Sunday, June 23, 2024

Weekend Review: Text in Textile Art

Text in Textile Art / Sara Impey
London: Batsford, c2013.
128 p.

This is a beautifully put together Batsford book, by a textile artist who has been using text and language in her work for a long time. Lots of photos, nice design and that famous fuzzy Batsford cover make this a lovely item in itself. 

But it also has lots of fascinating examples of how Impey quilts with words. The cover shows one of her signature techniques, stitching the background of plain cloth (sometimes pieced, as with the cover image), using threadwork to make letters out of the blank spaces left. She also does the opposite, quilting letters onto a bare background. It's quite graphical and striking. 

There are a lot of techniques and ideas shared here, from both machine and hand-stitching to using computers (or computerized sewing machines with fonts), photo transfer, found objects and printed materials. There are many examples, both of her own work and of other contemporary textile artists, including Tracey Emin for one. This is a great feature, as you can see how a lot of different artists incorporate the use of text, it's not just one style shown. 

There is also a discussion of copyright, which is important for anyone wanting to use words or images coming from elsewhere. She includes prompts and exercises for readers to discover how they might want to use text in their own work, and suggests places to find inspiration. It's a very solid book for anyone wanting to add text to their textile art -- it really is focused on art, which I appreciated and found illuminating. This is solid content by a very experienced artist, and anyone interested in this topic should be sure to read it. 

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