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 enjoy using transparent and translucent materials and am interested in finding ways to convey the idea of movement and layering in my textile pieces.

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.

Examples of work

The images shown are from four exhibitions between 2020 and 2023.

‘Un-natural Selection’ 2020 A row of suspended plastic bottles, made from discarded plastic bottles. Some of the fragmented bottle shapes of have been reattached in various sequences by laced stitching making mal-formed shapes. This is the resolved piece created after the research project featured in ‘Insights’ a recent publication by the TSG. It was also selected as part of the Royal West of England Academy Open Exhibition 2022.

‘Echo’ 2022 Layers of waxed cotton, ribbons of silk organza. Shown as part of ‘Essence’ - the 60th anniversary exhibition by the 62 Group. This piece suggests global fragility by the apparent unstable angle of the loosely connected repeated layers. These crumpled waxed cotton layers are held together with delicately frayed ribbons of red silk organza.

‘Next Slide Please’ 2023 Slide negatives, fishing line and old projector screen material A connected collection of old slide negatives from 50 years of teaching. This was made for ‘Making:50’ with the TSG. The collection of slides record the work of teacher and students, accumulated during years of teaching. The slide negatives cast shadows and reflections onto the old projector screen ground, adding to the idea of the complex inter-connection of experiences shared between teacher and student. The accompanying recording of the working slide projector provides a sound track familiar to all those teaching before the digital age.

‘Process’ 2023 Cotton organdie and stitching Two layers of fabric partially attached with tailor’s tack stitching. This repetitive and rhythmical stitching is a preparatory stage in the process of making a tailored garment. The temporary tailor’s tacking stitch was devised to accurately mark lines through two or more layers of fabric: an important stage in making a sculpted fabric surface. The top fabric partially curls over to show the separating layers. This was shown at Sunny Banks Mill with the 62 Group in ‘Tailored’ in response to an interesting story in the Mill’s archive - about June who started work at this Mill in the same year as my own birth. June worked every day for ten hours for £2 per week.


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