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Deirdre Nelson Textiles

Deirdre studied embroidered and woven textiles at Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 1992, before undertaking a Masters in Philosophy.

Deirdre’s work is imbued with personality and humour, acting as a thoughtful commentary on social and textile history. She experiments with materials and techniques, combining traditional textiles skills with contemporary reinterpretations – such as photography, animation, and digital manipulation.

“I have collaborated with the animation group rm-star on a few projects and we are currently coming up with a few ideas relating to 3 D stereo. Depending on each project, I collaborate with different people at different times. I have recently worked with filmmaker/sound artist Matt Hulse for a project with Museum of Wales. I am currently working with performance poet Tawona Sithole experimenting with text and embroidery.”

“Much of my recent work has been the result of artists residencies and site specific projects. Research is a big part of my working practice and I am very interested in looking at craft/design and visual art as inspiration.”

Deirdre is invited artist for the 2010 Visual Arts Scotland annual exhibition, which takes place at the RSA Edinburgh from 20th Feb – 18th March 2010. Here, she will show work she produced during a four-month residency at Taigh Chearsabagh on North Uist in 2008, as well as new work.

“On Uist I made some small works relating to observations and local stories. There will also be works which combine found objects and fine stitch and knit.”

Deirdre is also Artist in Residence for this year’s Stroud International Textiles Festival, which takes place from 1st – 23rd May 2010.

“As artist in residence at Stroud Textile Festival, I am looking at the museum collection and making new work in response to the collection and local history. I have been looking at the textile industry there both past and present, and am particularly interested in Stroud red cloth produced in the past and tennis ball cloth made currently there.”

For the duration of her tenure as Artist in Residence, Deirdre is keeping an engaging blog of her progress. The body of work she completes will also be exhibited during the festival.

We asked Deirdre what else she had planned for the year, and what her future aspirations were.

“I am making work for a group exhibition called Smile at Ruthin Craft Centre, curated by Mary La Trobe Bateman. I am also collaborating with Dawn Youll for a series of interventions at Albert Drive studios in Glasgow in October 2010. We are both excited about creating new work and finding ways to intervene in a domestic space with both ceramics and textiles.”

“I have been involved in many interesting projects and places, so it’s important to reflect on the work made and have time to experiment outwith specific projects and deadlines. Of course there is the subject of making a living which often determines the directions I take!”

“If possible, I would like to make work in the future which is sustainable, i.e. has a life beyond an exhibition/residency, through exhibition or handling collections.”

Keep up to date with Deirdre on her on Twitter or her blog

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