KAREN NICOL RDI MA(RCA) FRSA
MIXED MEDIA TEXTILE ARTIST
A VISUAL JOURNEY
Karen Nicol is a London based mixed media and embroidery textile designer and artist working in fashion, interiors and gallery installations.
She has created concepts and designs for embroidered textiles for ready-to- wear and couture fashion, working with many fashion design houses including Schiaparelli, Alexander McQueen, Jasper Conran and Giles Deacon.
Karen has designed and produced interior textiles for clients including the King of Qatar, the Pope, Estee Lauder and Gwyneth Paltrow. Also creating own label collections of home pieces for companies including Anthropologie, Pottery Barn and Designers Guild.
Since 2010 Karen’s large embroidered, painted and sculpted art pieces have been exhibited and sold in galleries and art fairs all over the world with solo shows in London, Paris and New York.
Karen was founder, senior lecturer and visiting professor of the Mixed Media MA course at the Royal College of Art, London. In 2015 Karen was made an RDI (a Royal Designer for Industry). This is an annual award given to 200 designers world- wide, in all fields, from engineering to architecture.
This exhibition explores some of Karen’s creative processes with sketch books of her drawings revealing a ceaselessly enquiring mind. An assortment of quirky relics such as plastic jewellery, millinery trimmings and old buttons have been collected over the years and sit waiting to be re-worked and up-cycled into one of her unique colourful extraordinary works of art.
The Gallery walls are transformed with several of Karen’s large scale, highly textured and much recognised framed birds and animals. Karen loves the freedom to be able to explore three-dimensional pieces. The large animals she embroiders see creatures wearing couture fashion fabric skins. Every piece produced has its own personality, humour and style.
A video recording of Karen using her much treasured old Irish
embroidery sewing machine is fascinating to watch, the thread and machine become one as she creates some of her complex designs.
Karen’s expressive fabric manipulation techniques and inspirational ideas push the boundaries of conventional embellishment to another level.
‘The ‘now’ of fashion is my driving force’
Karen’s book ‘Embellished’ (published by New Vintage 2012) is available for sale.
TALK - 24/7 STITCH - Thursday 12th May 7.00-8.30pm
Karen Nicol, mixed media textile artist, gives a fascinating talk on her career in embroidery, designing for fashion, interiors and galleries - she explores and expands on the amazing traditional vocabulary of embroidery to cover the demands of the many different aspects of her work.