FINE ART TEXTILES
Alysn Midgelow-Marsden is an Auckland based artist with a northern European heritage.
Wall based and sculptural forms are based on metals, fibres, textiles and stitch. She follows no specific traditional techniques but is driven by curiosity about the human psyche, about science and about the social stereotypes of textiles and stitch.
It is a practice with an invitation to create pleasurably intimate connections to personal experiences through subconscious and viscerally emotive interactions and is marked visually by a complex, lyrical fluidity.
Recent awards for selected exhibitions include: Mandurah Wearable Art (Australia) for ‘What Lies Beneath’; ‘Wall Brooches II’, (Australia) for ‘Taniwha’; ‘Changing Threads’ Nelson Arts ‘Bernina Award’ for ‘The Space Between VII’.
My artworks include outdoor sculptural works, wearable art and installation in addition to work for walls in domestic and professional settings.
A scientific background, a continuing interest in the natural environment is often combined with a fascination about the traditions of widely differing cultures, times and connections to or shared human existence are core to my practice.
Many works are composed of evocative forms and figures incorporated into surfaces articulated with complex, undulating, knotted and interwoven designs. Themes emerge slowly as the work is viewed through gentle, yet obsessive, mazes exploiting the boundaries of the surfaces and creating subtle combinations often through dense, repeating and interlocking pattern based designs.
Patterns and figures in the works, along with the working of a mostly unconscious human ancestral memory, form a mosaic, swaying in the tides of unseen forces.
My developments and techniques result in a happy invention of form and conceptualization which conspire in the completed works to deliver a contemplative narrative. The pieces are rarely representational, but whatever their form, I am looking for an emotive response from the viewer. Overall, I aim to be at once personal and universal, disconcerting and fascinating.
Alysn working with Mandi Lynn (NZ Creative Photographer of the Year 2017) on Taniwha, Queen of Tides project
I'd rather be on the other end of the camera!
Hilary Bower, textile artist, says:
‘Alysn has a lively and exploratory approach to her art which enables her work to evolve and grow all the time.
This approach has also given her a depth of understanding and a high level of skill in the use and application of materials such as metals with machine stitchery’.
I am an experienced freelance artist in fine art textiles, an author, tutor and gallery director. I was awarded a 2(I) Joint Honours Degree in Marine Biology and Biochemistry from Bangor University (Wales) and a Ph.D. in Biochemical Systematics from Loughborough University (UK). In addition I have professional qualifications in Textiles and Embroidery, Professional Arts Practice and E-commerce. I owned and directed the Beetroot Tree Gallery (UK) until moving to New Zealand in 2012. Until recently I was also the Creative Industries Education Coordinator and curator at the Geoff Wilson Gallery, Whangarei. I now concentrate 100% of my time creating, writing and teaching (at least when I'm not sleeping or walking the dogs and such like).
Recent and Current Work:
1995 – present
Work at Galleries, Art Festivals and Shows in U.K. , N.Z. and Australia, including both solo and group exhibitions.
1995 – present
Speaker, tutor, mentor, writer.
1994 – present
Working to commissions for individual clients. Includes wedding and special occasion clothing, commemorative panels, corporate environments, books etc.
Creative Industry and Education Coordinator at the Geoff Wilson Gallery, NZ. Curation and direction of the gallery and interface with the Visual Arts programmes at Northtec College.
2003 – 2013
Founding member and director of ‘stARTle’ participatory arts organization.
1999 – 2013
Development, direction and management of The Beetroot Tree Gallery for Contemporary Arts, UK.
Recent Major Exhibitions:
'Fabricated Narratives' (Matakana, NZ)
'Changing Threads' (Nelson, NZ)
'Fabricated Narratives' (London, Dublin, Harrogate, UK)
'Changing Threads' (Nelson NZ)
‘Stains and Discards’ (The Festival of Quilts, UK.)
‘Permutations’ (London, Dublin, Harrogate, UK)
‘In Dialogue’ (China)
‘Art Textiles of Aotearoa’ (London, Dublin, Harrogate, UK)
‘Negative Spaces’ (UK and NZ)
‘Absence and Presence’ (UK and NZ)
'Changing Threads' (Nelson, NZ)
‘Restriction and Release’ (UK)
‘Lines in the Land’ (UK)
‘The Continuous Thread of Revelation’ (UK)
Private Client. ‘Chequered Hands’ Metal Cloth Panel in four sections
Private Client. ‘These roads we travel together’. Metal and Metal Cloth Hanging Pair
Private Clients. Wedding Clothes. Silk, embroidery, beads and sequins
Private Client. 'The Crown Jewels Gone Mad
Dance Theatre Commissions:
‘Corporeal eye’ Multi-media installation performance. Festo Engineering and University College, Northampton, U.K.
‘Awaking Aurora’ Sets, costumes and exhibition for Foreign Bodies Dance Theatre Company, U.K.
'Fabricated Narratives' Exhibition Catalogue
'WOW Book 3. Ed. Maggie Grey. Chapter.
‘Art Textiles from Aotearoa’. Exhibition Catalogue
‘Fibre, Stitch, Metal and Mixed Media’
‘this Lustr’ed cloth’ - a fibre artists workbook of metals
‘The Continuous Thread of Revelation’
‘Between the sheets with Angelina – a workbook for fusible fibres’
Project and information articles in ‘Sewing World’, ‘Stitch’, ‘Paper, Cloth, Scissors’, ‘Workbox’, ‘Workshop on the Web’, ‘Classic Stitches’, ‘The Computer Textile Design Group’
Craftsman Magazine ‘Diary of a craftsman’ 12 monthly 2,000-word articles
Finalist 'mandurah wearable arts', Australia
Winner 'Brooches #2 Timeless Textiles Gallery, Newcastle, Australia
Winner Bernina Award for the most innovative use of a sewing machine, Changing Threads, NZ
Winner National Embroidery Championship for Wearable Art, Second Place National Embroidery Championship
Winner National Embroidery Championship for Wearable Art