Julie Rignell

Warp, weft, stitch, thread

Monochrome

Find, make

Julie Rignell is a basketmaker and fibre artist. She makes small scale, sculptural, woven forms made from unusual plant fibres which she has grown in her garden or allotment or foraged from her local environment. 

 

Her practice is materials-led, with the properties of plant material in its dynamic “living and dying” state being the start of a dialogue between matter and making. She is drawn to plant fibres which are at the edge of workability and where there is often a tension between exerting control through weaving and allowing the materials natural properties to emerge. Her pieces at their simplest level often have a narrative element, referencing a place or a moment in the gardening year. As a former art therapist and psychotherapist, there is also often an underlying meaning in what she is drawn to create which can reflect personal themes or wider social concerns.

 

Most of the pieces exhibited in the gallery are a combination of coiled and random weave basketry techniques. Coiled basketry is an ancient form of basketry used world wide where plant fibres are bundled and stitched together and is ideally suited for weaker plant material. It is a very slow and meditative basketry technique which allows for an intimate engagement with the properties of the materials being used during the making process. Julie enjoys playing close attention to her materials as she prepares and uses them for weaving with individual variations in leaves or strands  being chosen for subtle colour and textural changes. Some of the works here also incorporate objects found or encountered while working in her garden.

 

Thematically, all works shown incorporate vines and climbers, part of a series entitled “Tenacity”. The range of plants used includes ivy, honeysuckle, willow roots, akebia and meuhlenbekia vine, rush, reed mace and other perennnial plants, all stitched together with linen or hemp twine.

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