Artist Feature ://
Posted October 2019
Nikkita Morgan is an Irish mixed media textile artist based in Edinburgh, who has been working as a freelancer since 2015. She predominantly works in her studio using a diverse range of art, design & craft methods: primarily creating artwork for exhibitions nationally.
‘The Four C**TS’ (working-progress), Nikkita Morgan. Hand embroidery on linen. 2019.
Her current studio project focuses on Brexit and questions the impacts it will have on Ireland and the UK. As an Irish citizen from the North, Brexit is a major concern, as this may lead to the re-introduction of a hard border between the North and South, which will not only damage the economy and all the peacebuilding, but it might bring the violence back. These are some of the key questions that continue to inspire and depict her visual response to this subject matter.
For her practice, she uses a range of textile and non-textile materials, processes and techniques that are selected by relevance, through their relationship to her subject matter, their meaning and how it will be symbolic to the message she wants to portray within her work. Materials include fabric, paper, digital projections, hand & machine embroidery, drawing, laser cutting, screen/mono-printing and fabric & digital manipulation: juxtaposing traditional craft with technology, and consequently introducing new ways of thinking about materials and textiles.
Colour, stitch, texture, research, imagery and text are key elements used within the designing and making of her work: analysing and combining historic techniques with contemporary design ideas to create unique textile artworks. She uses needlework to capture intricate stories: emblematically unravelling and re-working aspects of religious, political and cultural issues.
Nikkita makes her artwork for the public, enabling audiences to grasp her version of politics through the medium of textiles.
‘Brexit Respond’, Nikkita Morgan. Hand embroidery, free motion embroidery, stenciling, fabric paint, spray paint, oil bars, pastels, fabric markers, transfer paper, vanishing muslin on white denim fabric. 2019.
Q. How important are your roots in Ireland within your art practice? How have you found exploring this while you are living in Edinburgh?
My roots in Ireland are very important within my practice. I found that from living away, my passion and interest into representing contemporary religious and political issues mainly in the North were heightened. With daily research into the current affairs, I always find the concept for my work leading back my motherland: as this has been a key inspiration within my creative practice, expanding from my initial BA/MA degree research into the Irish conflict.
Since living in Edinburgh, I had continued to research the Irish conflict, up until the outcome of the EU referendum in 2016. After this, I became extremely engrossed in responding to the ongoing chaos and possible impacts Brexit will have on Ireland (North) and Scotland: who both voted to remain within the EU yet are being pushed out by England.
‘Custom's Stop’. Nikkita Morgan. Hand embroidery on poplin fabric. 2019
Q. Tell us about your studio space. How would you best describe it and why is it important for you to have one?
My studio is a place where I work alone daily, researching, developing ideas, experimenting with materials, process and techniques through to the creation of final artworks. The studio walls are full of my work, that gets reorganised every few weeks either when I start a new project or when I get an artist’s block as this helps to inspire new design ideas. Having a studio space is vital to my practice, it contains all my art materials and equipment, and it’s were all my creatively takes place.
Q. What is it like to be an artist?
I absolutely love it, being an artist is the only thing I have ever wanted to be since growing up.
I predominantly work in my studio using a diverse range of art, design & craft methods: primarily creating artwork for exhibitions nationally. I also travel to undergo artist-in-residency programmes to help develop my practice whilst producing new experimental artworks inspired by surrounding environment.
Alongside my practice, I work with different organisations to collectively and independently teach textile and embroidery workshops for school/college students aged 7+, vulnerable adults and community & outreach groups nationally. Teaching and sharing my artistic skills are a key part of my work that I enjoy: meeting and engaging with a wide variety of people and groups with different creative abilities.
‘West Minster’, Nikkita Morgan. Mark-making, print-making, acrylic paint and free motion embroidery on cotton poplin fabric. 2019
Q. Your practice deals with Brexit as a current political issue. Why do you use art to express yourself on political issues? Do you feel it is important?
As an artist, I find it fundamentally important to highlight current political issues. Bringing art into public/gallery spaces to help gage conversations with audience members where they can voice their opinion, which is normally overwritten by politicians who think they speak for everyone.
I use art to approach these often harsh and complicated topics to enable audiences to grasp a different version of politics, making it visually appealing to learn more about these issues.
Q. You have a mixed medium approach to you work, but the use of textiles resonates throughout, how did this begin?
This began when I was at college. I had always loved working with a range of art & design approaches in particular embroidery, drawing, printmaking and photoshop. I was always keen to experiment with and incorporate more than one artform into my textile artwork.
‘FU Boris’, Nikkita Morgan. digital drawing_Ilustrator/photoshop, 2019
Q. Who, what or where inspires you?
I am visually inspired by political murals, due to the scale, texture, layering, imagery and the symbolic meanings behind them; were they symbolise and depict historic and contemporary political issues all over the world. I find murals to be a key political tool: painted on large open canvas, attracting all walks of life, aiding to draw support and to educate others on their story. This resonates with my practice, as I use needlework to capture intricate stories: emblematically unravelling and re-working aspects of religious, political and cultural issues that are exhibited nationally.
As a practicing artist, I find it fundamentally important to continue to research other artists and artforms that influence and inform my practice.
︎ @ nikkita.morgan
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