Textile Study Group

artists and tutors sharing ideas imagination and skills

Jean Draper

Artist statement

My work is mostly stitched by hand because I find it so satisfying to feel the fabric changing and developing in my hands as I turn and manipulate the piece. I begin with small stitches, perhaps darning or seeding, making them sit within the fabric, as opposed to on the surface, thereby affecting the structure, before adding layers of dense surface stitches. I liken the way I use stitching to intuitively building up and combining a series of different marks and lines to create a complex textural drawing which both feels and looks good.

All my work is developed from ongoing research which takes the form of visiting places of particular interest, studying appropriate collections in museums, and reading around the subject , followed by extensive sampling. I record information with drawings, notes and photographs. My sketchbooks/notebooks are possibly the most important tool in my work process.

My work, both 2D and 3D has, for a long time, been inspired by different aspects of harsh rocky landscapes where the natural effects of of time and extreme conditions are strongly reflected in the structure, rhythm and texture of the place. I attempt to interpret these characteristics by using particular threads such as linen and hemp, coarse fabrics and mixed media.

The landscapes that interest me, may seem bare and lacking in interesting features, but on looking hard, there is much of interest to be seen. I have paid particular attention to details of overlapping plan forms, thorns, pods and different dried stems and twisted trees. These can be seen as protecting areas or, in some cases, barriers to movement. Considering these has caused me to think about people seeking protection. Some have no voice, are very restricted in their lives and unable to progress, or may even be very badly treated. Some of my work, especially in the titles used, references these concerns.

Very recently,I have begun to use lettering again in my work to try to express subject matter or act as a kind of mantra. The words do not need to be legible, but I ponder them and their meanings as I layer freely drawn and flowing letter forms, aiming to construct vibrant and complex abstract designs.


    • Location: West Midlands
    • Member since 1989
    • Available for courses, lectures, commissions, articles, book reviews, exhibition reviews

Browse artists

Show artists by