Blog

My primary interest is drawing in all of its forms. I enjoy exploring new materials and techniques and my aim here is to post my ideas and thoughts behind the pieces that I make.

I work with Draw in Brighton and have recently begun to teach drawing, discovering a rewarding experience of sharing knowledge and skills. This in turn, has prompted me to write not only about my own work but also the work of other artists in contemporary drawing. For this I decided to use a separate blog which you can see at the bottom of the page.

I will aim to make regular postings, with details about my own artwork, techniques I have practised and learnt, referencing other artists that influence me and images to illustrate.

So to kick off I would like to post details of my latest piece ‘Blue Boy’ – a hand embroidered drawing in blue and gold silk thread on organic cotton.

Hand Embroidered Drawing                                                   Detail

 

The title was derived from the painting by Thomas Gainsborough, The Blue Boy 1770. His rival Sir Joshua Reynolds had written and implied that no work could be painted with the primary colour being a cold, or blue tone and with his painting of The Blue Boy, Gainsborough proved him wrong.

Thomas Gainsborough, The Blue Boy 1770.

Thomas Gainsborough, The Blue Boy 1770.

 

So why embroidery? I first discovered embroidery as a possible medium when I saw Tracey Emin’s retrospective at the Hayward Gallery 2011, in particular the giant embroidered life drawings and I was fascinated how these highly sexual and emotionally charged images could be translated with a medium that I had previously regarded as a simple handicraft.

Now discovering contemporary embroiderers and textile artists, I have learnt that this medium has much to recommend itself in terms of colour, texture, historical and contemporary possibilities.

I prefer to relate my use of embroidery to those who use it to make protest art, political banners, arpilleras and so on, reinforcing the tension between the message and the medium. Although I am not making a political statement as such, I am aware that there are still problems regarding a place for embroidery within ‘high art’ and this in turn inspires me to make more use of it.

 

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About Shelley Morrow

Since 2011 I have been predominantly a figurative artist with an interest in conveying expression, movement and gesture. I take the drawings I make and explore them through various processes, particularly embroidery, textiles and etchings. I graduated with a BA in Fine Art at Camberwell School of Art in 1990 and currently taking my MA in Fine Art at Brighton University. I also work at Draw in Brighton, running and teaching Life Drawing sessions
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