Approved: 27.04.2015

Caren Garfen

Artist, Maker

Approved: 27.04.2015

I employ textiles to create artworks relating to women's issues in the 21st century. Hand drawn, photographic silkscreen printed imagery and painstaking hand stitched text and motifs are used to convey messages on gender politics. My work deals with serious issues; the text adds a layer of humour but thinly veils a stark social statement.

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  • Location: London
  • Contexts: Activism, Arts in health, Exhibition, Funding / Award, Project, Research, Socially Engaged
  • Artforms: Basketry, Installation, Mixed media, Printmaking, Text, Textiles
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News

     

    Biography

    I employ textiles to create artworks relating to women's issues in the 21st century. Hand drawn, photographic silkscreen printed imagery and painstaking hand stitched text and motifs are used to convey messages on gender politics. My work deals with serious issues; the text adds a layer of humour but thinly veils a stark social statement.

    I carry out extensive research, methodically working my way through books, academic papers, government surveys, newspapers and other media, until I have a firm grasp of my subject area. I am interested in how domesticity, work/life balance and body issues affect women, and carry out questionnaires in order to uncover individual stories and experiences.

    The finished artworks are designed to reflect the results of the research and are constructed to echo the concept, for example, ‘Wafer Thin’ (a piece I made in 2012) dealt with dieting and was in the form of a kitchen paper towel roll. When the ten metres of printed and stitched textile was rolled up it appeared plump and healthy, when it was unravelled it became worryingly thin.  In the unravelling, images of foods from the most calorific to those with zero calories were revealed, and hidden at the centre was ‘Stick Thin’ with its listing of eating disorders.

     

     

    CV & Education

    CAREER HISTORY - CREATIVE
    2007-present Artist
    1992-2007 Self-employed craftsperson
    2006 Collaboration/mentorship with Deirdre Nelson, Textile Artist

    EDUCATION
    2002-2007 BA (Hons) Applied Arts, First Class, University of Hertfordshire
    2000-2002 City & Guilds Creative Embroidery, Southgate College, London
     

    EXHIBITIONS

    2018

    10 Mar onwards
    Jane Austen Community Quilt Project, Jane Austen House Museum, Chawton, Hampshire

    6 - 10 Mar
    UDHR Collaborative Quilt Project, Kings ARI Art Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

    21 Jul - 9 Sep
    CTRL/Shift, 62 Group of Textile Artists, Mac Birmingham, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham

    11 - 14 Oct
    Solo Gallery, Knitting & Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, London

    8 - 11 November
    Solo Gallery, Knitting & Stitching Show, Simmonscourt, RDS, Dublin, Ireland

    22 - 25 Nov
    Solo Gallery, Knitting & Stitching Show, Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate, Yorkshire

    2017                                                                                                                        

    Textile Art of Today, Touring Exhibition, Slovak Museum (until 15 Jan)

    Making Space, The Knitting & Stitching Show, Olympia, London (2 - 5 Mar)

    London Eating Disorder Conference, Institute of Education, UCL (22 - 24 Mar)

    Making Space, The Knitting & Stitching Show, Royal Highland Centre, Scotland (27 - 30 Apr)

    Hand & Lock, 250 Years Conference, Bishopsgate Institute, London (13 -16 Jul) 

    International d’Art Miniature, Gallerie Louise-Carrier, Quebec, Canada (18 Jun-3 Sep)

    Desperate Artwives, Feminism in London Conference (FiLiA), Institute of Education, University of London (14-15 Oct)

    2016
    Textile Art of Today, Touring Exhibition, Tatra Gallery, Poprad, Slovakia (Feb-Mar)
    Textile Art of Today, Touring Exhibition, Historical Museum, Bielsko-Biala, Poland (May-Aug) Making Space, Macclesfield Silk Museum, Cheshire, (17 Jun - 03 Sep)
    A Group Gathering, Unit Twelve Gallery, Stafford (30 Jun - 27 Aug)
    Wit of the Stitch, Ruthin Craft Centre, Denbighshire, North Wales (16 Jul - 18 Sep)
    Textile Art of Today, Touring Exhibition, History Museum, Gyor, Hungary (Sep -Oct)             Anne Kelly at The Knitting & Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace (7-11 Oct), Dublin (12-15 Nov) & Harrogate (26-29 Nov)
    Textile Art of Today, Touring Exhibition, Slovak Museum, Uherske Hradiste, Czech Republic (Oct 2016 - Jan 2017)
    World of Threads Festival, Ontario, Canada, (29 Oct - 27 Nov)
    Textile Art of Today, Touring Exhibition, Slovak Museum, Uherske Hradiste, Czech Republic (Oct 2016 - Jan 2017)

    2015
    On My Mother's Knee, Gwynedd Museum & Art Gallery, Bangor, North Wales (17 Jan - 27 Feb)
    People and Process, Salts Mill, Saltaire, West Yorkshire (19 Feb onwards)
    A Group Gathering: Daphne’s Glove, The Weavers Gallery, Ledbury, Herefordshire (29 Sep - 11 Oct)
    62 Group Now, Upfront Gallery, Penrith, Cumbria (17 Mar – 10 May)
    FEAST: pleasure+hunger+ritual, Lexington Art League, Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.A. (22 May – 9 Aug)
    2014
    Solo Gallery Space, Knitting & Stitching Show, Harrogate & London
    Construct, Ruthin Craft Centre, Denbighshire, North Wales
    Selected, Newark Park National Trust Property, Stroud International Textiles, Gloucestershire
    2013
    British Textiles Exhibition, 62@50, SHOWA Women's University, Tokyo, Japan
    On My Mother's Knee, Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, South East Wales
    Cloth and Memory 2, Salts Mill, Saltaire, West Yorkshire
    Featured Artist, The Beetroot Tree, Draycott, Derbyshire
    Internationale d'Art Miniature, Galerie Louise-Carrier, Quebec, Canada
    The Button Project, Macclesfield Silk Museum, The Heritage Centre, Cheshire
    Small Talk, Constance Howard Research Centre, Goldsmiths College, London
    Hand Stitch Perspectives Book Tour, L'Aguille en Fete, Paris
    2012
    Interventions, Platt Hall, Gallery of Costume, Manchester
    Royal Academy of Arts, Summer Exhibition, London
    AA2A Exhibition, Todd Fine Art Studios, University of Hertfordshire
    62@50, Holden Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester
    Drawn to Craft, Bilston Craft Gallery, Wolverhampton
    Package Tour, The Knitting & Stitching Show, Dublin, Harrogate & London
    "Nadelwerke" (Needle Works), Galerie Handwerk, Munich, Germany
    Made - The Design and Craft Fair, One Marylebone, London
    2011
    Celebrity Paws, St James’s, London
    Home Autour du Monde, Paris, France
    Artsdepot Open 2011, Apthorp Gallery, London
    5th International Exhibition of Mini Textile Art, Kherson, Ukraine
    Clerkenwell Design Week, Designer-Maker Market, London
    At a Tangent, Gallery Oldham, Greater Manchester
    Designer Crafts 2011, The Mall Galleries, London
    2010
    Origin 2010, Old Spitalfields Market, London
    The Dartboard for Witches, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth University, Wales
    Bending More Lines, Glasgow & Netherlands
    Quilts 1700-2010, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
    At a Tangent - Textiles by The 62 Group, Gallery Oldham, Oldham
    Designer Crafts 2011, The Mall Galleries, London
    2009
    Art of the Stitch, The Knitting & Stitching Show, Budapest, Harrogate & London
    Bending the Line, Hub, Sleaford, Lincolnshire
    AA2A Exhibition, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
    Designer Crafts, Mall Galleries, London
    2008
    Art of the Stitch, Deutsches Textilmuseum, Krefeld, Germany & Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
    Embroiderers’ Guild Scholar, The Knitting & Stitching Show, Birmingham, Dublin, Harrogate & London
    One Year On at New Designers, Business Design Centre, London
    Graduate Showcase, Stitch & Craft 2008, Olympia, London
    Designer Crafts, The Mall Galleries, London
    2007
    Embroiderers’ Guild Graduate Showcase, The Knitting & Stitching Show, Birmingham, Harrogate, Dublin & London
    New Designers Selection, the.gallery@oxo, London
    New Designers, Business Design Centre, London
    Degree Exhibition, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

    AWARD/SELECTIONS

    2017

    The Textile Society Professional Development Award

    International d’Art Miniature, Quebec, Canada - Selected

    2016
    Transgressing Traditions exhibition, Surface Design Association, New York, USA - Selected
    World of Threads Festival, Ontario, Canada - Selected

    2015
    Permanent collection, Salts Mill, Saltaire - 'Reel Lives'                                                         Textile art of Today, Touring Exhibition, Eastern Europe - Selected

    2014
    Artist-in-Residence & Mentor, University of Hertfordshire
    Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, Selected (unhung)
    Solo Gallery Space, Knitting & Stitching Show, Invited
    Visiting Artist, Jane Austen House Museum in conjunction with University of the Creative Arts, Farnham and Royal School of Needlework, Invited
    2013
    Cloth and Memory 2 exhibition, Salts Mill, Saltaire, Selected
    2012
    Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition – Selected
    Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition - Work of the Week
    2011
    AA2A Artists Access to Art Colleges Scheme 2011/12, Selected
    Celebrity Paws, Charity Commission.
    Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition – Shortlisted
    2010
    Contemporary quilt commission for Victoria & Albert museum for ‘Quilts 1700-2010’ exhibition
    2009
    Crafts Council National Register of Makers.
    Member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen (MSDC)
    Design for cover of exhibition catalogue, An Embroiderer’s Eye: Diana Springall collection, Commission
    2008
    Member of The 62 Group of Textile Artists, Selected
    AA2A Artists Access to Art Colleges 2008/09, Selected
    New Designers - One Year On Award
    Embroiderers’ Guild Scholarship Award
    Society of Designer Craftsmen - Distinction Licentiateship
    Wallpaper Journal - Top 100 Graduate
    2007
    New Designers Award - (BDC), Shortlisted
    Embroiderers’ Guild Graduate Showcase, Selected
    University of Hertfordshire - Prize for best overall performance at assessment

    PUBLICATIONS

    2018

    British Patchwork & Quilting, The Jane Austen Community Quilt - An Update, Lucy Bailey (Jan, Issue 288, p.40-43) 

    2017

    One Year On Alumni Interviews, newdesigners.com, blogspot (24 Jan)                                      London Eating Disorder Conference 2017, 13th International Handbook (22-24 Mar, p.64)     Popular Patchwork, Feature: 'One of a Kind', (Aug issue, p.60-63)

    2016

    Textile Nature, Anne Kelly, Batsford Books, (Aug, pp.104-105)
    Embroidery magazine, News, (May/June, p.13)
    Contemporary Stitch Volume 2, e-book, TextileArtist.org Resources, (Apr 2016)
    #1 New Directions, Exhibooks Art Book Publisher, (Apr 66-69)
    Workbox magazine, 'Writing Textile Nature', Anne Kelly, image, (Apr p.31)
    Art that inspires Caren Garfen, textileart.org, (5 Feb)
    2015
    House of Coco, Caren Garfen, online interview (23 Feb)
    House of Coco magazine, ‘Coco Loves’ (Spring, p.28)
    Embroidery magazine, ‘The Accidental Curator’, (images) (Jan/Feb, pp.48 & 49)
    Textile Art of Today, 2015-2017, catalogue                                                               Installation & Site-Specific #2, The State of Art, Series 2, Bare Hill Publishing, book
    2014
    Embroidery magazine, Exhibition Review, Cloth and Memory 2 (Jan/Feb, p.56)
    Embroidery magazine, Exhibition Review, On My Mother's Knee (Mar/Apr, p.54)
    Construct, Ruthin Publication, catalogue (Apr, pp.10-15 & 21)
    Stroud News & Journal, ‘Artist stitches a story of heiress’s suffering’ (23 Apr, p.46)
    Embroidery magazine, Preview, Selected (May/Jun, p.15)
    Wales Arts Review, 'Construct' by Adam Somerset (Jun, Vol.3, Issue 11)
    ‘The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge - Caren Garfen’, Jamie Chalmers, mr x stitch, on-line (21 Aug)
     'Textile Art Around The World', Ellen Bakker, Textile-link, book (Oct)
    2013
    Embroidery magazine, Preview, Cloth & Memory 2 (Jul/Aug, p.8)
    Cloth & Memory 2, www.clothandmemory.com
    Cloth & Memory 2, edited by Prof Lesley Millar, Salts Estates Ltd, book (Aug pp.50-53)
    Cloth & Memory 2, BBC TV Look North, Cathy Killick (15 Aug)
    ‘A gripping yarn of Salts Mill’s girl’, Emma Clayton, Telegraph & Argus (15 Aug, pp.22-23)
    Text in Textile Art, Sara Impey, Anova Batford, book (Aug, pp.42,50,56,94,102)
    'Handcraft of the World', Quilts Japan (Oct/Nov, Issue 155, pp.60-61)
    Stitch magazine, ‘From Sketch to Stitch - Caren Garfen’ (Oct/Nov, Issue 85, pp.30-33)
    On My Mother's Knee, catalogue (Nov, pp.33-36)
    2012
    Radical Thread, Professor Lesley Millar MBE (ed.), Direct Design Books (Jan, pp.48-49)
    Embroidery magazine, ‘Learning Curve’ (Jul/Aug, pp.42-45)
    Hand Stitch Perspectives, by Alice Kettle & Jane McKeating, Bloomsbury Publishing, book (pp.126-128)
    Textiles, The Art of Mankind, Mary Schoeser, Thames & Hudson, image (Nov, p.345)
    Inspired London: A Guide to Handmade in London, Mary McDermott, book (Nov, p.40)
    ‘An interview with Caren Garfen’, www.textileartist.org (Dec)
    2011
    Celebrity Paws - The Exhibition, Cats Protection catalogue (Dec, p.5)
    Handmade in Britain, by Piyush Suri, 'Caren Garfen - Self-proclaimed perfectionist', Vivays Publishing,
    book (Oct, pp.124-125)
    Diana Springall, A Brave Eye, by June Hill, A&C Black, book (Oct, p.135)
    'Women, wit and daily life: an interview w/ Caren Garfen', Kitty Kilian, http://kittykilian.nl/carengarfen (Aug)
    'International Exhibition of Mini Textile Art', exhibition cd (June, p.25)
    'Designer Crafts at The Mall', Society of Designer Craftsmen exhibition catalogue (Jan, p.58)
    2010
    Indoor, Chinese lifestyle & design magazine, ‘Caren Garfen – Simple and Quiet is the Greatest
    Happiness’ by Jian Xiao (Nov, pp.056-059)
    Embroidery magazine, 'The Hand Stitcher's Tale' by Susie Johns (Vol.61, Sep/Oct, pp.38-43)
    'Made not Manufactured', Origin exhibition catalogue (Sep, p.21)
    'A Dartboard for Witches' exhibition catalogue (July, p.1 & p.6)
    'Time and Space', AA2A Digital Publication, www.aa2a.org (May, pp.38-39)
    Crafts magazine, Review, Avoiding the pitfalls of patchwork by Mary Schoeser (No.224, May/Jun, p.58)
    Quilts 1700-2010 exhibition at the V&A, www.realhomesmagazine.co.uk (31 Mar)
    YouTube-vamuseum: Caren Garfen discusses: How many times do I have to repeat myself (Mar)
    Financial Times, House & Home, Design, 'The riches of stitches' by Nicole Swengley (13 Mar, p.6)
    Quilts 1700-2010 - Hidden Histories, Untold Stories, ed. Sue Prichard, V&A Publication, book, (p.196)
    Crafts magazine, Rags and Riches by Sue Prichard (No.223, Mar/Apr, p.50)
    Telegraph magazine, Cover Stories by Naomi West (27 February, p.47)
    Sewing - Inspiring People: Caren Garfen by Ali Binns, www.coatscrafts.co.uk (Feb)
    Quilts 1700-2010, V&A Blog, A Room of One's Own by Sue Prichard, www.vam.ac.uk (Feb)
    Contact, Embroiderers' Guild magazine, 'Quilts Show at V&A' (Issue 24, Spring, p.3)
    62 Group Newsletter, 'How many times do I have to repeat myself (Jan, Issue No.21, pp.16-17)
    2009
    Embroidery magazine, 'Bending the Line', Exhibition Review (Vol.60, Nov/Dec, p.57)
    Crafts mag, 'Breaking not bending - the limits of art', Bending the Line Review (No.220, Sept/Oct, p.58)
    Bending the Line, 62 Group exhibition catalogue (p.18)
    Sewing World magazine, Boxing Clever and the Art of the Domestic (May issue, pp.16-19)
    An Embroiderer's Eye: the Diana Springall collection, Diana Springall and Dr Jessica Hemmings, Silk
    Heritage Trust (book: spine, front & back cover & p.32)
    2008
    Signs and Symbols: Communicating with Pattern, M Hampshire & K Stephenson, RotoVision, book (p.115)
    Surface Design Journal, 'Stitching Statements: Caren Garfen, Andrea Dezso & Orly Cogan' by Dr Jessica Hemmings (Fall, Vol.33, No.1, pp.20-25)
    Embroidery magazine, ‘Embroiderers’ Guild Scholars 2008’ (Vol. 59, Sept/Oct, pp.28-29)
    Design Week, cover article ‘Needle point - Caren Garfen on Gender Roles' (17th Jul, Vol.23/No.29, p.13)
    Art of the Stitch catalogue (p.18)
    Stitch magazine, ‘It’s Show Time!’ (No.51, Feb/Mar, p.16)
    British Satellite News, www.bsn.org.uk, recorded interview, ‘British Design Crafts live on in London
    Gallery’ (24th Jan)
    Wallpaper magazine, Graduate Directory (No.106, Jan, p.97)
    2007 Financial Times, House & Home - Design (Dec 8/9, p.11)
    2006 Embroidery magazine (Vol.57, Sep/Oct, pp.30-32)

    MEMBERSHIPS

    2017 -     The Textile Society                                                                                                   2008 -      The 62 Group of Textile Artists
    2015-16  Surface Design Association
    2007-10  Society of Designer Craftsmen
    2008-09  Design-Nation
    2008-09  The London Printworks Trust, Brixton
    2007-09  The Embroiderers’ Guild