Describe your background
I studied Graphic Design at Coventry University (formerly Lanchester Polytechnic) and obtained a 2:1 BA (Hons) Degree and have worked in the arts for most of my working life as a designer, educator, teacher and trainer. I am a qualified lecturer with a Further Education Adult Teaching Certificate and a qualified Montessori teacher.
On leaving university I worked in a graphic design studio in the Chilterns as design studio manager working in advertising, gift wrap design, magazine layout, corporate identity and packaging design. I owned a graphic design agency for many years and taught on the Graphic Design BA (Hons) Degree courses at Coventry University and the Foundation in Art & Design at Milton Keynes College as well as the Textile Degree courses at both institutions. I helped to co-found the Art and Design Foundation Course at Milton Keynes College, was instrumental in helping obtain the BA (Hons) Degree at Milton Keynes College and was the Senior Graphic Design Lecturer. I also taught Business and Professional practice to the design and media degree students.
A couple of my commissions included the Black Tower Wine Bottle and label which has changed very little since my commission and held a large account as designers, photographers and PR consultants to Rothmans attending all Grand Prix throughout the world.
I have been a textile artist for over 40 years and exhibited in Milton Keynes Library in a collaborative exhibition of all the Art and Design Lecturers at Milton Keynes College.
I went on to own a small Montessori Children’s Day Nursery and qualified as a teacher over 30 years ago and travelled the world teaching in some very challenging and poverty-stricken countries. I was Director of Creative Studies in the USA and oversaw a graffiti project assisting young people recovering from substance abuse, also in the USA. I am now a fulltime textile artist working from my studio at home in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. I am also an Education Consultant delivering training in schools, colleges and universities and a part-time Lecturer at Huddersfield University.
I now write, speak and campaign against Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).
Describe your work?
My textile work tells this life journey travelling and working on four continents and all that it encompassed good and bad. I have lived and worked in the USA, Middle East, Africa and Europe and through this exhibition line, shape, texture and colour represent those continents, e.g. desert and sand dunes, heather on the moors, Yorkshire Dales, junctions, crossroads and sometimes dead ends. My work creates a metaphor for roads, train lines, oceans, forests, hills, moors and deserts through language, line, texture, shape and colour all united to make meaningful and thought-provoking pieces of art. The colours in my work represent the various landscapes I have crisscrossed, traversed and passed through – interpret can you wish.
The words and language woven into the work represent some of the challenges I have faced and helps to lead you down the road and encourages the onlooker to feel some of my life journey in the pit of their stomach and recognise that something so traumatic can be turned into something very beautiful. The work embodies recovery, resilience and healing which we can all relate to and empathise with.
Line – with a variety of tools both natural and handmade
Grids – with pen & ink and machine embroidery; words and music scores
Music – movement & dance; dancing around people and issues – perpetually moving
Dance – pleasure & fun but also pussyfooting around someone or something; a victim/perpetrator dance
Fabric – fabric perpetually moves; exploring line, texture, colour, shades, shape, form – placement
Words – exploring language & words – the written word & meaning; interpretation; words dancing on a page
Colour – interpretation; the movement of colour; shades; representation; colour in a variety of countries/continents
Texture – fabrics, beads, buttons, braids, knots, fraying, burning, gathering
Shape – landscape, hills, sand dunes, moors, beaches, oceans, forests
What areas of Textiles inspires you?
The inspiration for my work is travel and journeys. I have travelled the world working in some very challenging places and situations and my own life journey have been a series of ups and downs, junctions and crossroads while traversing domestic abuse and working in child protection. The landscape and natural environment have often been my only place to find solace and peace of mind and I hope through texture, colour, line and shape together with recycling and upcycling this come across in my work.
Who has had the greatest influence on you and your work?
My textile work has been inspired over the years by many individuals including some of my great teachers throughout my artistic journey. Naomi Phelan, Adrian Pinckard and Peter Cosentino all great artists that I have worked with. My creative juices were reignited in a big way by local Yorkshire Textile Artist, Sue Walker as well as the inspirational and very talented Yorkshire Textile Artist, Sally Darlington who was a tutor and mentor to me for several years. Other inspirations have been Jilly Blackwell, Matthew Harris and Jiyoung Chung together with techniques such as Shibori, rust dying, slashing and working with paper.
Describe your method and process?
I work with recycled, upcycled and found resources including lace, doilies, wool, ribbons, fabric and use buttons and beads inherited from my grandmother which personifies my journey through time and memory bringing the past to the present and giving new life to beauty past. Memory is very personal and is customised to the individual through their own life journey, upbringing and social standing which helps make us who we are and creates memories. I use free machine embroidery, hand stitching, beading, quilting and make my own ribbons and braids all of which can be seen in my work exhibited at Atrsmill. I work from my textile studio in my home in Todmorden, West Yorkshire.
What are you showing at the exhibition?
At this exhibition at Artsmill, Hebden Bridge 22nd November to 17th December 2017 I am exhibiting a range of wall hangings and framed pieces that express my journey around the world and love of nature and the environment which has been several decades searching for love and happiness, peace and tranquillity.
What other shows are coming up for you?
I have several artistic opportunities coming up locally in 2018 and would hope to exhibit nationally in the future, so watch this space.
Commissions welcome and if anyone would like to exhibit my work in the future please contact me on:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 07927 307440
You can also follow me on:
Pinterest: Elaine Hook
Artsmill, Hebden Bridge 22nd November to 17th December 2017
Preview on November 19th = 2-4pm