Artist, embroiderer & collector of stories

 

Textile Work & Influences

I’m a bit of a home bird. My home and my family are the most important things in my world. Since I became a mother at the age of 23, my home became my kingdom. Over the subsequent 34 years I have mostly worked from home. It’s no surprise then that this is also where my passion lies with my artwork. If I were a scientist or a traveller then I’m sure my work would be very different, I’d have different stories to tell, but I’m not.

I therefore draw my inspiration from the every-day. Every-day people and every-day things. I’m endlessly fascinated by people and their stories, particularly their reflections and memories of ordinary home and working lives.

My creativity is sparked by these little snippets of daily life. Something heard in conversation perhaps, a random observation or a well worn ‘treasure’ that comes into my hands. I’m a thinker, I lie awake at 3am thinking and wondering about things and I like to follow these ‘threads of thought’ to see where they will take me.

Telling stories of everyday lives through stitch
Telling stories of imagined lives from the text of old letters

I love words and text and they feature strongly in my work– often in the form of handwriting taken from old letters and postcards or snippets of conversation – recording words exactly as they are spoken. The words are meticulously hand stitched – a slow and thoughtful process that leaves a permanent mark of something that may have previously been dismissed as insignificant and been long forgotten.

Capturing emotions felt at the moment that pen touches paper

Wherever possible I use discarded materials – often old pieces of clothing or domestic textiles. I believe that materials previously used, washed and worn carry their own stories. I love the thought that an old piece of clothing is implanted with stories of the wearer or that a piece of vintage table linen holds the secrets of a household.

I layer and patch these ‘past fragments’ together, combining them with hand stitch – offering a glimpse into lives all but forgotten or overlooked. This inevitably becomes a slow, organic and thoughtful process – there’s something so special and personal about leaving your mark with needle and thread. You can find out more about the stories behind my textile work on my blog

I am a member of Prism and edge – textile artists Scotland.

I also have two fabulous photographer friends Michael Graham and Carole Fitzgerald of Lazy Sunday. I wouldn’t have such beautiful images on my website without them.

Period Living article about Ali FergusonFind out more:

Cloth Work

Wood Work

Workshops

Short CV

Press

Read more about my work and influences at Textile Artist.org

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