Textile Study Group

artists and tutors sharing ideas imagination and skills

Julia Triston

Artist statement

I am a maker, educator, author and mentor in contemporary stitched textiles. I have always had a passion for stitching and creating art from cloth, threads and recycled items, selling my first upcycled designs whilst in my teens. I have worked in the creative industries for almost thirty years teaching, lecturing, writing, making, exhibiting and selling my textile artwork.

My current practice continues to investigate the themes of identity, gender, deconstructivism and sustainability. I am intrigued by the journeys textiles take and am fascinated by the wear and tear of my raw materials, and the marks and memories they hold and conceal. My raw materials include denim, vintage lace, reclaimed household linen, discarded embroideries, second-hand clothing, old uniforms, and previously worn underwear.

I am interested in the details and 'landmarks' in these garments: the seams, hems, pockets, clips, straps. Each component tells its own tale of use. Each has its own identity and beauty in the quality of the material, the raw edges, frays, stains, discolouring and creases created by the wearing, washing and using during its functional lifetime. I deconstruct my raw materials, then reconstruct new pieces by integrating and fusing these details, fragments and landmarks together in new compositions; the rips, stains and raw edges all become important features with a new, changed identity. Increasingly I am using text in my textiles to express contemporary issues.

My upcycled textile art, installations and garments are designed to make a statement and have been exhibited widely, both in this country and overseas. My work has been filmed by the BBC, Sky Arts, The Press Association and independent TV and film companies, and following my hour on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, I feature in Antony Gormley's book 'One and Other'.

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