I am a multi- disciplinary artist, mainly working in textiles, imagery drawn from Landscape and folk art.
Thread painted machine embroidery detailing the colour, patterns and shapes of grouped people and their paraphernalia, mostly at the seaside.
Taken from reworked digital photos and sketchbook studies
I am interested in how textile or folk artists through various ages and cultures, create motifs based on observations of everyday life. Nowadays observations of daily life are framed via devices such as an iphone, which I use regularly to collect things I notice.
Cropping and manipulating digitally enhances a specific human motif or shape within the overall pattern. The snapshot taken on my iphone may be used at a later date to develop slowly, painstakingly into a very small embroidery, drawing out that particular moment. As I sew, I notice with growing fascination the similarities and differences of size, shape, clothing, skin tones, distance and separatedness between individuals.
Representations of landscape using fabric collage, drawing over with machine stitch, adding graphite or paint in places. A spontaneous and quite immediate response to material- often a scrap of fabric will drive the direction of the work; layering and assembling materials, adding and taking away to build a piece that will be developed with line drawing.
My landscape work is often quite subdued, with a cooler palette defining the natural world – cliff or seascape, footpaths, fences, natural or man made forms in the land, often reflective of my sketchbook studies from a specific location.
In other pieces exploring themes, developed in my embroideries, of figures in seaside spaces and utilizing a brighter palette of bold, folksy seaside graphics – deckchair stripes, fun parks, Punch and Judy, bathers and beach kiosks.
Charley’s War, a well known anti-war comic strip that appeared in Battle comic in the 1980s was illustrated by my father Joe Colquhoun, who moved to Swanage in the 1960s.
Textile work, based on my father’s illustrations, also referencing WWI marching songs, commemorative imagery and text from the strip, layering Edwardian textiles, blankets and paper with stitch work and needle felting.
This collection formed a one person show at the Fine Foundation Gallery at Durlston Castle in 2014 alongside an exhibition of original artwork from Charley’s War that I curated for the Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.