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Exploring The Vivid Brilliance of Textile Art With Louise Gregg

Updated: Mar 17, 2023

Textile artist Louise Gregg with her textile installations
Textile Artist Louise Gregg

Since the inception of society, textile work has had a significant impact on the lives of women all over the world. The skill of embroidery has been passed down from generations of women throughout the world, albeit, it is sometimes classified as a mark of social status in some regions. The Textile Art Movement of the 1960s and 1970s encouraged the development of textile art techniques while the fashion industry witnessed a transition in the early 20th century. While inheriting the skill set of textile work is still prevalent in many cultures today, one such artist was motivated by the time-honoured approach to pursue the technique of contemporary textile art.

Louise Gregg learned how to work with textiles from her mother when she was young, and this gave her the inspiration to express herself through clothing design. Influenced by the fashion industry during her formative years, she navigated and experimented with different styles as an aspiring fashion designer. Her creativity took shifted when she encountered the works of erstwhile famous French designer, Claude Montana whose designs complimented body figures and led to visually appealing silhouettes. While it may have inspired her relatively, on the contrary, Louise was motivated to create installation and sculptural pieces through the juxtaposition of textiles.

The use of sustainable materials in the development of her works was crucial to her as she developed her newfound career in textile art. Textile materials from daily use or found objects such as plastic and newspapers became her primary mediums. Louise prioritised the significance of producing expendable works whether they were operational pieces or artworks by researching creative methods and paradigms in the field that ensured that her works were sustainable.

A textile and wood sculpture by Louise Gregg
Coiled Forms, Found Objects, Newspaper and Jute, 2011

Nonetheless, the artist's ecologically friendly works compliment her skill set because they are flamboyantly sculpted with appealing textures and variegated patterns that blend with her consistent polychromatic tones. As opposed to many visual art forms that are not open to the concept of sensory experiences, Louise enjoys the opportunities that arise with the creation of textile art. From rigidity to flexibility, the artist explores the use of various materials such as metal, plastic and clay that marry various textile materials to showcase contradictory textures.

The artist continuously investigates the tufting technique, which contributes to the appealing soft textures of her work. She is engrossed in the world of exploration. Her Woolgather series, which has appropriately blended her dazzling tones in sync with one another and offers viewers sensory sensations, is a prime example of this. Her artwork is not only smooth to the touch, but it also has beautiful colour and texture that captivates visitors and compels them to interact with it.

Tufted wool sculpture on board by Louise Gregg
Woolgather-B, Tufted Wool on Board, 2021

While her works appear to be extremely vibrant, Louise creates a palette of hues to corroborate the existence of each pattern so it does not conflict with each other.

She calls the infusion of colours a powerful element in her work as she explains her love for the palette and how she finds it challenging to be unable to incorporate all tones. Inspired by how landscapes comprise contrasting colours, Louise loves to create a fusion of incongruous colours that in addition to her skillset leads to the creation of a visually appealing work.

“I wear colour, I live colour, I see colour in the landscape, I see colours as objects and forms… Colours are a big part of my life!” - Louise Gregg

colourful wool art installation by Louise Gregg
Crocheted Landscape: Banganali, Site Specific Wool Installation, 2008

The collaboration of variant colours also plays a primary role through their symbolism in her works. Each shade is aimed at evoking a memory or a range of emotions that are not necessarily always directed towards the viewer, but rather encompass her feelings. Her works give a nod to pop art and the comprehension of bright colours educes positive feelings. Additionally, the works act as representatives of her mind and soul that connect with her audience and aesthetically narrate stories of her journey. The expanses of various subjects in brightly woven designs in her installation pieces allow visitors to be a part of the scene, transporting them to a fantasy, which adds to these sensations.

Keeping in mind her vision for sustainable art practices that will take precedence, the artist aims to experiment with different textile creation techniques, styles, materials and fabrics that compliment her sculptures and colours. Although textile art is not given enough credit in the art world, artists like Louise disrupt the established quo by using the medium in three-dimensional forms, which aptly entices her viewers to embrace it.


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