Knot- A New Collective.
Lisa O’Sullivan is one of our lovely artists and we’ll be posting a series of her work in the coming weeks. We asked her to write about her textiles exhibition in Waterford for us, and what their new art collective, Knot, are getting up to.
The space between art and design is a weird one. I’m currently in my fourth year in NCAD, studying Textile Art and Artefact, a course that while it gives me the freedom to explore both ends of the spectrum, also means I feel consistently torn between the two. Over the last 3 years the two subjects have blurred more and more, so I can never be sure what title to give my work, and consistently question what the hell I’m doing with my life. Luckily, I have a group of people around me going through the exact same confusing thing.
The breadth of our course means the variety of work produced from each individual to another is astounding. Some of us are fashion based, others’ work belongs in a gallery, and some things seem to belong in a medical lab. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s sometimes soul-crushing.
Myself and four of my close friends decided to try make sense of this chaos, and create a collective. We call ourselves ‘knot’. We all work with different subjects, in different materials with different aims. But placing our work together makes a very interesting, erratic display, showing just how broad the apparently ‘fine’ line between art and design can be.
Eimear Kinsella is the trojan of the group, producing ten portraits during the time it would take the rest of us to have a coffee. Her work is grounded in highly realistic watercolour portraits, that serve as a foundation in her exploration of what I would dub ‘biological portraiture’. Eimear grows materials from bacteria to work with, examining the notion of skin and how our relationship with it could change as science evolves.
Probably the most product-based is Pamela Nelson, whose work currently sits where wildlife illustration meets high-end design. She plays with various materials to create graphic animal renderings, before transferring them into designs for fashion accessories and interiors. Her palette encompasses both soft pastels and bold colours that bounce off each other to create vibrant and enamouring pieces. Her work involves giving found objects a new lease of life, as well as creating highly sophisticated pieces from scratch.
Jessica Sheil is the minimalist among us. Her muted coloured palette, which she has spent the past 3 years refining, take their inspiration from her main subject matter; maps. From mapping the intangible, to examining the realities of trying to depict a 3 dimensional world in a 2 dimensional form, her work is always intricately executed to emphasise her concepts.
I myself am enamoured with illustrations and narratives, bright childish colours and paper-cuts. My work has for the past few years revolved around a more somber tone as my mental health bumbled its way into my college life. I’m in the midst of a playful series of mixed media portraits of Princesses, who have been reinvented to be actually worth the admiration of children. The first of which is based around Snow White and displayed in this exhibition.
Michelle McCann creates pieces that retain an ephemeral feel. Her intricate work is very much grounded in exploring processes and continues to change and flicker as the artist explores new notions. Her materials are highly considered, using mixed media to create allusive textures and imagery.
Our first exhibition is taking place this month in Waterford, and you should really try come along.
Take more of a goo:
Words and photography: Lisa O’Sullivan