Thursday, 27 September 2012

Alice Kettle

Alice Kettle's website, as recommended by my tutor.

The first section of the website seemed to make a lot of references to Greek figures. The pieces all or almost all had figures in them, with classical Greek faces, sewn in quite simple lines on top of a more complex looking background. They were enigmatic, ie I couldn't really make out what they were about. The most interesting bit of them, to me anyway, was the way the backgrounds were thick with stitches and different colours interleaved with each other.

Kettle at work - photo by Joe Low
from the Winchester Making It website

Link to Winchester Craft weekend 
The photo above is of Alice Kettle making a huge textile art work about the history and narratives of Winchester city. I loved the colour of it, the size, and the way there were massive faces visible from afar, at the same time as the vivid colours and important details in close up. I thought that the large scale made more sense of the style to me. The way it unified a large number of different narratives.

Another part of her website has photos of more recent works. I was interested to see some with three dimensional use of fabrics to make a face come out of the hanging, as it were. 

Alice Kettle
Head (2008) detail

There's some thing creepy about this, as if the fabric is coming alive. It's also textured with stitches and folded in a man-made sort of way, like a combination of a tree and a mummy. I found it intriguing and want to see more of the piece. And maybe try some folding fabric myself. 

I have also copied in this detail of a piece called Pause. The colours are brighter than the Greek pieces, and that appealed to me. I liked the way the colours of the different areas were built up from different colours together. (I suppose I am thinking about this because of being in the middle of the colour stage of the course).

Alice Kettle
Pause (detail) 2009
I haven't really done a lot of drawings or even textile work with figures, other than a sampler-style piece in cross-stitch. I have avoided it, I think, assuming that because I can't really draw people in the classical way I shouldn't risk it. I have always thought that faces can be drawn to be symbolically strong, and from this website (and particularly this piece) I am also thinking figures are good for expressing emotional interactions.  

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