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Home > News > Artist Philip Colbert and the RSN go POP!

Artist Philip Colbert and the RSN go POP!

Globally established Neo POP artist Philip Colbert is excited to collaborate with the Royal School of Needlework, to create a series of NUDES for London Craft Week 2017.

Working on a range of five new artworks, this unique collaboration fuses traditional and contemporary art, revisiting the classic genre of the Nude painting to create a bold and humorous series of hand embroidered pieces.  The project explores the marriage between the RSN’s historic traditions of hand embroidery with Colbert’s contemporary pop voice.  Using their unrivalled expertise and skilled artistic interpretation, the RSN has translated his work to achieve a bold, new step in Colbert’s work.

Philip Colbert explains:

"I wanted to make a connection between thought provoking, contemporary imagery and historic hand embroidery techniques and craft traditions. I feel it’s the perfect marriage for a work of ART, and who better to collaborate with than the Royal School of Needlework.  I created a series celebrating attractive larger ladies, they are much bigger than the skinny 60's ideal of the nude by American artists such as Wessleman and Litchenstein. Our society has become bloated with over consumption so these ladies are a much more contemporary representation of the Pop dream.   Painting is such an exhausted medium, I am excited to further develop the powers of fabrics, exploring sculptural possibilities and varying textural components to image making."

Dr Susan Kay-Williams, Chief Executive of the Royal School of Needlework, said:

“The RSN relishes the contemporary nature of these works and has been delighted to translate Philip Colbert’s ideas into larger than life images.  This collaboration has enabled us to showcase, not only the expertise and technical skills of our Embroidery Studio, but also the way that embroidery can be used to create a statement and piece of art.  We look forward to demonstrating our work as part of London Craft Week in Philip’s Studio.”

One piece, ‘Nude with Tyres’, (shown above) has already been completed and will be on display at the Gazelli Art House in Dover Street, London during London Craft Week.  It has been constructed using the hand embroidery technique of Appliqué, a process that can be used to achieve large scale pieces. 

RSN Studio Stitchers will be completing the Nude Series at Colbert’s East London Studio in Shoreditch from 10am – 6pm, Wednesday 3 – Friday 5 May during London Craft Week.

Colbert is renowned for his sequin and embroidery works on Canvas, and his high-profile fashion brand THE RODNIK BAND, his artwork was included in the recent World goes pop show at TATE MODERN and has been described as the "Godson of Andy Warhol" by André Leon Talley.

Hand Embroidery Techniques
Appliqué is when one or more fabrics are applied to another fabric. A piece of embroidery can be created using a combination of different fabrics with padding, various edging techniques and embellishments.

‘Nude with Tyres’ has been heavily padded to create the curves needed to bring a sense of realism to pop art styled figures. The padding used was carpet felt which can be cut, layered and moulded forming a range of heights. This was then encased in woollen felt to smooth the surface ready for the fabric application. The top fabrics used are linens for the flesh, Melton woollen fabric for the stockings, denim for the hair, leather for the nipples and boucle wool thread couched on woollen fabric to produce the pubic hair. The background fabric is white cotton Duchess Satin with the tyres in laser cut leather.  The coronet has been worked in cloth of gold.

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