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SHELLEY RHODES, UK: Think Inside the Box

Shelley worked as a graphic designer in the television industry before teaching art and design in secondary schools. After studying C&G Embroidery, she began incorporating stitch in her mixed media work.

She combines paper and fabric with print making, drawing and stitch. Her work is often layered, fragmented and re-assembled, using small elements to make a new whole. She places emphasis on research, observation, drawing, mark-making, sketchbook work and experimentation, encouraging students to find their own visual language and way of working.

She is author of ‘Sketchbook Explorations – for Mixed Media and Textile Artists’.

Think Inside the Box 

As artists we are often told to ‘think outside the box’, meaning to think in an original and creative way, looking at things unconventionally or from a new perspective. In this workshop you will be encouraged to do all that before choosing how to present your collection and work inspired by it.

Many of us are collectors and gatherers of things left behind, the overlooked, the discarded and the mundane. You will be asked to bring along your own personal collection of found objects, which will be used to inspire drawing, mark-making, sketching, expressive gestural writing, 3-D constructions and assemblages, handmade books, scrolls, stitched samples and collages.

These separate elements will be edited, selected and presented inside or outside the box, which may remain whole or be deconstructed.

Fragments of the original collection may be incorporated.

Consideration will be given to repetition, simplification, wrapping, folding and layering. Stitch will enhance work and act as a joining mechanism. Display and presentation may include the use of labels, envelopes, pockets, parcels and packages.

These box assemblages may become works of art in their own right, as well as being a wonderful starting point for further drawings, design and stitch.