Maker Project - Thinking through practice

  Research Assistant / Maker

Rachael Singleton

Mixed Media + Textile Artist

“I am as much
interested in
the process and
thinking behind
creativity as the
end product and I
recognise that this
meta-cognition is
a central part of
what motivates me
in my art-making.”

I am a textile and mixed media artist but I have been a maker since a small child. Over the years I have explored many fields such as ceramics, art journalling, landscape watercolours and the more traditional areas of embroidery and textiles. I have found that my love for paper has lured me back time and again, demanding its inclusion in my work.

I am deeply interested in synthesis – the bringing together of ideas and materials to create something new and cohesive. I recognise that having explored so much, I am at my happiest when working with mixed media and layers. I am as much interested in the process and thinking behind creativity as the end product and I recognise that this meta-cognition is a central part of what motivates me in my art making.

The pursuit of an idea, to its outworking and abstraction drives me once resolved, there is an anticlimax of sorts. I have no formal training in the arts, never even taking art at school. However, I have thirst for learning and have taught myself through the wide variety of channels available such as courses, digital media and books. What I treasure the most is being able to discuss the creative process with peers.

My inspiration often comes from the natural landscape and the love of natural surface texture and design. I live in West Yorkshire looking over to the Pennines, and the landscape is both interesting and ever changing. However, I am often drawn to the smaller things around me. I use photographs extensively to build a catalogue of inspiration, to connect ideas and to record the process of making. This process is primarily what I write about on my blog which I have kept for the last five years. Architectural decay and walls, literal and psychological, are occupying my thoughts and work presently. In such a beautiful area of the country it is inevitable that landscape keeps whispering, as it has done all my life…

I enjoy natural fibres, papers, and mark-making. Simple stitch is used to create line for the most part, often developing mono-prints and linking surfaces. Muted tones and limited palettes are a staple, however, I also enjoy vibrancy such as turquoise resting against rusty orange.

More recently, I have been exploiting the wet-strength properties of teabag paper which is present in much of my work and is available as a waste product. I enjoy the use of vintage materials, threads and papers in my work which are often sourced from a weekly secondhand market or family and friends.

I am privileged to lead workshops and attend shows as a demonstrator where I gain a huge sense of pleasure from facilitating others’ creativity and learning. I am a teacher and consultant by profession and continue to work full-time in educational management where I champion the arts wherever possible. These opportunities have greatly diminished over the years and I am thrilled to be part of the Maker Project 2019 which will examine the processes and skills involved in creativity.

Rachael is working collaboratively with Krystyna Pomeroy for the Maker Project.

Using Format