The City – Artist Inspiration

The following artists are people whose work has inspired me and show the sort of idea I’d like to achieve in my own work.

I’ve been looking at embroiderers, photographers and artists who use groups of people or individuals as their subjects.
I know that I want to do about the hidden city and the people within it. When I am walking through the city centre I (as I’m sure most people do) generally tend to just look past the people and just look ahead, focussing on where I’m going and what I need to do. I have never really stopped and looked at the individuals, or thought about where they’re going. This is therefore what I would like to focus on: the unanswered questions. Where are they going? Where are they coming from? How are they feeling today? Have they been here before: are they a local? Tourist?

freemotion art by Gillian Bates

Gillian Bates  -  'Eastbourne Promenade' (Detail)

Gillian Bates
Gillian Bates is a contemporary artist who makes unique embroidered pieces. Although she does use other imagery, her work is primarily made up of figures. I really like the ‘scribbly’ style of the black stitching and her use of a variety of different fabrics for appliqué. This is a technique which I am often attracted to, I think because I don’t usually like precise marks and prefer a more spontaneous line.
I also like the natural poses in her work, particularly the one of the women above. I would like to take photos/sketches like this, rather than posed/uniform images.

Caroline Kirton  Applique and free machine embroideryCaroline Kirton - stitched snapshots of life

Caroline Kirton
Similarly to Gillian Bates, this artist also uses coloured appliqué with black stitching around the edge, however these lines are thinner and more precise. They are also portraying everyday poses and activities with normal people. I have selected these two images because they are outside, but she does also have some within the home, e.g.  putting make-up on or doing the dishes.
I love the unconventional patterns on utilitarian objects such as the bench above – this is something I’d quite like to have a go with, possibly with buildings in the background?

Sarah Walton embroidery onthebench | Flickr - Photo Sharing!The artist, Sarah Walton, says her machine needle is her art pen. You should see more of her work!

Sarah Walton
This is another artist who does similar work. What attracted me to Sarah Walton was the absence of context. In the first picture, the subjects seem to be sat on a park bench, however this is just an assumption, because the information isn’t given to you as a viewer.
This is an interesting concept which I would like to explore further in my own work.


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