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Katy Cocklin

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Artwork for Katy Cocklin

Slow stitched 'kanthan' wall hanging

Mixed textile miniatures

Natural fibre & flower paper making process

Handmade natural fibre paper with free motion embroidery detail

How would you describe the work you do and why?: 

My work as a textile artist involves a variety of textile disciplines which I often combine. I create handmade natural fibre 'papers' into which I incorporate both fresh and dried flower petals, leaves, ‘waste’ threads from sewing and any thing else that I think might work within a piece. These can be cut, stitched upon, sewn to make cards and pieces of artwork, and embellished using free motion embroidery techniques and hand stitching. More recently my work has included print-based elements and a journey into using cyanotype and natural dyeing techniques on a variety of fabrics. I also enjoy creating original wall hangings, basing my practice on the work of Kantha stitched quilt pieces, using a variety of fabrics and textiles including my handmade fibre papers and printed fabrics - layering and joining with a free flowing running Kantha stitch, working organically as a piece evolves to produce a textile panel. I usually hang these on found wooden branches and twigs.

Sewing and creating something with my hands is therapeutic and immersive - I'm fascinated by the fibres and fabric itself and particularly with the stories each fabric holds - the origins of textile making, the use of plant based fibres particularly and the journey that any piece of fabric has attached to it. Connecting with and using nature and natural elements within my work is important and I want each piece to tell it's own story and for people to form their own connections with my work - colour, composition, the story within the fabrics and the journey.

For you what does being an artist mean?: 

For me it means bringing to life an idea or concept, being experimental and wanting to share these ideas through textile form. I love teaching workshops and encouraging people to play with textiles and sewing techniques to create something unique. But it is also the process and act of creating and taking the time to connect our thoughts with our hands.

Describe what you call yourself/your practice?: 

I describe myself as a multimedia textile artist and my work expresses that.

Your practice & activities include e.g workshops, teaching: 

I regularly run a variety of textiles workshops from my shared studio including fibre paper making, free motion embroidery, mini mixed media pictures, kantha wall hangings and nature printing.
I work in schools running both workshops and after school clubs.

Alongside my textile artwork I run a creative accessories business where I design and make a range of items that inspire storytelling and creative play. This range has expanded in recent years to include reusables, eco accessories and homewares.

CV & Education, relevant & leading to your artistic practice: 

I have no formal educational background in an art discipline, being entirely self taught with my learning based on continuous experimentation, practice and inspiration that comes with daily life, my interests in nature and storytelling.

I spent 14 years as a family support worker which involved a lot listening to other people's experiences, working alongside adults and children. It taught me a great deal about the importance of connections, background, environment, storytelling and the importance of learning through play. I still bring this to my work, always enjoying inspiring others to create and experience the therapeutic benefits that this can bring to everyone.

Exhibitions in the last 3 years: 

I have never formally exhibited but my work is available for sale from my studio and via markets and events.

Your gallery outlets/stockists: 

Oil & Oak, Hay-On-Wye

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