic in feel with intense detail that merges at a distance into strongly optical configurations.”
And a couple of really interesting quotes:
“My work has always been about putting myself in unfamiliar territory and working in the margins and I think as a man working in a ‘female’ area I was doing just that.”
“Lace might be defined as the encirclement of space. The majority of laces are formed via the twisting of thread to create an essentially semi-transparent net. A fabric which places the emphasis on the dialogue between the borders and their enclosed spaces, a pattern of enclosure and containment.”
Very interesting stuff! I very much like the idea of layering pieces on top of each other – this is part of my love of quilting after all. Perhaps using a range of embroidery and weaving techniques interspersed with each other. This could give my work a depth of space which ‘flat quilting’ has not yet provided me with. Hmm…. Very interesting – I am suddenly feeling rather surprised that all of these ideas have emerged from just two hours stitching a three inch piece of leather…. creativity works in mysterious ways. I will let this stew for a day or so before writing my new intent cards and getting some inspired making done (Hopefully!).