Assignment Three: Opening Comments

My first proposal title for my research essay read like this:

Title:  Developing a sustainable practice in Textiles…by hand or digital device? Two way showcase:  Louise Gardiner and Elisabeth Loveday

I worried on reflection, it focused too much on my future career in printing digital textiles, rather than looking at this as a research essay.  The word research gives the impression of learning; I need to remember in this that I am the student.  My tutor also reminded me of this; as he recognised that I can be pulled and forget who I am, as I do teach too.

I needed to use artists within my work, who I could find a good lot of information on.  Other ideas of artists to investigate were Alice Kettle and Karen Nicol.  Alice Kettle is famous for her painterly work, while Karen Nicol spans a variety of Textile practices, focusing on fashion and manipulation ideas.

Commercial v love?

Stories conveyed?

What do we remember about each artist, the works they sell or the background designs?

I also had feedback from my tutor from my proposal at Assignment one, which noted the need to set definite questions to answer.  Compare.  Contrast.  Conclusions drawn personally.

Having had the time through assignment two to dwell on this more, I would like to include Alice Kettle within my work, as she stands out as an example of Textiles beating the structure of a Fine Art setting.  I will not include Karen Nicol, as I feel that this would change the reason for my essay, as it would then have to incorporate fashion; something that I will not be discussing in large within this assignment.  I feel happy about this decision.  I have decided to take out Elisabeth Loveday.  When really being honest with myself about my reasons for using her, I realised they were more to do with my own liking of her work.  There is not enough information on her as an artist; she herself is too new to the field and thus not experienced, so how could I use her in such an important essay?

I don’t want to incorporate more than two artists to use as the main skeleton of my essay, as I think it would lose quality and be too much about quantity.  Thus my artists will be:  Louise Gardiner and Alice Kettle.  They are very different style wise, thus will make for a good contrast.  Both have experience in both hand and machine based textiles, but only Gardiner has ventured into digitally printing her work as far as I know).  So this will make for an interesting contrast.

Reflecting back on my previous proposal, some ideas have changed, as I no longer want the focus to be on what I can gain “commercially” from my research.  I want to look more at the artist’s pathways, designs behind outcomes etc.  I will structure my essay with definite questions, such as:

Art V Textiles:  Can they be combined?  What settings have these two artists exhibited / worked in which has led to their current practice?

Can a living be made from this type of career path (two artists contrasted)

New approaches in textile design which has linked “art” into textiles, have these artists embraced these?  If so what has it led to?  In what ways?

What do I hope to achieve through this essay?

The above are still thoughts which will be refined.  I want to investigate how through two artists, textiles has been recognised in the art world.  For example Alice Kettle has had work in many art galleries which usually house Fine Art.  From Louise Gardiner’s side, she has been successful in getting the consumer to buy “wearable art”.  She is a very vocal artist and has previously written columns and articles for publication. Thus proves a voice on the matter.  Kettle is quieter, yet expresses herself within her work and books which she has been party to.  Thus I feel that through these two examples, I will better understand what it takes to create a sustainable textile practice and if this means dipping into the fine art world.

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