Tutorial: Rethink

Dark Matter
Oil pastel and white spirit

I had a tutorial with my new supervisor Desmond which was the first tutorial I have had for a long time. I have reached a point where I really need some direction, advice and another persons perspective on what I have been doing over the last 4 or 5 months.

Desmond  suggested that visiting the landscape was restricting my progress and maybe resisting the representational/illustrative approach would free up my work. A way forward may be to stop the landscape dictating my actions and just let the processes and act of making lead the outcomes.

On looking back at my work I can see that my representational approach can appear twee and picturesque rather than capturing the sublime qualities I intended. Desmond thought that the challenge of taking away the horizon line could be a good starting point to look at things differently and to concentrate more on composition, marks, surface and colour.

This would take me into the realms of pure abstraction which, funnily enough was my initial starting point, see links below for first pieces produced a year ago.


I dismissed this work then as not having any meaning behind it but on reflection I like the energy, freedom and spontaneity present in them.

This tutorial has actually made me dissatisfied with the work I have been producing, although I have enjoyed creating. It has made me question whether is it purely decorative? Is this so bad? Being from a textile background I like decorative qualities. Would having a less or completely non representational approach reveal more of my own emotions in the resulting outcomes? Or would they just turn out decorative too?

Desmond found my digital drawings interesting and a useful tool for freeing up my approach. Looking at them I can see that they look more like paintings and the tiny scale and drawing restrictions of the app  naturally results in abstraction.


The results I am happiest with over the last year are the ones on fabric using the dyes, folding and discharge, adding and taking away.



I think working in this way gives me freedom, spontaneity of approach and accidents that can lead to more interesting results. In this respect I feel that I have gone full circle but when I begin on the next set of work I am unsure of the results but I will have all the knowledge and understanding of the last years exploration and research to inspire and inform me.

About Annemarie Tickle

I am a Lecturer in Textiles at Hull School of Art and Design. As a visual artist I am interested in atmospheric conditions and events and how the scale of nature makes mans mark on the landscape look insignificant. I enjoy the act of doing and getting my hands dirty so my practice is intensly process led. I use a wide range of media but am particular interested in dying techniques.
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8 Responses to Tutorial: Rethink

  1. Richard says:

    Wow, that is a lot of heavy stuff, Mathematics is so much easier!

    • Haha, I think I agree Richard!! I have to deliver a paper at a symposium in a couple of weeks so am doing a lot of soul searching and navel gazing to identify exactly what my practice is all about. My head feels like the sky in this painting !!!! xx

  2. Go for it, dive in, spin things on there head and enjoy experimenting.. I like the work above and have enjoyed much of your work, I think the very act of mark making holds meaning wether simple or complex is irrelevant. It can be a shame that should’s and should not’s get in our way sometimes and hinder ‘pure’ artlessness… A good time to ‘feel’ your way forward perhaps.

  3. Anna Bean says:

    You describe your thoughts, ideas and reflections so clearly Annemarie x

    • If only I could talk more eloquently, it taks me hours to compose a post as I edit and rewrite but what comes out of my mouth has only had a few seconds to wizz rounf my brain !!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Horizons are intriguing as the boundary between elements and I think you’ve investigated that in an un-literal way with fascinating “composition, marks, surface and colour”. No way are they twee! Lots of abstract art could be described as decorative – Jackson Pollock lampshade? I do agree that the i-phone drawings are strong but so is much of your other work. Perhaps now is the time to focus on one technique?

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