The exhibition’s five artists have varied approaches to the theme: Dorothy Caldwell’s hand-stitching explores how humans have marked and visualised landscapes from the Arctic to Australia to create maps of land and memory; whilst Freddie Robins uses precision machine-knitting, combining hand-crafted and found objects to examine preoccupations with crime, illness and fear.
Karina Thompson’s high-tech embroideries navigate complex data, from cardiology scans to bones exhumed from a medieval cemetery for lepers, whilst Celia Pym’s interest in process has led her to knit her way round Japan and to rescue discarded garments. Saidhbhín Gibson’s work focuses on man’s interaction with landscape, showcased in stitch-led interventions with natural objects, such as the “repaired” thrush’s nest titled Comfort and Joy. With deliberate ambiguity in their titles, her work poses the question: is it art that makes things better, or nature?
What Do I Need to Do to Make it Ok? is a touring exhibition curated by Liz Cooper, and supported by Arts Council England and the International Textile Research Centre of the University for the Creative Arts.