FMP Artist Research – Paddy Hartley

Paddy Hartley is a textiles artist, with the subjects of his artwork being things that aren’t usually or conventionally explored through textiles. The ongoing theme is the modification and alteration of the human body, either by choice or chance, such as the use of steroids with body builders, plastic surgery and/or war related injuries. His medium has been varied and he has worked with a range of things including, but not limited to, installation art, assembled objects, ceramics, digital embroidery and fashion, with the last two being of most interest to me. Paddy’s work has been shown at The Museum of Arts and Design New York, The Victoria & Albert Museum and the Science Museum in London.

His signature designs that are usually on display are the range of Face Corsets that he has produced, but I am not going to include or focus on these as they do not relate to my project and the reasons behind why I am looking at him for inspiration anyway. Paddy has discussed that “embroidery was not originally, his ‘go-to’ discipline”, and how he feels categorisation of his work is “detrimental”.

TextileArtist.org have conducted an interview with the artist himself and these answers have really informed me of things about him and how to move forward with this information for my FMP, and I am going to discuss this now.

What initially drew Paddy to textile design was the “appropriateness” of any material, fabric and process, and how using fabric and textile techniques was the only process suitable enough for telling the stories of WW1 servicemen and their injuries, which he has done on some of the pieces I have featured above. Paddy also used digital embroidery, lazertran digital fabric printing and branding for his designs and I may use this in my own way by having a go at using the embroidery machines at college, with the help of technicians, to compare that to free machine embroidery. He always tries to link the concept behind the pieces with the processes and materials to make everything he produces as realistic and hard hitting as possible, which I think he definitely achieves because you can see the garments he makes but you want to read further into the scriptures on them because they do truly captivate you.

Project Facade is what I am most interested in, and is what is partly featured in the photos I have selected. Paddy researched the stories of facial injuries of soldiers during WW1 for this project, and began designing and making work for exhibitions heavily influenced by all of this. It is this profound and meaningful topic that inspires me – along with the embroidery – because it is such a bold topic choice and is very powerful and that is what I want from my work and what is already pretty similar because both topics are important and stand out.

I also want to take the embroidery forward by trying more on the domestic sewing machine as well as seeing how it also looks on the same or similar materials after using the embroidery machine with the technicians.

Below are my references for this research:

Toni ♥

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