Fiona Pratt b. 1962
I am primarily a fibre artist, creating large scale installations. Graduating from University of Chichester in Fine art with Textiles in 2019, my use of sustainable, biodegradable materials such as hessian, jute and rope derive from the earth, raising awareness of nature’s ongoing renewability. The strength and fragility found in nature remind us of our duty to look after the environment for future generations.
Landscape, gravitational pull, sedimentary layers and the passing of time are central to the concept of my work, inspiring my fibre installations. The land bears witness to time, decay and buried histories. We are part of nature’s unremitting cycle of life, revealing the fleeting encounter human existence has with earth. As sedimentary layers symbolise buried histories and life’s ongoing cycle, so too does fabric;
‘Just as fabric can be seen as a metaphor for a future destiny, it can also take the shape of a life lived and form a potent retainer of memory’ (Sullivan Kruger et al; 2008)
Human connection to fabric, the earth and layers of passing time are connoted in my brocade fabric pieces. As part of the basic structure of weave, my abstracted ‘warps’ derive from traditional loom based tapestry. The stuffed shapes provide a metaphorical reading of body parts. Hearts, kidneys and intestines, but also provide reading of the tissues in fibre.
I enjoy the repetition of wrapping hessian in jute, producing a spontaneous contorted effect. It gives a natural, unfinished, unravelled effect that echoes the imperfections we see in nature. I have enjoyed the way my work has evolved over my last three years at University, experimenting with scale; my work now has a sculptural presence within the gallery space. I hope to continue developing my practise out in the environment, creating conservation art that is in tune with nature highlighting the precious beauty of our natural world.
As well as my large scale work, I enjoy making smaller, three dimensional textile pieces using mixed media of machine stitch, hand stitch, wire and embellishments. These are inspired from photographs of places I have visited.
· ‘Abrasions’ exhibition May 2017, Otter Gallery, University of Chichester
· ‘Half Way’ exhibition, October 2018, Art One University of Chichester
· Degree Show May 2019, University of Chichester
· ‘Semi skimmed’ exhibition, May 2019, University of Chichester
Sullivan Kruger, K., Harrison, A., Young, J.2008. The Fabric of Myth. Warwickshire: ComptonVerney