At the preview event of Radical Craft: Alternative Ways of Making on Friday 11 March, artist and selector Marie-Rose Lortet chose James Gladwell as the Outside In Award Winner for 2016. As the Award Winner, James will receive a solo show at Pallant House Gallery at a later date.
James Gladwell’s ‘Foreign Birds’ was created for an exhibition called ‘Inspired by Birds’ in 2014. For the exhibition, James drew a selection of his favourite birds in fabric pen, before stitching over the drawings with colourful cotton threads. As well as penguins, a chicken, a peacock and an eagle, the work features a small black crow that James added to hide a small tear in the material.
James’ family were Romany Gypsies, and he has been on the road since he was nine years old, all around Essex and London. He was taught how to stitch by his Grandma, and his drawings and needlework are inspired by his dreams. He has been creating work at Barrington Farm for 32 years. Barrington Farm is a unique independent day services centre for adults with learning difficulties based at Walcott on the North Norfolk coast.
Marie-Rose said of her selection: “I would like to thank our hosts in the inspiring city of Chichester, and I am grateful to be the judge for the selection of an artist who will receive a solo show. The decision has been very difficult. I chose James Gladwell because of my sensitivity to, and my knowledge of threads. In ‘Foreign Birds’ I see the air in between, and it feels as if you are gliding over the world. I believe the artist searches for serenity and calm through his work.”
About Marie-Rose Lortet
Marie-Rose is often associated with the field of outsider art, and her signature lace objects and architectural constructions have been exhibited widely across Europe and are in the Collection de L’Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland, and were shown at the Outsider Art Fair in New York for the first time this year. An invited Radical Craft artist, Marie-Rose also has work in the exhibition. She uses yarn to tell stories based on events, encounters and impressions. She doesn’t make preparatory drawings, instead, she allows the work to spontaneously come into being, sometimes over a period of several months. She says of her work: “Knitting lets the mind and the imagination take the time to travel and create pictures. My yarn is my palette; I combine colours like a painter.”
Radical Craft: Alternative Ways of Making features the work of 34 international and British artists who express their creativity unbound by taught conventions. Organised in collaboration with Craftspace, and co-curated by Laura Hamilton, the exhibition showcases artworks by historically renowned artists associated with outsider art as well as contemporary artists who see themselves as facing barriers to the art world for reasons including health, disability, social circumstance or isolation. Click here for more information on the exhibition.