DREAMING IN STITCHby Niamh McCooey
Winner of last year’s Outside In award, UK-based textile artist James Gladwell is currently exhibiting his solo show of stitched art at the Pallant House Gallery in West Sussex. Titled The Dreams, this show is the result of James winning the coveted prize and exhibits a minimalist yet colourful collection of embroidery works, each depicting abstracted scenes taken from James’s own dreams.
Originally taught to sew by his grandmother, James first began working with textiles as a means of decoration, cross-stitching flower designs onto placemats at home. Now he works in the dedicated art studio at Barrington Farm in Norfolk, an independent day centre for adults with learning difficulties. Supporting over 40 artists there at a time, Barrington Farm’s studio is a wonderful resource for artists who often feel marginalised, providing a great resource for those who want to develop their artistic voices.
James was selected as an Outside In award winner when his work was exhibited as a part of the touring exhibition Radical Craft: Alternative Ways of Making, now on show at the Barony Centre in West Kilbride. The prize is highly coveted, and as part of Pallant House forms a platform for artists who feel that they face barriers to the outside world due to health problems, disability, social circumstance or isolation. The Dreams offers up a view from the outside into James’s individual world – one that continues to clarify its voice through stitch.