Textile Study Group

artists and tutors sharing ideas imagination and skills

Jean Draper

Artist statement

All my work is developed from research in the form of visits, drawing, photography and extensive sampling of ideas. In recent years the content of my work, both 2D and 3D has been derived from studying extreme, barren rocky landscapes in the UK and other places visited, especially the American SW and Western Australia. Although at first appearing empty, these places abound with arresting detail and dramatic sculptural features, whose shapes and textures are often caused by the effects of time and harsh conditions. Regeneration, recovery and growth are recurring themes I consider, having seen the aftermath of devastating forest fires.

To reflect the character of the places I like to visit, I try to incorporate a certain harshness and severity both in the structures I create and in the threads and other materials I use to make them. After stitching I often treat work with clay slip, paint and sandpaper, emulating wear and erosion and creating in the piece its own history. I sometimes make reference to the material culture of the indigenous peoples of the places in some of the shapes I use, such as basket and ceramic forms, and in the materials chosen, for example horsehair and sinew.

The installation called 'Forbidden' was made in 2017 in response to the challenging title set by the TSG for the exhibition Dis/rupt. The work symbolises the destruction of their culture wrought upon a weak or conquered people by a stronger one. Whilst continuing to use landscape details as starting reference points, concern about issues of injustice and prejudice continue to be the underlying themes I am currently exploring in my stitched textiles.

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