Friday, 2 November 2007


Maxine Sutton Embroidered & Printed Textiles

My practice centers on contemporary embroidery and moves across the boundaries of craft, art and design.

I use hand and machine embroidery, screen printing, appliqué and needle-punch techniques. A personal language of abstracted forms and figurative images is continuously developing and springs from a variety of sources, such as; anatomy, nature and our relationship with the environment. Also folklore, customs and superstitions, witchcraft, religion and fertility rites that connected people with the natural environment and have provided a means of celebrating the world around us.

Recent work concentrates on printed and embroidered framed pictures and panels, worked on found fabrics and linens. Semi-figurative still lives and landscapes suggest narrative possibilities, and reference either domestic interior objects and spaces, or exterior environments.

1 Favourite living artist
Too hard to pick just one, but probably Kiki Smith. I really love her drawings and prints, and that she appropriates all kinds of materials and forms to express her ideas. I find the work honest and direct and I really like the play between the abject and the beautiful, fragility and strength. Like life really.

2 Favourite living craft maker
Primmy Chorley, I like the biographical narrative in her work and use of materials. Again it’s very honest and without pretension.

3 Favourite historical artist .
Roger Hilton for his colour and paint marks, his drawing, his irreverence and once again his honesty. His work makes me feel very happy.

4 When and where did you first want to do what you do?
Probably as a small child, doing sewing things with my grandmother,
Noona. Though I didn’t recognize it then.

5 What was the last art/craft/design thing you purchased?

I bought a tall green/grey metal lampstand, without it’s wiring, for £4 from a fantastic secondhand furniture & bric a brac emporium in Margate, called Scotts. It’s beautifully proportioned and has a lovely old smokey green patina and it is more than earning it’s money’s worth now I’ve got it home. I mostly like ‘un-designed’ but beautiful ordinary things.
I like recycling & buying old things that have been around a while, if I had any spare £ would love a prehistoric petrified wood stool I saw in Mint.
Also, I would love to have one of Rob Ryan’s large paper cuts.

6 Where and what is your studio?
I work in a studio in my garden, listening to Radio 4, or music, seagulls and occasionally very low aircraft.

7 Do you have a good work/life balance?
I have a lot of trouble with the many hats - no balance at all. When I’m working I worry about my family and when I’m with them I worry about my work – Balance is something I am continually striving for.

8 What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?
It really depends, engrossing/happy or hurried/guilty.

9 Would you rather be doing something else?

Sometimes I would rather be with my family.

10 Do you think art and craft has any real importance?
Of course, isn’t art in all it’s forms, the most important thing ever, together with philosophy & science.

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