I started this project with a simple brainstorming exercise based on the words man-made environment. This is a process I always try to do at the beginning of a new project as it helps me to focus on the subject at hand. Various sub topics came to mind including: City Scapes, Roof tops, Power stations, Wind farms, Buildings, Churches
Following on from these further ideas developed; Maps, Chimneys, Steam outlets, Electric lines, Spires, Gargoyles, Wind mills, Solar farms, Water mills, Mobile phone masts, Roof tops, Slums, Windows, Doors, Beams, Woodwork etc.
After completing this first exercise I wanted to start looking for images to use as source material. a quick google search produced some beautiful images to investigate. I have started a pinterest board to collect these images together. I find pinterest a very useful tool to store and group together initial ideas so that I can easily find them again!
Here are some of my favourite source pictures:
I have also been looking at some other artists that relate to environmental issues:
Cas Holmes is a British textile artist best known for her printed / dyed backgrounds, using found objects and line stitched motifs.
She ‘has an abiding interest in the connections between land, place and environment. Trained in fine art, her works in mixed media and found materials are a reflection on aspects of ‘Urban Nature’, and are best described as ‘cloth paintings with stitch’.’ (casholmestextiles.co.uk)
I really like Cas’ work. At first glance it is very pretty and beautifully worked but on a deeper level the fragile nature of the pieces makes the viewer think about the fragility of the environment.
I first encountered Anne Honeyman’s work long before I took up machine embroidery. I fell in love with her embroidered ‘meadow bowls’. I have always meant to have a go at making one but have never got around to it. Like Cas Holmes she explores Man’s impact on the natural environment and how fragile nature is through delicate interlinked motifs and structures.
There is a fab interview on Anne and this subject on the textile org. website: http://www.textileartist.org/anne-honeyman-interview-fragility-fluidity-and-structure/
Her Etsy shop can be found here: http://www.annehoneyman.com/page7.htm