An extract from the non-fiction book: Predators, Survivors, Creativity where I look at the relationship between Tracey Emin and Louise Bourgeois.
”Louise Bourgeois was a French artist who spent much of her artistic working life in New York. Similarities can be drawn with Emin in terms of a difficult upbringing: her father was a tyrannical philanderer who had an affair with her Nanny and English teacher. Her mother died when Bourgeois was very young. Initial conception problems lead her to believe she was infertile, adopting her eldest son before her other boys were conceived. Bourgeois is known for feminist works such as ‘Fillette’ 1998-99 when she suspends a large plaster and latex form of male genitals.
‘Do not abandon Me’ was an exhibition of collaborative works by Bourgeois and Emin. First exhibited at the Carolina Nitsch Gallery in New York then at the Hauser & Wirth Gallery, Old Bond St, London 2011. The collaboration engaged with reoccurring themes in their creative practice: identity, sexuality, fear of loss and abandonment. Bourgeois painted male and female torso profiles on paper, these then went to Emin. She added fantasy drawings of figures and narrative to the images. The final pieces were printed to cloth by a New York firm. This was the last creative project which Bourgeois worked on before she died at the age of ninety-eight in 2010.”
I worked on this Apple Picker Bag several years ago, using Rag Rugging techniques I used reclaimed upholstery fabrics to create this unique form.
Just a quick look at the workshop held for last years Makefest held at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry:
”Alison Little is a North West based Artist who works across the creative spectrum. Often working around the medium of Textiles, the use of reclaimed materials is key within her practice. As a creative professional she has worked on a variety of arts projects including numerous public art commissions: Go Superlambanana’s, Go Penguin and the Horse Parade in Cheltenham. In early 2011 she ran a medium term (6 weeks) Arts Project: Rags Boutique. In this, she secured the funding to run the project which consisted of transforming a disused Retail Unit, the Old Paint Shop (Rapid) in Renshaw Street into an exhibition space and workshop venue. This revolved around the theme of fashion from reclaimed materials and was a great success.
Liverpool based, working throughout the UK and on occasions internationally. Her initial degree was in 3D Design in which she specialized in plastics as a medium. This is evident in her current practice around the use of heat-sealed technologies for re-working discarded plastic bags. Her working methods vary from hand painting, improvisation of printed digital media to tradition craft practice, all to the highest of standards. For Makefest she ran a reclaimed plastic bag mask making workshop using Animals as the core theme. This was an ideal family-based activity, in a prime location: The Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester”
Vision of a Nightmare
This graphic art works was created for the Critter Shed, a grass route zine distributed from the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool. There artists call asked for submissions around the theme of Nightmares.
The outline of a male face has been created, the features of the face have been blurred out, they can no longer be seen. We can identify a square jaw and a matching short cropped hair cut immediately when our eyes glance over the image. The concept of the lobster is introduced in the area where the facial features are missing, the claws extending to the top of the head representing devil horns. Beneath the lobster we can see wrapping layers of newspaper, implying some kind of coast town food take-away. The barely visible headlines shown on the newspapers give accounts of various sex attacks. The grit-like texture worked through the transparencies of the layers adds to the distress of the image.
A true vision of a Nightmare