Carol Naylor

Carol is a contemporary textile artist who specialises in machine embroidery. She creates unique, one off textiles by stitching directly onto the painter's canvas using a variety of rayon, cotton, woollen and metallic threads.

Her stitched textiles range from small intimate pieces to large scale hangings. Carol’s work has been represented in many group and solo exhibitions and she teaches and exhibits in the UK and abroad.

Carol Naylor trained at Goldsmiths School of Art where she gained a BA and Postgraduate Diploma in Textile Art, specialising in embroidery. She also holds the final Diploma from the Institute of Linguists in Spanish.

After a successful career in teaching and lecturing she has been freelance since 1997, developing her own approach to machine embroidery. She is a Fellow of the Society of Designer Craftsmen, and was chairman from 2006 - 2010 as well as co curator for the annual Winter Exhibition at London's Mall galleries from 1999 - 2011.

In 2013 Carol received a silver award from British Craft and Design for excellence in textiles. She has work published in many magazines, books and the press in the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, France, the Netherlands and Portugal, and has written articles on her own work as well as on other textile artists.

She says of her work: Intensive, continual stitching changes the base fabric from a flat surface to one that moves and undulates with its own unique quality. Some pieces include finely stitched details and felted fibres or fragments of other materials to provide contrasts.

I find that this technique gives me a more painterly approach to textile art, with the sewing machine needle providing the marks a paintbrush or pencil would make, and the richly coloured threads offering a wide and exciting palette.

My work is about the exploration of surface and mark making. The surface of the fabric that I stitch onto is manipulated and changed by the techniques I employ, and the surface of the land provides me with visual stimuli that I seek not to emulate, but to investigate.

Qualities of light and colour observed on land and over water and shadows with strongly contrasting shafts of light are explored through these heavily stitched surfaces that undergo subtle changes depending on the onlooker's point of view I look, I draw, I select and I translate.

She says of her work; ”I have a cupboard full of old film cameras; a Brownie Autograph from the early 1900’s, a 1940’s Speed Graphic, old polaroids, plastic Holgas, and 35mm Nikons from the 1970’s. I’ve particularly loved working with a process called wet plate or collodion photography, which is a photographic process that was used before film existed. But whatever the process or the equipment used, I want an image to be a transformation of experience. I interpret and transform the subject to produce a picture that is different from the scene I observe with the naked eye. I have no interest in simply recording what is in front of me. When I shoot, I regularly find myself capturing somewhat random images that inspire me at the time, but have no real sense of context. That comes later when I layer together the different elements of a piece to create a narrative. In the moments that I capture the images it’s more like being a collector than a photographer. It’s in the post- photographic process that the story is told”.