Textile Study Group

artists and tutors sharing ideas imagination and skills

Siân Martin

Artist statement

I have been a maker of textile art since I graduated from Birmingham Polytechnic in 1972 with a BA Hons and MA in Embroidery. I exhibit with the 62 Group of Textile Artists, Stitch Textile Artists, as well as the Textile Study Group.

I am interested in finding ways to convey the idea of movement and layering in my textile pieces and I’m currently working on experimental ways of joining multiple shapes to create illusions of movement and sometimes actual movement.

I use cloth, paper and stitch to make textiles inspired by places and events within my home environment of Somerset and in particular the wetland areas. I am starting to include the use of locally grown willow and cane in my work. As well as the natural beauty of the landscape, my work makes connection to ideas of conservation.

I gained my Art Teachers Diploma from the University of Leicester after graduating from Birmingham and I enjoy teaching and encouraging others to experiment and explore their ideas through textiles. I offer textile workshops and lectures to Embroiderers' Guild Branches and Textile Groups both in this country and abroad.

I initiated and am the director of 'Distant Stitch' which offers a range of online Courses in Embroidery and other textile topics.

Examples of work

The images shown are details from three exhibitions that I have taken part in during 2017 and 2018.

"Rolling out the carpet of hope" in the 'Ctrl/Shift' exhibition with the 62 Group.

This piece is made up of a six metre length of waxed fabric tiles supporting manipulated cane shapes. These signify a growing forest of trees being planted by individuals in response to the UNESCO 'grass roots' project in an attempt to re-hydrate the desert areas of Africa.

"Change"

A series of pieces in response to Steart Marshes, an area of Somerset wetland that is managed by the Wildlife and Wetland Trust. I worked with a range of different materials, particularly Somerset willow. I left fabric fragments in different areas of Steart Marshes during last winter and collected them in at the beginning of summer to add to her work. The wind worn, sun bleached fabrics capture the essence of this wild and open landscape.

I joined a team of scientists and ventured into the mud flats towards the breach where tidal waters meet the inland waters: a valuable experience that gave me a close view of the heart of the marshes where the sediment is being moved and sculpted by the tides. I learnt that the mud is very efficient at absorbing carbon dioxide and feel it should be highly valued as part of our fight against global warming.

"Dispatched with a kiss" in the DIS/rupt exhibition with the Textile Study Group

This piece has been inspired by the story of one boy, whose life, like that of thousands of others, has been disrupted by war. Ahmed experienced the horrors of displacement from his home when he was 15 years old. His father was a nomadic farmer in Afghanistan and the family lived in peace until the Taliban kidnapped his two sisters. They returned to take him away too; shot and killed his father when he tried to stop them. His mother told him to run as she kissed him on the cheek.

Fragments of fabric, some symbolic, some with imagery, some with text, have been threaded into this textile narrative that tells the story of Ahmed's long journey after being dispatched so courageously by his mother.

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