Welcome to eMbroidery, a series of interviews with male embroiderers. This month, James Fox.
Name: James Fox
Location: Lancaster, Lancashire.
Main embroidery medium: Reverse applique with freehand machine embroidery.
Noteworthy projects or pieces: 5th European Quilt-Triennale, travelling to 14 countries throughout Europe 2012-14. Contextile. Portugal. 2012. ‘ Hanging by a thread’. One man show, Sunbury gallery. London 2013.
How did you come to be an embroiderer? I studied textiles at Goldsmiths college. London in the 80’s and the draw of the Bernina was too strong to resist.
What does it mean to you? It means a great deal to me in that I am able to transfer ideas onto cloth and have that great feeling of being lost in the process.
Where do you like to work? I like to work in the dining room but my wife prefers me to work in my workshop, as the house becomes a world of thread ends and small bits of cloth.
How do people respond to you as a male embroiderer? On the whole positively, but I do take a bit of good natured stick down the pub.
Who inspires you? At the moment I am keen on tattoo artists and graffiti. But still have a love of Picasso.
How or where did you learn you learn how to stitch or sew? College.
Are your current images new ones or have you used them before? All done in the last two years.
How has your life shaped or influenced your work? I am from a working class Glasgow background which I spent years escaping but now embrace. This has a strong influence on how I see the world and transfer it to my work.
Do formal concerns, such as perspective and art history, interest you? Yes, very much.
Do you have any secrets in your work you will tell us? In my GANGSTA quilt the circles with spikes in the corner represent tattoos showing the amount of time a Russian gangster has spent in prison.
How do you hope history treats your work? With dry cleaning…
Where can we find you and your work? www.jamesfoxtextileartist.co.uk (or in the dining room, wife permitting).
eMbroidery was created with the support and wisdom of the magnificent Bascom Hogue.
The Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery. Committed to changing the way the world thinks about needlecraft.