Exposure: PDP Final Reflection

Through this exposure module i have been made to question what it is i have to offer in my work and what is important to me as an illustrator. Through my practical work i have consolidated my love for different processes and come to realise the way i make the work is more of a journey then a destination. As i like to build from each observation recreating the feelings and movement of the outside world . Observing people on there daily routines show you a more honest representation of who they are, as there body language offers a communication of how they feel and what their like with out the worries of others.


I have loved the freedom of being able to create my own projects tailoring it to what i enjoy most. Research around my practice shows me that togetherness and being able to feel the work that is whats most important to me, as the emotional connection to others and acts of humility are the foundations of most of my work . I think whats kept my motivation and driven me is by looking at a wide, and interesting rang of other artists who use various technique which may  or may not be directly linked and to see how they approach and produce work around similar themes. I enjoy artists who experiments with processes and still value observations at there core but like looking for different way to translate the work. My work in context to the professional world has more of a hands on approach and i think opportunities like work shop where it helps bring communities together, is something that would only make my work stronger.


The out come was originally going to be a quilt to help enforce the theme of body language, but after further though and tutorial i realised it didn’t have to be so literal. After working in to the fabric further i liked  the simpler  style of the reverse side giving contrast to my more positive message with its isolated shapes. I also like the fragility and movement of the one piece of fabric, to heighten this quality i finished it by fraying the edges showing an expression of continuity in the piece much like the native Americans did, giving it a tactile quality that make the piece seem familiar and approachable.

Although i am happy with the outcomes of my project i think i could of refined it further if i had limited my experiments a bit more, as i love to play with what effects i can get with all of the mediums, i think i can sometime get caught up in the making with out refining  the message i want to communicate. I think the challenge of having a self led project is limiting yourself enough so you can have depth and focus but also leaving enough room for play and allowing the work to grow organically. i think my works strengths is in the details and care that goes in to my illustrations as i want to portray each individual fairly. overall this module has made me look at my practice in context to the professional world but in a way that works for me and how i want to portray myself as an illustrator.


Professor Cathy Treadaway: End of Project Event

Cathy Treadaway was mentioned to me during a tutorial where we asked to think about our professional offer. With my project i’ve mainly chosen stitch for my process to explore body language further its interesting to see how other incorporate textile elements in  to there work.


Cathy s main focus has been compassionate design, where they take time to develop certain object to help people with diseases such as dementia that help them feel more connected to themselves and the world around them. What i found with Cathy work is that the idea can be simple but just as effective such as a cuff that goes round the hand, with familiar trinkets attached creating feeling of nostalgia for the individual and helping with there memory. The the tactile quality is something i really enjoyed and think that all senses can be used to improve quality of life and get some one to interact with a piece.


Artist Research: Sarah K Benning

Sarah’s work mainly consists of beautifully hand embroidered scenes of people with in nature or pure simple interiors with an abundance of plant life, all her pieces are beautifully vivid with bold bursts of colour and an in depth use of texture.

I love how there is such a strong relationship between the body language of the human forms and the plants, as they are there almost as an extension of that persons personality enforcing their character through the plants. She also creates peacefulness with the way she uses space and composition creating a wholesome well balanced image that automatically gives you a relaxed feeling.

This inspires me to incorporate nature with my own body language pieces perhaps in a more  immediate way using layering and really just experimenting as i do want a more direct message with interacting with nature as i feel helps with perspective and shows life in a much simpler form.


Playing with Composition

I Wanted to start getting an idea of what i wanted my quilt to be like, i started by laying out my illustrations and just seeing what worked together i what the quilt to have a natural flow but no actual set environment.



I Want to emphasise people and their environments i think by gather a lot  o research through observational drawing has really helped with this, also think the thread is important part of the message allowing it freedom to intertwine with one another’s showing the many connections we all share. I will keep moving my pieces around and take picture to refer back to i really want to pay with the space making ares denser but also making sure there’s still enough room to lead the viewer’s imagination.

By choosing a quilt i think its given me a platform to bring the outside in and i think its important to have that contact between the outside and the home creating an object that can belong with both. The functionality  and physical contact to the human form is something that interest me as it extend as a part of our body language.



Through tutorial it had been suggested to try different coloured backgrounds this interested me and i like the thought of the time of day changing as each time of day has a different feel and atmosphere.




I like theses pieces as i think they show a lot of movement. The grey is particularly effective for setting a wet miserable atmosphere and i think the white stitch is also interesting and works well with the form and gives the sense of a windy day, creating connections with strangers.

Although i like these and would like to experiment further i think for now i will stick to plain calico as its a more stable and will help give a neater look for construction of the quilt, i also prefer the bright bold colour that my previous illustration had. but i would like to take theses further at a later point and really explore materials and stitch colour.

Experimenting with Surroundings

Through my observational drawings id pick up certain land marks, or certain scenes that to me are typically Cardiff,  i then translated these in to stitch with the use of my drawing and by what materials i had.

I find freehand stitch very relaxing and allows to reacted more instinctual instead of over thinking  it which makes me think about what lines are needed. I wanted to create a charismatic atmosphere by using a mixture of fabric, paper, and inks to inject colour but also highlight and trigger peoples imagination with its narrative quality.


I also used some reflective mirror card as i wanted to have an interactive element and to use light to help my piece. When i draw from life there are many thing i want to capture about the feeling and i think light is an important part of that  as i want to simulate the glare you get off of car windscreens and puddles on a bright day that make you see things slightly differently

I think it also brings intrigue as i like the idea of looking for yourself or seeing your self in a crowd of people, bringing out individuality but also demonstrating everyone’s equality. I may also experiment with reflective material and see which is preferred. I like the continuous quality of these pieces, but i may also try other techniques such as just stitch in a more simplified form to see what effect this gives, also working on quite a small palette i think will  help. Then i will see what is best suited with my other observations of peoples body language with in these spaces.


Contextual Research: Louise Gardiner

Through a helpful suggestion from one of the tutors i came across louise gardiner who specialises in embroidery art. Her pieces are both vibrant and extremely detailed using a mixture of technique that adds beautiful depth and texture.

She has created two quilts the first was a commission from LIBERTY in 2010  for a window display. The way she works is to create large bold imagery and uses fairly simple compositions but she indulges her pieces in immense detail, with varied colours of thread, inks and a mixture of applique materials.


In 2015 they commissioned a second quilt to symbolise 150 years of liberty. It was titled steering the light house of love and was inspired by Victorian maritime tattoo themes. which creates this mixture of traditional imagery but with her more contemporary techniques such as the bold metallic thread which adds texture and depth and helps the narrative quality of the quilt.

I really love the amount of techniques Gardiner uses and this just pushes me further to really be playful, and to keep working in to my pieces as like her use of mix mediums as it really adds extra dimensions to her pieces. I will take this on when further developing the environment in which i put my characters, allowing me to play with composition and create spaces that leads the imagination.