Carol Dixon was born in Ilford, Essex and has lived in various parts of the county for most of her life. Having learned most of the ‘domestic’ needlecrafts during childhood, she trained originally as a photographer. During the 1980’s she changed direction back to the textiles that had always been such a vital part of her family environment, attaining both parts 1 & 11 of City & Guilds Creative Embroidery with distinction.
During the mid 1980’s to 90’s her work whilst using common materials (in particular silk fabrics and metal threads), was on two very contrasting scales. She worked to commission, both for ecclesiastical and private clients with work to be seen in many Churches, including Altar frontals for both St. Mary and All Saints, Rivenhall and St. Peter’s in the Fields Braintree in Essex, and a full Festal set of Frontal, Stole, Pulpit Fall, Burse and Veil for St. Luke’s Grayshott in Surrey.
At the same time, she developed her own personal work, producing small ‘precious’ pieces, often taking for inspiration the rich colour and pattern of ‘ethnic’ textiles, alongside that of early church architecture. Her work has been exhibited by The Embroiderers’ Guild, nationally, regionally and locally, The Essex Crafts Society, and at ‘Embroidery at Ramster’. Also during this period she gave workshops on Metal Thread Embroidery and lectured on this and her approach to designing for ecclesiastical embroidery.
Following a traumatic period in her family life her work developed on the theme of memory, remembrance and remains, expressing personal feelings in her work. “A sense of loss made her look anew at the influence on those left behind by earlier generations, both on an intimate, personal scale and trying to express a sense of ‘the memory of the makers’ in Medieval and earlier architecture. Her recent work evolved from that in earlier exhibitions exploring further the theme of memories and remains. Whilst previously working on both personal memories and the sense of history in ancient buildings, she moved on to look at what we can know of ancient peoples simply from what they leave behind them ‘the bones’. Whilst the ruling classes leave behind them written records and valuable artefacts the ‘ordinary’ man often had nothing tangible to leave but himself.
In 2010/11 she explored remains of a very different kind – that of Industrial Decay.
For Making a Point Carol made an exploration of colour, experimenting with the interaction of strongly pigmented colours, and the vibrations created by placing them one against the other.
‘Colours appear what they are not according to the ground that surrounds them’ Leonardo da Vinci'
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