Louisa is a textile artist, designer and photographer, living in Nottingham, England.
Originally from America, Louisa comes from a long line of artists and has traveled extensively, both of which continually influence her work. Fascinated by textiles as a child, Louisa loved going to fabric shops to look at the spools of ribbons and threads, feeling and collecting different colors and textures. Through her childhood and teens she explored her passion for light and texture through photography, and was inspired by the sculpture of Kiki Smith, Magdalena Abakanowicz and Eva Hesse.
Her degree in fine art was an opportunity to experiment in a wider range of media and to develop ways to integrate alternative photography techniques with textiles. Alongside her degree Louisa worked in galleries, which proved an important part of her training. She matured as an artist as she learnt to visualize each piece as a completed product in context with an audience and a market.
Upon the completion of her degree, Louisa pursued her interest in texture and process by working in ceramic studios and then by doing an 18-month apprenticeship in traditional Mayan weaving in Guatemala. After three more years of travel, exploring art practices in Cuba, New Zealand, and the South Pacific, she returned to coastal Alabama and proceeded to set up a studio, exhibit her work, and start a young artists group. After loosing her home and artwork in the 2004 Hurricane Katrina, Louisa worked for a period as an art teacher and led art therapy workshops with hurricane survivors in her local community.
Over the past few years, Louisa has built a body of sculptural textile work between Barcelona and Nottingham, where she seeks to integrate her weaving and photography background into an exploration of texture, light, and femininity. More recently, she been using this work to inform more design-based projects, creating bespoke interior wall coverings and hangings. She uses craft-based, labor-intensive methods of production, focusing on her materials and referencing the female form. The majority of her work is created using hundreds of pairs of her grandmother's old silk and nylon stockings, or large amounts of simple, natural colored fabrics. Wax, rope, steel, paper and plaster are normally used as the supplementary materials. She plays with and transgresses the comfortable boundaries by confronting us with the inside and the outside, the living and the dying. Her work is not didactic in that we are not told what to think or how to feel, more we are nudged out of our comfort zone to encounter feminine corporeality in a new and subtle space, a space where repulsion and attraction meet in silence.
text by Tillie Harris
"Castle Open" Nottingham Castle Gallery. Nottingham UK 2007
"Green & Organic" View from the Top Gallery. Nottingham, UK 2007
"FRESH" View from the Top Gallery. Nottingham, UK 2007
"Weaving Words, Weaving Worlds" Eastern Shore Art Center. Fairhope, Alabama 2007
"Des de Fora" Punt Multimédia-Casa del Mig . Barcelona, Spain 2007
"Cakewalk" Metåfora. Barcelona, Spain 2006
"Hurricane Katrina" The Idea Factory. Fairhope, Alabama, USA 2005
"A Family of Artists" Eastern Shore Art Center. Fairhope, Alabama, USA 2005
"Is This Art?" Elizabeth Stone Harper Gallery. Clinton, South Carolina, USA 2002
publicity and projects :
Gallery Curator. The Lace Market Gallery. Nottingham 2008-present
Part-time Lecturer. New College Nottingham, The School of Art, Design, Fashion and Media. 2008-present
Studio member. Thingland Studios. Nottingham UK 2007-present
Arts consultant for an initiative integrating textiles into curriculum in 15 schools. Arts Bridging Creativity. Alabama, USA 2007
Sponsored to organize a community weaving installation. Grand Festival of Art. Alabama, USA 2007
Featured in BCN Weekly. Barcelona, Spain 2007
Featured In The Mobile Press, The Fairhope Courier, The Baldwin Register. Alabama, USA 2005-2007
Artist Member, The Idea Factory, Art Cooperative. Alabama, USA 2005-2006
Commission work for private collections in New Zealand, Spain, Zimbabwe, USA, UK.
Contemporary Art Workshop, Metafora, Institute of Art and Art Therapy. Barcelona, Spain. 2006-2007
Traditional Mayan Backstrap Weaving, Intensive Course. San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala. 2002-2003
BA Honours, Visual Arts. Presbyterian College. South Carolina, USA. 1998-2002.