Angela Brookford


Creative textiles, for me, is a form of direct visual communication. I aim to get a response, connect to the unconscious mind and to the emotions, without the need of further explanation.   

I like the tactile quality of textiles and that you can make an idea concrete. I like visual ideas to evolve over time.

For me, it is not an intellectual exercise as such, more it is to use my instinct and past experience and allow things to emerge.

I am particularly interested in aesthetics and composition. Those interests probably come from drawing, painting and printing, pursued not only in the past but also in the present. I use a variety of media in my textile work and like to experiment with different techniques, but I always feel the need to include stitch.

Most of my ideas start with drawings from an outside reality but get tempered by my own personal world. That mixing of an outside and inside reality, that I get with drawing, is why I rarely use photographs as a starting point. From a drawing, I find out what I am thinking and feeling, and I believe this process helps make the outcome original.

Transformation

The series of pieces I am working on currently for Transformations, deal with my mother’s life, illness and death. I did a lot of drawings of my mother in her last years. It was a way of being with her, since the dementia made it impossible to have a normal conversation.  
                            
I started to work on these drawings during a recent residency. Subsequently, I started to work on a series of ‘fabric books’ using them to experiment with imagery much as you would use a sketch book. I am also now working on a Triptych of specific early events in my mother’s life. This is a journey, the end destination is still not clear.

COVID has made everybody have to think about society’s attitude toward the elderly. Do elderly people, toward the end of their life, have any value? Are they dispensable? Although my mother died well before the pandemic I am using my personal experience to look at the general question brought up by the situation we are all confronting now.

My mother’s death marked the last of that generation in my family, making me now, the elder that is facing the question of my value in society. What is left for me at the last stages of my life? What is my life worth?