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Sculpture as Textiles; Textiles as Sculpture

Sculpture as Textiles; Textiles as Sculpture / Saturday 14th March 2015 - Saturday 9th May 2015

Curated by Gina Grassi; Sculpture as Textiles; Textiles as Sculpture is an exhibition that will explore the relationship and interconnectivity between sculpture and textiles, and how these two art forms often inform and infiltrate one another. The exhibition will showcase the work of contemporary crafts people who experiment with sculptural qualities and the notion of three-dimensionality. These crafts people utilise techniques commonly found within ceramics and fabric/garment construction, such as layering, moulding, printing, stretching, folding and weaving. Furthermore, the works on display examine surface appearances and combine elements of different material properties. Tactile, decorative, suggestive, and through the inclusion of richly patterned and textural surfaces, these works appeal to the viewer through the sense of touch, they straddle and permeate the boundary between textiles and sculptural form.

Exhibitors include Annette Bugansky, Catherine Carr, Emma Dickinson, Fenella Elms, Nora Fok, Nawal Gebreel, Jenny Llewellyn, Liz Nilsson, Nuala O’Donovan, Sue Paraskeva & DeeLyn Walsh.

Nora Fok 2

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“Looking forward to seeing the work of Annette Bugansky. Always a joy to see this designers interpretation of fashion and textiles in cool porcelain. So tactile and delicate yet strong and purposeful. Love it.…”


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I am driven by an inspiration to create one off handmade ceramic pieces. My practice is influenced by my interest in process, applying recognised methods of making from one discipline to another.

My current body of work is influenced by dress patterns and garment construction used both as a source of visual inspiration and as a reference for creating 3D form through the manipulation of flat sheet.

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Nora Fok is an artist who expresses her ideas in a personal and distinctive way. She has a unique ability to translate ideas into delightful delicate and intricate compositions which one immediately associates with her.

Nora works at home in Hove,on the sunny south east coast of England, she uses no mechanical equipment, all her work is carried out by hand processes, with only basic tools.

She is intrigued by the world around her; she also asks questions and tries to find answers to them. She is fascinated by different aspects of nature, structure, systems and order, and the mysteries and magic which she sets out to capture in her work. They are often quite complicated requiring many hours, days or weeks to produce and she has the necessary dedication to see her ideas through. She likes to draw attention to the very ordinary to make something special by presenting it in her own way. Her approach is not scientific; she combines her discoveries intuitively with her personal technical skills to produce her unique pieces.

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Initially inspired by the luminous colours, shapes and movement of creatures from the deep sea, Jenny’s practice has become increasingly design and process led. Her collections are characterised by handcrafted, organic forms of precious metals, combined with vibrant bursts of silicone, Jenny explores the possibilities of her materials to create works that, after their initial visual impact, captivate through high attention to detail and strong awareness of design.

It isn’t glass or plastic, hard or fragile, delicate or heavy. Jenny Llewellyn’s sculptural jewellery pays equal attention to form and tactility, resulting in unique and wearable contemporary jewellery design. A celebration of colour!

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Sue Paraskeva works with porcelain and uses a stick driven momentum wheel to create fine cylindrical forms. In the ceramic world this technique is used widely in Jingdezhen - the Chinese capital of Porcelain. The momentum wheel allows Sue to work silently and without electricity in tune with the spin of the wheel.

Sue creates fine cylindrical porcelain vessels, inspired initially by industrial forms. These are refined during throwing and intuitive decorative marks are applied using wood ash slips, colouring oxides and inlayed clay. The forms are inspired by industrial landscapes of the North East and the marks have evolved from line drawings of the landscape.

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My work combines regular pattern with the characteristics of irregular patterns and forms from nature. Each element of the pattern is individually made, the form is constructed slowly over a period of weeks or months. The finished forms are a result of an intuitive response to the direction that the pattern takes as well as the irregularity in the handmade elements of the pattern.

I have used the characteristics of irregular/fractal patterns in nature as a system of constraints or guidelines when making decisions about the forms: The patterns are regularly irregular. The patterns and form are self-similar. The pattern records a response to random events during the making process. The result of using the characteristics of fractal geometry in making decisions regarding the form of the sculptural pieces, is that the form is resolved but retains a sense of potential change. The viewer engages with the piece by allowing their own visual experiences to influence their view of the outcome of the form and its future possibilities. I hope that this aspect of my work also evokes the transitory quality of living organisms, combining traces of history, the present and the future, in the patterns that make up their surfaces and forms.

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Nawal Gebreel is an innovative textile designer specialising in fabric manipulation and print.

Nawal draws inspiration from geometric forms, Japanese "shibori" and paper-folding. Her work incorporates her own original creative interpretations of the arts and is always looking to innovate new techniques in fabrics and textiles.

She sells her work in Europe, America, Japan and Britain, to designers and established galleries, boutiques and craft fairs around the world. She uses a variety of techniques to produce pieces of great originality and visual appeal.

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Annette Bugansky is an award winning British ceramic designer who produces contemporary vessels, lighting and wall art , starting from her own textile structures.

After working with her family for Saville Row where her father was a freelance master tailor, Annette started her career as a pattern-cutter, seamstress and tailor. Specialising first in bespoke wedding dresses and evening wear, she then became Head Tailor at the BBC and made costumes for the Royal Ballet and the English National Opera. She now combines these skills and experience with her passion for texture and surface, to produce beautiful ceramics.

Her vessels bring together ceramics with traditional clothes pattern drafting techniques and her own experimental stitch, crochet and embroidery. For each ceramic mould Annette makes 'little clothes' or a textile layer to fit the form perfectly, resulting in sensual tactile surface patterns on her otherwise minimal contemporary pieces.

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Catherine crochets and knits with glass.
Each piece has been individually knitted or crocheted by hand. They are then heated and manipulated through several firings at a very high temperature, eventually emerging as a formed glass vessel. Because of this hand crafted process, all the pieces are original and individual with no two being exactly the same.

By applying these traditional skills to an innovative process of recycled glass products she produces beautiful and delicate lace structures in which each individual stitch can be seen and where the openwork design casts striking dappled shadows.

Inspired by the role of women in textiles, especially her Grandmother who taught her these fading skills and bequeathed her the patterns used, she hopes to celebrate the history, memories and skills of women workers in the textile mills of northern England.

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Based in the Wiltshire Downs, Fenella Elms builds porcelain into flowing textures and rhythmic structures.

'I first discovered working with clay when I was taught to throw with a school teacher who enthusiastically took the class out to see a Lucy Rie exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum in 1981. I sought out workshops and classes over the years until I was given a wheel in 2004 and began the more intensive teaching that college offered.

Clay lends itself well to inquisitive discovery, enabling ideas to become tangible. I enjoy working with porcelain clay for its ability to hold intimate details in a state of fragile permanence. After surviving intense temperatures, there is a fresh familiarity to the transformed clay with its ceramic qualities of hard, fine, translucent detail.

Clay transforms in the kiln: an irreversible process from mud to sharp edges, vibrant colour and translucency. I am drawn to develop this transforming quality in the work itself; making pieces that alter in pattern or give an allusion of movement and depth by using clay’s potential for creating surface texture and building sculptural dimension.

The work is generally made with slip (clay with a lot of added water to create a thick, creamy liquid) poured onto plaster bats to create workable sheets for cutting and tearing. Slip oozes into every crevice, holding every mark it reaches. With added fibres, the clay is stronger to handle in the building stage. For its magical play with light, I fire porcelain to around 1280c.

I like to be able to see the joins, finger prints, cracks and minute blemishes in the finished work and so am reluctant to cover the clay surface over with glaze: I tend to use glazes as glue or to highlight texture.'

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Liz Nilsson is an interdisciplinary artist based in Dublin since 2000. She studied art and textile design in her home country Sweden, followed by an MA at Goldsmiths College in London, 1991-93. She continuously exhibits in Ireland and internationally and has an extensive commissions record.

She approaches her practice with careful methodology, attentively choosing materials and techniques to express her interests; repetition and memory.

'My pieces are multi-layered and weave together used and new fabrics, to construct and reflect my place in time, my reality. The layering illustrates repetition, recall and habit and is referencing how memories are instituted.

Circles are cut away from the surface creating an open lace-like structure that integrates the play of light and shadow into the work. The shadows add a transient layering and are important to the meaning of the work because they symbolise memory, so the viewer may experience the actual work, the concrete and the shadow, a memory simultaneously in real time.

Therefore, one has both the original experience and the memory, which is true but not completely identical to the original experience.'

Her work incorporates print, tactile mark making, drawing and photography, concluding in installations, printed compositions and performances.

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Duality, movement and illusion are central in both DeeLyn’s jewellery and ceramic designs. These themes are explored with simplicity via the arrangement of repetitive geometric components and shapes, creating sculptural pieces with a bold architectural aesthetic.

Originally from Portland, Oregon in the US, DeeLyn has resettled in the UK. She completed her design degree in Liverpool in 2010, earning a first-class degree with honours, as well as numerous awards. The year following graduation she was the Designer in Residence at Liverpool Hope University. She utilised this opportunity and launched her design business. She has now set up her own jewellery studio where she is continuing to develop her unique style.

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Your Comments

  1. Rita Saunders / FirestormofDeanandLondon

    Looking forward to seeing the work of Annette Bugansky. Always a joy to see this designers interpretation of fashion and textiles in cool porcelain. So tactile and delicate yet strong and purposeful. Love it.

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