Grange Studio Art practice statement

I am a studio based, multi discipinary, process oriented visual artist who, for the past few years have been focusing on textile and fiber as the fundamental element. I am drawn to all kinds of fiber for their aesthetic and re-cyclable possibilities, structural potential and expressive language innate to the material, especially when the material is found or re-cycled containing layers of history and memory .The material can often act as a catalyst for interpretations of an idea or theme.

Research, exploration, manipulation and experimentation of and with the materials are at the core of my process. Historically, there is a media bias against textile based art, a split between what is considered art and craft. I have tried in a small way to apply pressure on this dominant definition of art; to further legitimise textile art in a contemporary visual art context, expanding it beyond “female skills” through a process of transformation by using traditional craft techniques and by creating abstract imagery through form, colour and texture; to have the curiosity to look beyond what is expected and to use it to express a particular narrative and to make a comment on the world. Vessels, for instance, are an incredible way to capture meaning, they hold time and space, embody memory and history. I believe textile/fiber art has a sensuality that people respond to – we all have a fundamental and intimate relationship with cloth – fabric, after all, is the skin of many things, and is a surface that can both reveal and conceal. In this context most processes I use take time, they are slow, often repetitive, processes which gives room for silence and meditation – in the quietness I can contemplate on a concept or bring back memories and find new ways to go forward. I often work in a series, where small changes create rhythm, tranquillity and excitement. Each piece is a step in a journey towards an undefined destination.

A thread running through my art practice for the past 10 + years have been references to my ancestors, the Sami people, the only recognised indigenous people in Europe. Research into their history, bio-cultural diversity and the effects of colonialism have given direction to a major body of work and is ongoing.

I also use drawing with ink and watercolour and various printing techniques, like mono printing, cyanotype and eco printing on paper and cloth either prior to, or inspired by, structural making. 

I furthermore respond to other themes set by a collective of artists and collaborate within group settings such as ReVerve, Inex and Connolly Collective.