Interview with Ali Ferguson , part 1.

Ali Ferguson – Edge Interview

What are you currently working on?……

At the moment I’m working on a series called “To The Creel” where I’m looking at the lives of the men and women in the East Lothian fishing communities of Fisherrow in Musselburgh and Cockenzie. This is following on from the three pieces that I made for the Edge exhibition  “between myth & l(edge)nd” where I was inspired by the legend of “Half Hung Maggie” the Fisherrow fishwife.

I am still at the research stage. For me that means speaking to some of the fisher folk families and gathering their stories. I have no idea where that will lead me at this stage but that’s part of the excitement!

To The Creel

   “To the Creel – Dear Wife”

The piece of work you are most proud of…….

I’m not sure if “ most proud” describes it but “Women’s Lives” remains very special to me. This is a series of drawer shaped wall panels, exploring my experiences as a wife and a mother that I made as part of my City & Guilds several years ago.

Why drawers? Because things get thrown into them, we don’t always know what is in there and it can be many years before we actually go through them and see what has accumulated when we have been looking the other way.

These pieces remain special to me because I can look back and see that this was where I first started to find my own direction in my textile art.  One of the series “The Sideboard Drawer” is published in the book “Textiles – Art Of Mankind” by Mary Schoeser so I am very proud of that.

My own favourite is the last drawer of the series – “The Underwear Drawer”. The Underwear drawer is the guardian of secrets & treasures – the life experiences that shape us into who we are. It stores memories of our transitions in life – growing up, leaving home, getting married, having babies, divorce, re-marriage. It exposes our vulnerabilities. The tissue paper underskirt is torn & mended several times over as we get hurt and mend. Some of these mends are discreet and some are more visible but they all add to our strength and our stories and help make us into who we are.

The Underwear Drawer

“The Underwear Drawer”

One piece of advice to an aspiring textile artist. ……

Do what pleases you and not what you think other people will like!

….and Part 2 to follow.


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