Explore the theme of grounds to create a piece or series of
bespoke surfaces, which have qualities that aid and stimulate
creativity. Investigate how choices made in selection of threads,
fabrics and other media, can influence the rendition of an idea.
While practically, consider how to structure, layer, distort,
articulate and shape fabric and threads in a largely
non-traditional form, alongside non-textile media.
When we begin a work, choices are made via a selection of threads, fabrics and other media all of which exert influence on the rendition of an idea. Materials are in effect our building blocks; we might choose a selection of new materials or something reclaimed. Textiles invariably are accompanied with a degree of embedded meaning. An old fabric has aesthetic, formal qualities, a colour, a texture and a surface. It can however also, because of its prior usage, contain substantial references to the person who owned it, their cultural background and any number of visual clues that can enrich the nascent idea currently in development.
As a rule we build from the ground upwards. A ground may be interpreted in a number of ways, it may be a territory, background, foundation, land surface, battle area, subject, painting surface and of course a fabric base within textiles on which to work. Grounds are essentially areas where something happens. The purpose of this workshop is to create a single or series of smaller bespoke personal grounds that have, within their construction, qualities that aid and stimulate creativity. If it's flexible, go flexible. Surfaces imbued with personal meaning that feel part of an idea from the onset, a visual landscape to explore.
Ideally participants will experiment with a number of different approaches both technically and conceptually. Practically the workshop will consider various technical approaches as to how to structure, layer, distort, articulate and shape fabric in a largely non-traditional form. Fabrics and threads will be utilised alongside non-textile media, wood, metal, paint, resins and plastic. You will be shown samples and experiment with riveting, moulding, wiring and other methods of construction. Additional context will focus on the use and referencing of grounds within the arts and natural worlds as potential sites for inspiration.
Critique and group discussion will be an important component of the course. You need to be open minded and willing to experiment with concept and media to develop original solutions in relation to the core aims of the workshop; this is not a technical or prescriptive course. Emphasis will be placed on the investigation and research of personal imagery and the development of related technical innovation, ideas that can be developed at a later stage.
Teaching will largely be on a one-to-one basis - at the close of the workshop Michael will hold a group evaluation to discuss what has been achieved. The purpose of this final session is to share outcomes and to set a personal agenda to be continued and developed back at your home studios.
Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above
Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.
6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).
8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.
Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.
From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).
Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.
Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.
Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.
(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)
Michael has an international reputation as one of the most innovative artists working in textiles today. He has lectured at Universities in London, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Poland and USA.His work is represented in collections worldwide, including the Victoria & Albert Museum and the National Gallery of Australia.