Sunday, 13 April 2008

Maker of the week - ABIGAIL BROWN


Describe your work? - My work uses new and reused fabrics to create predominantly decorative pieces which exist in both 2D and 3D form. This method of working has evolved from a childhood amidst loose threads and scraps of fabric, watching my Grandmother at work. It's a purely natural process for me, there's a lot of comfort in getting lost in the piles of fabric I hoard at home, selecting pieces to work with for their colour or pattern.

My work centres on animals perhaps because of the sheer joy I get from observing them, I love that I can create little worlds in which they might exist, humanising them, giving them names, deciding what little items of clothing they might like to wear or what personality traits they might have.
Currently my work takes the theme of birds perhaps because not only do I think them one of the most beautiful of creatures, so precious, so fragile and yet so animated and so positively bursting with life, but also because they are the most accessible to me. Merrily they chirp in the dawn, delighting me with their happy little tunes. They are simply so enchanting to watch as they hop, skip, swoop and dance their way through the day, twisting and turning with such quizzical looks.

The work is childlike, naive, it's quite soft and gentle and it doesn't force any opinions or views on the observer. Sometimes there are personal feelings going on and in the case of the wall art there is often something of a narrative at work which isn't always happy! But as a whole the work is just simply a way for me to give life to the little creatures that form in my mind...and to set them free, hopefully creating smiles wherever they might land.

Last best read? - I am a big Murakami fan, love getting lost in the bizarre worlds he creates for his characters, but the book I just finished was ' The book of lost things' and I absolutely loved it!!! I couldn't put it down and was so sad when I came to it's end. I love fairytale and this story weaved so many of the stories I loved as a child into this incredible book about loss and courage and love and the transition from child into adult. It got me all excited to reread all those books and rediscover the worlds I loved so much being so little.

Who would you say buys your work? - I think 99% of the time it's women, if not women then men who are buying it for women! It's nature is somewhat childlike and naive and so it obviously appeals to softer natured people! It sells to people decorating their children's nurseries or people who like to surround themselves with little visual delights. It's sweet when people buy for friends but then let me know they couldn't part with what they bought so they kept it for themselves! That is always such a nice thing to hear.

How do you set about starting a new project? - I'm always collecting ideas, references, when I plan to start something I've usually had it in mind for a while. I'll start sketching out things and trying to visualise how it will work, but really what transpires is far from what my intentions were! Funny, sometimes thats frustrating!

If I'm lucky it just works out first time, but if it's something I haven't tried before, something totally new then I might have to work through a few problems to get there.

What do you have on your pinboard? - Gosh theres all kinds of things on there, some painted eggs from Prague, some soft toys, cards and postcards, some street art I've naughtily swiped, drawings from friends...all kinds of bits!

Where and what is your studio? - I'm only beginning to work out my work situation, and so I currently work from my huge bedroom in my rented flat. It's far from ideal but it works as a space just now. I love being surrounded by all my things and as much as it can be a bad thing to work and live in that same space, it's also quite cosy and something about it almost feels like it should be that way. I like that I can crawl out of bed to my desk if an idea hits me...

but as I'm about to quit my full time job and make this work more of a larger part of my work life that whole situation will need to change, it really won't be healthy to be in there so much.

So currently I am alone working, sometimes thats nice, I can get on with things, sing at the top of my voice or dance and jump about when I'm restless and fidgetty...but I do enjoy being in company and miss having people around me to bounce ideas off...yep, that all needs to change this year.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work? - Natural
Do you think art and craft has any real importance? - Without doubt. If you are a creative person, whatever field, you are compelled to express yourself. You simply can't be without having that outlet and it's a release to so many feelings and thoughts. So to the self, yes.

To the observer, also yes. It's human contact without physical contact's reaching out and touching, creating thoughts and feelings in the person interacting with it in whichever way.
I've been lucky enough with my work to hear such beautiful things from people who see it, how much it made them smile...and happy thoughts and feelings carry huge yes! Art and Craft are hugely important.

Are their other (unusual) fields that you'd like to apply some facet of your work into? - Animation - It's not so unusual, I think the work looks like it would lend itself well to animation and this is where I would really love to try and take some point.

abigailBROWN textile artist and illustrator 07940 497488

1 comment:

jon said...

Just to say Abigail has a great website - well worth checking out - good animation on the homepage (which doesn't stall the computer) and the blog shows her animals cards and other work.
I think she might also end up as Etsy site of the week later on - the Etsy bit sells her animals as well as product such as cards and animal masks.