On The Brink by Ann Goddard
Ann Goddard was the winner of last year’s prestigious Vlieseline Fine Arts Textile award with her beautiful piece ‘On The Brink’.
We have conducted an exclusive interview with Ann to dive into the inspiration behind this incredible piece of fine art as well as what motivated her to enter the Vlieseline Fine Arts Textile awards.
Have a read of what she had to say below for some top tips for your entry this year as well as some information of what Ann has been keeping herself busy with after winning last year’s award.
Thank you. My piece ‘On the Brink’ is a wall based installation. It consists of 100 small ‘chrysalis’ forms constructed from bark cloth, fastened to sticks with entomology pins, reminiscent of scenes in butterfly farms. The bark cloth has been burnt to reference habitat destruction and 40 shrivelled black forms allude to their potential extinction. The sticks balance on entomology pins.
It was inspired by researching the effects of human activity on nature. Focus is usually on endangered mammals, birds and plants. But after reading that 40% of insect species worldwide are also in danger of becoming extinct, with pollinators such as butterflies especially affected, I decided to focus instead on the often underappreciated and overlooked threat to insects.
It was the opportunity to try to be part of a prestigious international exhibition selected by distinguished judges, plus the possibility of winning a serious prize.
I’ve been working with mixed media for twenty years. Initially, my interest in textiles was sparked by being given a book on quilting which showed ways of raising the surface and creating texture. After several courses experimenting with different aspects of creative embroidery, I developed work combining textiles with other media and using textiles in a fine art context. Although not always obvious, these textile roots continue to be an underlying influence on all my work today.
My work takes the form of mixed media assemblages, constructed wall pieces and small installations comprising multiple units. I combine textile elements and techniques with hard materials such as concrete, wood and found objects. I construct my work, preparing all elements first before assembling them into resolved pieces.
The materials I use are chosen to reference the idea I am exploring at the time. For ‘On the Brink’ I selected Ugandan bark cloth because its production is also under threat from destruction of the habitat where the trees grow. Entomology pins were used to reinforce the notion of potential extinction. The chrysalis forms refer to butterflies and question whether they will survive to maturity.
Not really a tip, but I would stress the importance of submitting high quality images of your work to have the best chance of getting through the first selection of the exhibition application.
Yes, I’m collaborating with artists Jae Maries & Shuna Rendel. We have been talking to galleries about touring the work but the coronavirus situation has put this on hold.
I felt hugely privileged to win the award when so many talented artists had entered. It has boosted my confidence and the prize money has enabled me to buy professional quality photographic equipment to use in my practice which wouldn’t otherwise have been possible.
I decided not to enter this year but will certainly submit work another year.