Helen Conrad
ninemakers.org.uk
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HELEN CONRAD JAMES

TEXTILE ARTIST / EMBROIDERER

 

ARTIST’S NOTES

 

I graduated from Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University) in 1986 with a BA (Hons) in Embroidery.

 

Subject matter of recent years has been objects either collected or found around me in my domestic environment, and I use drawing and collage as a starting point from which the textile pieces tend to evolve.

 

I usually work with hand stitches, sometimes combined with machine, to produce mostly framed wall pieces, but recent development includes work in 3 Dimensions.

 

All my work is for sale, and I also give 2-day workshops in collage as a drawing medium, working through into fabrics and stitch.

 

Click on Title to Enlarge Image

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The new group of six textile pieces for the Jobling Gowler exhibition (see photo gallery) was inspired by some small animal figures I bought at street stalls in India.  They are made of wood and elephant dung, crudely painted and of no monetary value, but have a certain colourful charm of their own.  Bringing them home made me think about the way we casually take living things from their natural habitat and place them in totally alien environments, and how traumatic and disorientating this must be. 

I have created new places for these creatures to inhabit and explore, using things around them in their new “home”.  These are imaginary landscapes in which any concept of scale has been abandoned, and familiar objects have been re-invented as structures and vegetation. You may recognise a few.