LIVELY dreamscapes by award-winning textile artist, James Gladwell are on display at the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester this spring. As winner of the 2016 Outside In Award, Gladwell’s prize afforded him the opportunity to mount Dreams, his first solo show. Outside In is a platform for British and international artists who face barriers to participating within the art world owing to health, disability, social circumstance or isolation. Inspired by memories, TV shows and his home in Norfolk, Gladwell’s works meticulously to create playful designs that reflect calm and serenity.
Recently, Gladwell has become increasingly fascinated by his wonderful dreams of mermaids, make-believe birds and fabulous multi-coloured mushrooms which he records as soon as he wakes up. “I used to use a book to draw pictures, now I do it the way my mind tells me. Like at night time, you have a dream and you can put it straight onto cloth. If I get things in my head, I start drawing,” he says.
Gladwell comes from a Romany Gypsy family and was taught as a child to cross-stitch flower motifs by his grandmother, a skill that he has developed further at the Barrington Farm art centre in Norfolk. He has experimented with other stitches but concludes, “I only do one stitch and that’s cross stitch. I can work quicker doing a cross stitch than anything else.”
Gladwell also draws his designs on paper, and then transfers the imagery onto cloth via a screen. As he embroiders, James selects threads in vibrant colours and alternates them for a pleasing effect. In his lively piece, The Mushroom Field tiny satin stitches interpose the pastel-coloured pen, an effect which gives the impression of couched yarn. He explains, “I used ordinary cotton and a gold thread. There are 18 of them metallic threads. There’s one with all different colours it looks really nice. I change the colours. I do one colour then another colour to bring it out. Like one way I do green and then go back with a yellow.”
by Miranda Charalambous
The exhibition, James Gladwell: The Dreams runs from April 8 to 4 June 4, 2017 at the Pallant House Gallery, 9 North Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1TJ
Telephone: +44 (0)1243 774557
Front Page Image: James Gladwell, The Mushroom Field 1, Courtesy of the Pallant House Gallery
Tags: Barrington Farm Art Centre. > dreams > embroidery > exhibition > James Gladwell > Norfolk > Outside In Award > Pallant House > Romany > textile artist > threads > yarn