Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Artist of my choice - Yvonne Morton

Yvonne Morton has long been a heroine of mine. Indeed it was on first seeing images of her work in the Embroiderers Guild magazine ‘Embroidery’ many, many years ago, that first inspired me to try my hand at an activity I hadn’t attempted since I was a young teenager. I have chosen Yvonne as my third artist  because of her use of the technique of reverse appliqué. Yvonne combines her cutback technique with striking images drawn from religious and mythic symbolism.
Yvonne’s opus is noticeably theme based. I first became acquainted with her work when she was developing her series of embroideries based the theme of ‘Icons, Angels and Fools’, exhibited from 1994 – 1996.

In more recent years her work was based upon her research into African cultural identities, especially that of the Kuba tribes of the Congo. While ill she became worried that her work was becoming “too cozy”. Then she discovered Kuba cloths in an art catalogue, which inspired her to new research and experimentation.

The Kuba people are famous for their intricate cut-pile raffia cloth, known as ‘Kasai’ velvet. The designs echo the patterns on the wood engravings, basket work and scarifications on their bodies.

Yvonne makes her hand made fabric using felt-making processes, and which consists of raphia, silk, flax and muslin with the addition of surface mark making using hand and machine stitch. Patches often reference the protective symbols used in other cultures. Yvonne now prefers a restrained colour palette, loose pattern contrasts with large areas of rest.

Surface Design Journal, Winter, 2008]]
Yvonne was mentored by Constance Howard, of whom she remembers fondly.
Yvonne’s most recent exhibition was based around research conducted at the Foundling Museum in London. She explained that 'given  up' babies were renamed but their admittance was marked by the handing over of a  piece of cloth so that the mother could identify the child if she was able to  reclaim it. Sadly out of some 16,000 babies admitted only 142 were ever reclaimed.  Yvonne’s subsequently went on to exhibit her work “Fragments for a Foundling” in a gallery at West Bay, Dorset. [Source: http://www.marlboroughembroiderers.org/1/post/2013/06/a-foolish-vision-part-3-by-yvonne-morton-june-2013.html]

Trained at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design (now Arts University College) 1977-92        
Tutor and Assessor/Verifier City & Guilds of London Institute 1988 - Present       
Freelance tutor/lecturer in Stitched Textiles 1999-2001        
OPUS Degree Course in Embroidered Textiles

Work in Private and Public Collections, including:
§   Salisbury District Hospital, Wiltshire; 
     Highcliffe Castle Trust, Dorset; 
     Hampshire County Council Museum Collection.  

Selected Publications/Reviews 
     'Byzantine Embroideries by Yvonne Morton' – Ian White, Needlecraft Magazine 1995. 
§     'A Passion for Fabric' – Lynda Burgess, Workbox Magazine 1996 
§     'Gallery of Embroiderers - Yvonne Morton' – Maggie Grey, Editor Embroidery Magazine 1998 
§     'Yvonne Morton: A Dorset/Congo Connection' – Ian Wilson, Surface Design Journal USA 2008 
§     'Wessex Artists: Yvonne Morton' – Fiona Robinson, 'Evolver' 2009 
§     'Yvonne Morton - Fibre Artist’ – Catalogue 2010
Solo Exhibitions 
1990        'Eastern Images' – Salisbury Library Galleries 
1992        Bettles Gallery, Ringwood, Hampshire 
1993        'Icons, Angels and Fools' – Salisbury Library Galleries 1994-96        'Travelling Threads' – Touring exhibition with Hampshire County Council Museums 
1995        Needlecraft Fair, Olympia, – Courtesy of Future Events, Bath 
1996        'Cloths of Light' – Salisbury Library Galleries 
1996        'Shadows of Light' – The Artist's Gallery, Bournemouth 1997        Church House Designs, Congresbury, Bristol 
1999        The Artist's Gallery, Bournemouth 
2000        Bettles Gallery, Ringwood, Hampshire 2002        Church House Designs, Congresbury, Bristol 
2003        Walford Mill Crafts, Wimborne, Dorset 2005        The Slade Centre, Gillingham, Dorset 
2007        Atrium Gallery, Bournemouth University 
2009        Dorset County Hospital 
2010        Walford Mill Crafts, Wimborne, Dorset

Surface Design Journal, Winter, 2008

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