About Jane Colquhoun
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"In my embroideries I use regular cotton threads - the type you can buy in any haberdashers.
I like the way they are organised in the shop, how the numbers aren’t in order but the colour is meticulously graded in terms of hue and tone.
I stitch on canvas painting with the threads, using a digital image as a template."
I was born in Rustington, Sussex and moved to Swanage, Dorset aged 4. I did an Art Foundation at Shelley Park (Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design) then a BA (Hons) at Roehampton Institute in Art and English and finally my PGCE (Art) at Goldsmiths College. For me textile arts are largely self-taught, with early input from a great aunt and my mother as well as an adult education certificate in creative textiles at Morley College London.
I work on embroideries from my home studio in Swanage and have a permanent exhibition space at the Boilerhouse gallery, Corfe Castle, where I have been a Cooperative member since 2010. In my embroideries I use regular cotton threads-the type you can buy in any haberdashers, I like the way they are organised in the shop, how the numbers aren’t in order but the colour is meticulously graded in terms of hue and tone. I stitch on canvas painting with the threads, using a digital image as a template.
I’m currently interested in how textile or folk artists through various ages and cultures create motifs based on observations of everyday life. Nowadays observations of daily life are framed via devices such as an iphone, which I regularly use to collect images of things I notice everyday. In my home town by the sea this may be a snapshot based on a random pattern formation made by people at leisure in the lansdscape; a rhythm of jumbled patterns and colours along the sea front, or elsewhere figures spending leisure time in the built environment in galleries or museums.
I am interested in how cropping and manipulating digitally enhances a specific human motif or shape within the overall pattern. As I sew I notice with growing fascination not only the similarities and differences of formal elements like colour, tone, pattern, shape, depth, scale, but also distance and the separation between individuals and groups.
I might have several pieces on the go at the same time. The current embroideries are much more about the slow Zenlike process of the embroidery. The creative challenge for me has been to slow down and work in the now, focusing on the individual formal elements, trying not to get impatient and not think overly about the end product.
My work was Highly Commended by the judges of the Black Swan Arts open 2016. I am qualified to teach secondary General Art and Design, but have taught all levels from under 5s to over 70s.