One to watch: Natasha Kerr, textile artist



my work is it's a mixture of a lot of things it's a mixture of texts it's a mixture of creative writing its textiles it's painting it's hand sewing it's applique it's silkscreen printing and I've always maintained that I create fine art panels and they're no different to a painting a lot of people come to me for commissioned pieces of work as well whereby they want to celebrate a life in some sort of way it depends on each project is totally different to the next and everything that people bring to me is very different I can be given Diaries I can be given lots of photographs I can be given film footage I can be given videos I can be given clothing and I often get boxes of things to sift through and talk to the person about so it's a real it's a real labor of love for the person commissioning me because they have to go through the emotions of collecting the things and understanding what they mean to them and then it's a case of editing things down and down and down and down until you get the essence of the person with the things that have been chosen when I'm creating the artwork the first thing that I have to identify is a central image I guess if I'm doing a central image piece everything doesn't have a central image but the images are important and the significance of each piece that's incorporated so apart from the image I suppose the most important thing before even the image is the point of the piece the story the text that's going to go on and the important events that need to be encapsulated within the piece because I need find objects that are going to symbolize some of these things I try not to make it all very straightforward so that when you look at it the whole world understands it I try and create things that are personal that the person is going to be given to or the person it's for knows the underlying message more than everybody understanding it on first glance so the story is super important and probably it's the bit that takes the longest time when I get down to actually creating the artwork side of the pretty bit I silkscreen printing I I do a lot of hand painting I think about colorways very strongly beforehand I think about all those things as well before I start and I do mock-ups of the piece as well sometimes on paper so I can actually get an idea of scale scale is very important so that everything isn't of the same scale and you sort of hone in and out of the work I write a lot of things on the work with a paintbrush in Indian ink and I hand sew everything down I don't use a machine anymore at all so everything is appliquéd on by hand for myself personally I think what gives me satisfaction is in my own work being able to look back in a couple of years time and still think it stands up as a piece of artwork and then I've achieved what I wanted to achieve because standing back when you've just finished something it's finished but I don't know if I actually like it till a couple of years down the line

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