Textile Study Group

artists and tutors sharing ideas imagination and skills

Ruth Issett

Artist statement

For many years my main focus has been a fascination with colour, the excitement of creating it, mixing and watching it meander and mix across a surface. Often when working with liquid colour on paper and fabric there is an urgency to make decisions, to control, limit or restrict. Wet colour appears dark but once dry it reveals variations of intensity or subtlety as well as responding to the material surface.

This exploration of colour has become very central to my working practice. I explore different paper surfaces working with dense absorbent paper as well as fine lightweight tissues from across the world. I strengthen, layer and laminate and colour to build delicate or strong intense colours.

Work on paper helps to drive and influence further research into methods of impregnating a fabric surface with dyes and other media. Using accessible techniques such as simple printing and dye painting, I enjoy the spontaneity and the opportunity to observe and manipulate the materials, both the liquids and surfaces. I colour and pattern a range of surfaces, flimsy, transparent, translucent, opaque, rough or smooth, observing their response to the differing surfaces. There is an energy and excitement that is addictive.

These collections, colourful and varied are then combined, layered stitched and manipulated into compositions, compilations and collections. Gradually some order or themes emerge, reflecting a meandering joyful journey of colourful exploration and sharing.

Responding to specific projects helps to challenge me as well as stimulate new ideas and methods. Discussing and working together with colleagues generates further ideas and gives me an additional focus. The opportunity to teach or share with students gives additional focus as well as a different perspective.

As always, the 'what if' remains central to my practice, giving excitement and focus.


    • Location: Suffolk
    • Member since 1996
    • Available for courses, lectures, commissions, articles, book reviews, exhibition reviews

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