Artist Interview - Catherine Hill

Artist interview between Shannon Skye Robinson and Lois Emma Harkin (Curating Futures Project Coordinator), and Catherine Hill (Curating Futures Artist).


* Warning, mature content- nudity *


Date of Interview: 20th of December 2021

Participants: Shannon Skye Robinson (SSR) and Lois Emma Harkin (LEH) and Catherine Hill (CH)



SSR/LEH: What is your background?


CH: My background is in Mathematics and Computing. After starting a family,

I took a part time position in a Patchwork and Quilting shop. Each day involved working with colour, shape, and pattern in addition to planning and constructing large bed quilts for display.

 

SSR/LEH: How did you get into art/ creativity?

CH. As a child I was surrounded with family who work creatively with cloth and thread, so it was a natural thing for me to be drawn to. Patchwork and quilting involved lots of machine stitching and a sense of manufacturing a throughput of projects. I wanted a slower way of working. After a period of experimentation, my work evolved into smaller artworks of textured, pieced cloth and embroidered surface design. Each of my small pieces now comprises of hours of detailed hand stitching.


Artwork produced by Catherine Hill


 

SSR/LEH: What do you get out of producing work?

CH: Mindfulness. Making is an escape from the noise and stress of everyday life. It’s also a way of recording thoughts and memories in stitch.

Artwork produced by Catherine Hill


 

SSR/LEH: How do you want your work to be perceived by an audience?

CH: I want my work to be seen as art and not just craftwork or embroidery. Stitched work has historically been viewed as a domestic artform. I want my work to be perceived as art in the same way other mediums are such as oil paintings and ceramics.

Artwork produced by Catherine Hill


 

SSR/LEH: Who are your biggest inspirations?

CH: My biggest inspirations are textile artists - Jessie Chorley and Michael Sylvan Robinson.


Artwork produced by Catherine Hill


 

SSR/LEH: What are the main concepts or themes you explore within your work?


CH: Some people write memoirs, I capture my memories in stitch. My work is based around my early life growing up in Lancashire in the 1970’s and often includes Lancashire Dialect poetry. My creative philosophy is to reuse and repurpose where possible. Threads and cloth are either sourced from thrift stores or have been gifted to me. Each year I create a limited collection of eco prints for my art using leaves and flowers from my garden.

 

SSR/LEH: What is the main thing you have learnt through your creative practice?

CH: How to plan and when to stop. Years ago, I would dive into a project not knowing where the piece was going. I’ve since developed my skills and confidence as an artist. Before I take the first stitch, I’ve planned the design (from start to completion), materials involved and have a mental picture of how it will be mounted and displayed.


Artwork produced by Catherine Hill


 

SSR/LEH: Who is your work for? Yourself? A small community? A specific sector of society? Or is it for everyone?

CH: I make work for myself. As an artist, I think I need to listen to my own voice and create

art that pleases me. The art is then shared in exhibitions with the Embroiderers Guild UK, galleries and other organisations.


SSR/LEH: What is the best piece of advice you could give to another artist, or someone just starting out in the creative sector?

CH: Visit exhibitions and galleries. Experience all kinds of art. Look at colour, texture and

shape. Try any technique you can and experiment. Over time you’ll develop and discover your own voice.


SSR/LEH: Why did you decide to join the Curating Futures community?

CH: The philosophies of the Curating Futures community appeal to me. I find that working in a collaborative way provides creative opportunities both for myself and others. It makes me think of my own creative process in a different way and allows me to share with others in a ‘safe and like-minded’ space.

 

You can find Catherine Hill via her Instagram