Wednesday, 1 August 2007


Corrina Rothwell Textile Art

I work solely in machine embroidery. There are two main strands to what I do – the first is postcard-sized cartoon-like pieces in black and white, of which I can repeat the designs to order. The second is one-off framed pieces for exhibition. I’m currently exploring new ways of working. Previously my work was intensively stitched and very colourful, but now my interest is in much more stark and ‘honed-down’ pieces with a more illustrative feel. I’m also developing a collection of one-off bags which will be more colourful and decorative, and am exploring the idea of stitched books based on my ‘cartoon’ pieces.

1 Money spent on Holidays is never wasted.
It’s easy to neglect yourself as an artist and not give yourself
time off because you think you can’t afford it. Of course you often can’t, but I think it’s a priority to try, because you and your work can get stale and worn-out if you never have a break.

2 Favourite living artist ?
Anthony Gormley. I love his sense of fun and inclusiveness.

3 What place in the world has inspired you.
Turkey. The combination of music and history, freedom and restriction was intoxicating. I took lots of close-ups of ruined statue faces, they all seemed to be distraught and tragic in some way. I’m looking for ways to use them in my work.

4 At age 15 who influenced your style?
At 15 I was (typically I think!) really into the Surrealists….since then
Jean Dubuffet really influenced me a lot, because I was always embarrassed that I couldn’t draw people properly, then I saw how Dubuffet painted in a naïve kind of way and I thought ‘haha!’, it’s ok to do people looking a bit weird!

5 Last best read?
‘Red’ by Orhan Pamuk. It’s an amazing insight into the lives of miniaturist painters in Istanbul during the 16th century.

6 Who would you say buys your work?
I’m lucky in that my work seems to appeal to a wide range of people, probably because it’s very direct and is about everyday stuff….people recognise themselves in it.

7 How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace?
I don’t bend my vision as such but I try to come up with ‘products’ that will have mass appeal. I can’t pretend it’s my favourite thing to do but at the end of the day I have to make money.

8 Where and what is your studio? Do you work alone? In silence, radio?
I work in my attic. I did have a studio but freezing my **** off for half the year, never seeing anyone anyway and paying for the priviledge seemed pointless. I always work to music – usually crazy stuff from Eastern Europe or the Middle East – then I can have a bit of a dance when I start siezing up at the sewing machine.

9 Do you have a good work/life balance? Are you able to switch off from art work?
Too much life, not enough work! The problem at the moment is not switching on enough….I feel like I’m skating around on the surface of my work and not getting in deep enough. Worrying about making money gets in the way.

10 Would you rather be doing something else?
I often feel I’d rather be doing something else, but I don’t know what it is so I’m not doing it!

11 Are their other fields that you'd like to apply some facet of your work into?
I’d like to be a ‘documentary embroiderer’, attending different events or environments and making humourous pictures of people – like stitched photographs.

12 Guilty secret?
My cheese in the fridge has teeth marks.

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