My second visit to document the work of a crafts person takes me to Denmark Hill in South East London and down a rather unassuming alley next to a pub. Behind the gates, past the landlords mass pile of junk and up the stairs of an old and dilapidated warehouse, lies the studio of textile artist Michelle House. Her work combines striking bold and colourful shapes overlaid with abstract photographic images. With careful planning, meticulous mathematical precision and skill that is only achieved from years of practice, she pieces each intricate part of her designs together as screen prints. She creates them all by hand, no mechanical clamps or modern screen printing benches. Each piece is unique. The prints are then either stretched over a frame or the edges are hand stitched to create a wall hanging.
Michelle studied at Goldsmiths College before starting on a full time career as an artist. She has exhibited all over the world, at numerous shows including Collect at the Saatchi Gallery.
I spent the day with Michelle as she was starting to prepare and print three new pieces for an up coming show. Her work can take weeks to complete, depending on the size and complexity. So I will have to return to see how these pieces progress.
One of the reasons I started this project was because of my own experiences at art college and how I had dabbled with all manors of process and techniques for creating art. Observing Michelle as she prepared her canvas and built her designs up, I was taken back to my college days remembering that satisfying feeling as an idea slowly emerged into a fully realised piece of art, very loosely speaking when referring to my college attempts!
I feel very lucky to have been able to gain an insight into how Michelle creates her work. Below are a few images from the day.