The Janome Fine Art Textiles Award 2021 winners and shortlisters

The Fine Art Textiles Award recognises the creative talents and skills of a broad community of high-calibre artists, including quilters, and celebrates textiles’ rightful place amongst high art. The selected works represent the spectrum of textile media, with works that transcend the craft or making process, and which stand alone as visual art.

Following a break in 2020 when we were unable to showcase the shortlisted FATA pieces, we displayed two gallery exhibitions at FOQ celebrating the Fine Art Textiles Award for both 2020 and 2021.

Our judging panel announced Woo Ji Joo as this year’s winner and Laura Thomas as the winner of the ‘Innovative us of textiles’ award, sponsored by Handi Quilter . Read on to find out more about the winning and shortlisted pieces.

Woo Jin Joo

When a tiger dies it leaves behind it’s skin. When a man dies he leaves behind his name.

Winner of Fine Art Textiles Award
winner

 Artist Statement: Title translates, ‘When a tiger dies it leaves behind its skin. When a man dies he leaves behind his name.’

 Woo Jin is a mixed media textile artist based in London. Originally from Korea, her work is influenced by Asian traditions, philosophies, and culture. In her practice, Woo Jin explores our relationship with textiles as a material, and how we are increasingly disconnected from textiles true importance and capabilities in modern society. Through her work, Woo Jin seeks to challenge our current perception of textiles value so that we could start building a more mindful relationship.

Judges Comments: The judges made the following comments about the winner.
This witty piece grabbed the judges’ attention from the very beginning. Its title is linked to a Korean proverb that talks about leaving legacies behind. This juxtaposition of the embroidered tiger skin laying on top of a mass produced woven Ikea bag sends out an interesting commentary about our principles and associations with materials – and in this case, with textiles as a material but also as a commodity – and how we can easily become detached from their true weight in our modern lives

Laura Thomas

Indigo Twist

Winner of 'Innovative use of textiles', sponsored by Handi Quilter
winner

 Artist Statement: With reference to the Three Fates in Greek mythology, the symbolism of a thread as a metaphor for life is core to ‘Indigo Twist’ and indeed all of Laura Thomas’s work. Clotho spun the thread of life, Lachesis measured it and Atropos determined where it should be cut. This poetry of yarn offers a fundamental purity of line and depth of meaning. The arrangement of threads is carefully considered then encapsulated to be made permanent to create a hypnotic visual rhythm and representation of our layered, overlapping and interwoven lives. A moment in time preserved.

Judges Comments: The judges made the following comments about the winner.
This witty piece grabbed the judges’ attention from the very beginning. Its title is linked to a Korean proverb that talks about leaving legacies behind. This juxtaposition of the embroidered tiger skin laying on top of a mass produced woven Ikea bag sends out an interesting commentary about our principles and associations with materials – and in this case, with textiles as a material but also as a commodity – and how we can easily become detached from their true weight in our modern lives

Remi Ranna Allen

The Golden Temple
SHORTLISTED

Rana-Allen questions her Indian heritage through British eyes. It is with this in mind as a cultural insider she interprets its coded behaviour relatable to both east and west. Her art describes the British-Indian female identity through biology, construct and ideology. Informed by the context of her personal life
experiences as the British Indian woman. The perception of this ‘Indian body’ is explored through both practice and theory.
The artworks reveal Rana-Allen’s personal experience of sexuality, femininity, womanhood, motherhood, by embodying being Indian and British but never English.

Jari/zari thread, braid, cotton, steel, wood, dupatta

The threads have been spun around the central steel ring and extended to the wooden frame

Jiaxi Li

Cloud 9.9
SHORTLISTED

Jiaxi Li is a London based textile artist who focuses on innovative knit practice. With a master’s degree in textile design at the Royal College of Art, Jiaxi has built a multidisciplinary and interactive art practice in material exploration, craftsmanship, and cross-subject collaboration. As a textile artist, she values the emotion, culture, and aesthetics in each creation.

These sculptures are all self-reliant and multifaceted. The main materials are acrylic sparkle yarn and PLA filament.

They are created upon methods of machine knitting, solidifying knitted structures, and plastic moulding home objects. In order to create a knit structure that is adequately solid to support the whole self-standing and self-reliant sculptures, I did numerous prototypes and material combination tests.

Alice Fox

Dandelion Weave 2
SHORTLISTED

My process-led practice is based on personal engagement with landscape and has sustainability at its heart. I work with found objects, gathered materials and natural processes. I gather the materials that are available to me locally, testing, sampling and exploring them to find possibilities using my textiles-based skill set and techniques borrowed from soft basketry. Dandelion Weave 2 forms part of ongoing practice-based research into my allotment as a source of creative inspiration and materials.

Dandelion stems (Taraxacum officinale)

Stems gathered after flowering, dried, manipulated to form cordage and then woven together in one continuous warp/weft structure.

UnFold

Far From Equal
SHORTLISTED

As women we juggle the needs of the home with the desire to do something for ourselves. Searching for a way to express this we chose tea towels, utilitarian textiles embodying multiple layers of anonymous women’s work, part of that endless cycle of caring for others. Working collaboratively, reflecting women’s long history of mutual support, our group of six stitched multiple seams. Labour intensive, functionally strong and essentially hidden, these seams were worked in red to reflect the blood, sweat, and tears of women who have gone before us: ‘Far From Equal’.
experiences as the British Indian woman. The perception of this ‘Indian body’ is explored through both practice and theory.
The artworks reveal Rana-Allen’s personal experience of sexuality, femininity, womanhood, motherhood, by embodying being Indian and British but never English.

Repurposed tea towels. Multiple, different threads.

Stitched, repurposed textiles. Collaborative process by the six of us from concept through to implementation.

Heidi Koenig

Exclamation Mark
SHORTLISTED

After a long depressive time during the lockdowns we faced the last couple of months I felt so relieved being able to go out and meet some friends again and enjoy a bit freer Life! the colorful exclamation mark stands for Hope and Joy!
experiences as the British Indian woman. The perception of this ‘Indian body’ is explored through both practice and theory.
The artworks reveal Rana-Allen’s personal experience of sexuality, femininity, womanhood, motherhood, by embodying being Indian and British but never English.

“Black cotton fabric
plack cotton/polyester batting
polyester and invisible Nylon threads
oilpaintsticks”

Wholecloth free machine stitched, washed and tumble dried for more structure. Painted with oil paint sticks. Cut in form with scissors and patched together by sewing machine.

Lynn Setterington

Living with Loss
SHORTLISTED

This embroidery is made from building materials and was created to raise awareness of the high suicide rate in the construction industry, three times the national average. Of course, given the last eighteen months, the work also resonates with life during lockdown and the loss suffered by many.
experiences as the British Indian woman. The perception of this ‘Indian body’ is explored through both practice and theory.
The artworks reveal Rana-Allen’s personal experience of sexuality, femininity, womanhood, motherhood, by embodying being Indian and British but never English.

Rendering mesh and debris netting as used in the construction industry

Hand stitch

Barbara Rydz

The Decomposition Catalyst
SHORTLISTED

I was inspired by intricacy of human body and mind. I have always found imperfections of human flesh and psyche to be the most interesting, most alluring part of us. My work aims to show the process of transforming what we perceive as defects into something beautiful. Its a tale about interpersonal relationships and their bodily expression. It speaks of violent human nature, the problem of morality and the omnipresent masks. I perceive fashion design as creating a sculptural form composed on the human body. I have translated this specific image of a human being to this artistic visual.
experiences as the British Indian woman. The perception of this ‘Indian body’ is explored through both practice and theory.
The artworks reveal Rana-Allen’s personal experience of sexuality, femininity, womanhood, motherhood, by embodying being Indian and British but never English.

mesh, silicone filling, yarn, knitted fabric

First I sewed the cocoon base and tights. After that wraped mesh around silicone filling an created designs out of yarns on top of it, than I hand stitched the back to create soft forms in different sizes. Than I sew it by hand on the cocoon base and crown and added finishing touches

Meghan Clarke

This Work of Body / This Body of Work (Repetition 7)
SHORTLISTED

In my expanded textile practice I look beyond textiles as a commodity, approaching them as a method for uncovering the narrative material histories that are held in, and around, cloth. By engaging in highly repetitive and durational processes, I explore themes of time, value and labour, measuring my body and its output in relation to the lines, threads, knots and stitches. My slow and meticulous process of undoing and redoing creates intricate tapestries, each one a garbled record of past and present, which I use as tools for experimental forms of storytelling.
experiences as the British Indian woman. The perception of this ‘Indian body’ is explored through both practice and theory.
The artworks reveal Rana-Allen’s personal experience of sexuality, femininity, womanhood, motherhood, by embodying being Indian and British but never English.

This work is made from a section of a second hand curtain which was passed down to me by my parents. It was used for over 20 years, first as a curtain and later a paint & dust cover in the garage – hence the marks and stains. I believe it is a cotton mix, industrially woven and printed.

The work is created entirely from itself by removing threads from the edge and couching them to the centre, repeating the process until the stitching and loose threads connect, a labour of over 600 hours. The work is a sabotage of productive time, with each stitch a tally marking the time occupied.

Sarah-Joy Ford

Honourable Discharge: Archival Folds
SHORTLISTED

This quilted-sculpture pays femmage to Donna Jackson, honourably discharged from the US Army in 1991 under homophobic chapter 15. After which she was a cover girl for lesbian erotica magazine: On Our Backs. The quilt extends her wilful act of dangerous visibility and precarious pleasure. Bound and unfurling, lounging on the floor, portions of the 500x450cm embroidery are visible, others hidden. Revealing and concealing: secrets tucked in folds. Like the archive that inspired it: the quilt is vast, full of feeling and in it’s entirety: always, inevitably unknowable.
experiences as the British Indian woman. The perception of this ‘Indian body’ is explored through both practice and theory.
The artworks reveal Rana-Allen’s personal experience of sexuality, femininity, womanhood, motherhood, by embodying being Indian and British but never English.

Duchess Satin in Shell & White, Bondaweb, Madeira Rayon threads, Madeira Variegated Quilting Thread, Wadding and Poly-Satin backing, Archival ribbon.

The camouflage was created using bondaweb applique. The embroidery design, based on watercolours, was created with ethos software and embroidered on a Brother Industrial embroidery machine. It was quilted in three sections on a handi-quilter, then manipulated and bound with archival ribbon.

Caren Garfen

A Taste of Things to Come
SHORTLISTED

“March 20, 1935
“I noticed a young couple who had seated themselves at the next table. The husband, well-behaved, and in a low tone of voice, placed his order.
A page boy had just placed a cup of tea with a slip of paper before the young man. The young couple read the slip of paper and blushed. They seemed about to rise from their seats.
‘May I take the liberty?’ I said to them, and removed the slip of paper from their table and translated it to my party. ‘We do not serve Jews,’ read the notice.”
Blood and Banquets, A Berlin Social Diary by Bella Fromm, first edition 1942″
experiences as the British Indian woman. The perception of this ‘Indian body’ is explored through both practice and theory.
The artworks reveal Rana-Allen’s personal experience of sexuality, femininity, womanhood, motherhood, by embodying being Indian and British but never English.

Antique porcelain cup & saucer, vintage ashtray, spoon, postcard, fountain pen, coins (all origin Germany), cotton, silk threads

Hand stitch

Enam Gbewonyo

Woven in the Seams - Worn Up, Wound Down I
SHORTLISTED

“Enam’s enchantment with textiles began as a child on a visit to a weaving village in her ancestral home of Eweland, Ghana. Weaving is intrinsic to the Ewe tribe’s way of life. Its processes are heralded as healing and its origins cosmic – bedded in the myth, spiders taught Ewes to weave.

Enam’s current body of work, Nude Me/ Under the Skin, investigates nude hosiery, particularly how this staple of western women’s wardrobe marginalises black women. Tights are reformed, woven, knitted, stretched and expanded into artworks whose fibres invoke new and old stories of the black woman’s experience”

Used tights and cotton thread

This piece is made using a basic plain weave process, which has been manipulated by spacing out the warp yarns to create laddering in between. As used tights are used for the yarn the tights are then stretched and stitched down in areas creating the geometric centre pattern.

Anna Brown

FLORA Canopy 18 - Burning
SHORTLISTED

The bushfires on New Year’s Eve 2019 in Australia were both terrifying and devastating. A wall of flames leaving nothing behind.

Enam’s current body of work, Nude Me/ Under the Skin, investigates nude hosiery, particularly how this staple of western women’s wardrobe marginalises black women. Tights are reformed, woven, knitted, stretched and expanded into artworks whose fibres invoke new and old stories of the black woman’s experience”

Commercially dyed cotton fabric and thread.

“Machine pieced. Machine applique and raw edge reverse applique.
Hand quilted.”

Celine Ducret

The loneliness of the melting glacier
SHORTLISTED

“Celine’s studio practice is led by her knowledge of working with textiles and the haptic. She is a storyteller, developing playful narratives to interrogate the human’s relationship to it’s environment.
Her work is fuelled by her interest in the role of the social engagement, the commodity of time and the build landscape. She questions the human experience, through the devise of textile experimentation and by so, she suggests a utopian vison of the current world.”

Polyester and cotton thread, eco resin, MDF

“Drawn from images of the glacier of the Susten in Switzerland, the lines are a new cartographie of the landscape.
Embroidery made on a domestic sewing machine made on dissolving fabric using polyester and cotton thread. A layer of eco resin is painted on top adding drops of relief”

Matt Siwerski

Standard Issue UK 8
SHORTLISTED

Referring to the military practice of new recruits learning how to build and maintain their issued equipment, “Standard Issue UK 8” is a personal and artistic variation on this. Subversive by means of recruiting a creative mindset and sensitive, complex nature instead of institutional military prospects. Boots are a core adaption in our environment to survive the conditions. The artwork has been made through conceptual vision of CAD and simultaneously proposes alternative base needs while celebrating values which are often mistreated in society. The Artist Army needs you!

Mixed lace, Rayon embroidery thread

“CAD designed, machine and hand sewn prototype in 1:1 scale using a domestic sewing machine.”

Kendall Clarke

An Inclination
SHORTLISTED

This handwoven cloth uses materials and structure to reflect on the idea of perception and its instability. A construction technique inspired by Yoruba textiles is used to create gaps in the textile, which allow light to pass through and create a shadow reflection of the cloth – another version of the original. The diagonal paper floats which hover above the cloth but are anchored to it, suggest angles and bias, while the silk/stainless steel yarn which is the means of construction creates a moiré effect which makes the piece look blurred or out of focus when viewed from a distance.

Silk/stainless steel and ink-painted Japanese Koyari paper

I used Freehand Foundation Piecing and improv curves to create the quarter rings. I freehand cut organic circular shapes and large petals which were added using needle-turn applique. Matchstick quilted on both long-arm machine and by hand using thicker thread.