At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up.
Artistry in Fiber Vol. 1 – Wall Art, is an inspiring collection of textile art from a curated collection of international artists. Edited by Anne Lee and E. Ashley Rooney, it will change the way you think about modern fibre wall art.
Artistry in Fiber Vol. 1 is the first in a magnificent triptych of Fiber Art books; Volume 2 features Sculpture and Volume 3 is Wearable Art. As a study in contemporary textiles as wall art, this book is a real milestone in what the craft represents right now.
It can be a challenge to curate exhibitions featuring such a wide range of artists, but Lee and Rooney make connections between the artists and the themes that arise from the work.
Topics like the exploration of tradition, the value of contemplative practice and the presentation of identity occur in so many works that there is a strong argument for them as the language of textile art practice.
This is a natural conclusion when presented with the body of work, rather than something the curators sought out. And while the method of expressing the themes varies greatly, we can take solace that this language exists – it is a reflection of our higher selves.
Artistry in Fiber features the work of 100 artists from around the world, with a diverse mix of styles and techniques. Some of the artists are ones we’ve featured on here, including Leisa Rich, Jessica Wohl and Kathryn Harmer-Fox. But the selection of artists is broad and it is fascinating.
It is easy to get stuck in a creative rut; you don’t know what you will like until you try different things. This is the true strength of this book. The range of art presented is so varied that you are bound to discover new artists whose work pushes your own creative buttons.
Indeed a quick spin through the book is a great way to assess your own creative responses. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the variety of styles mean that there will be artists whose work leaps out at you.
My first spin through the book was at speed and it was quite the adventure, giving me a chance to check my own tastes and understand what interests me right now. The second time through the book was more considered, taking the time to connect with the artists that excited me and to dive into their worlds more deeply.
Artistry in Fiber is a resource book to return to, and a great collection of large-scale textile artists. Frequent visits to books like this act as a creative barometer for your own persuasions.
If you are an existing textile art practitioner, it can help shake your creativity in new directions. If you are new to the form, you are in great hands; Lee and Rooney have selected work that will inspire you, may challenge you but will definitely encourage you to consider the worth of wall art.