Tell us a bit about yourself and your practice, how would you describe the work that you do?
I am an Irish mixed media textile artist whose studio-based practice focuses on an array of art, design & craft approaches whilst delving into social and political issues: this is a continuation of my previous BA and MA degree research into these areas.
I use a range of textile and non-textile materials, processes and techniques that are selected by relevance, through their relationship to my subject matter, their meaning and how they symbolise the message I want to portray within my work. Materials include: fabric, paper, embroidery, drawing, 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 my work: analysing and combining historic techniques with contemporary design ideas to create unique textile artworks.
I make my artwork for the public, exhibiting my work internationally, enabling audiences to grasp and understand my version of social and political issues through the medium of textiles.
Nikkita Morgan, Homeland, 2018
When and how did you first become interested in textiles?
I was always embellishing my clothing and had a passion for embroidery, drawing and sewing whether it was fabric, paper or other unusual found items from my home. After being introduced to textiles at college while studying an art & design course, I became interested in this medium and how textiles covers an array of art, design & craft processes and techniques.
Tell us a bit about your residency at George Watson's College - how did that come about and what have you been doing during the residency?
In 2017 I completed a year-long artist-in-residence programme at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh. I applied for this residency through an open call which included a written proposal of what I planned to do throughout the year. For this programme I wanted to develop and create a new body of work while working within a different environment. I had access to specialist equipment which helped me develop my artistic skillset further and enabled me to produce a new body of experimental artworks for my first solo exhibition ’32 - 26 + 6 - 1.
As part of my residency, I helped assist teach a range of age groups from primary 4 up to S6, while running textile and embroidery workshops with children from Primary 5 up to S5. I also worked closely with the staff members and helped to organise and set up series of workshops/lessons.
During this residency I also undertook a month-long guest studio residency programme at The Art Cube Artists’ Studio’s, in Jerusalem. I applied for this opportunity through an open call, where my proposal was selected from many other artists to go to The Art Cube Artists’ Studio’s as an international guest artist.
As a studio-based artist I find it important to continue to undertake artist-in-residency programs to enhance my practice and knowledge of current political and conflict situations internationally.
Nikkita Morgan, Embroidered Sampler, 2017
Which artists working at the moment do you admire?
I admire the work of Hew Locke who also comes from a post-colonial country. I am inspired by his large-scale installations using mixed media processes to fuse religions and historic moments that challenge the viewer to question notions of national identity. He fuses both personal and political influences relating to the past and present to create simple artworks that have hidden meanings. I like his concept behind his work and I feel it is often quite similar to the messages I portray within my work.
Other artist’s that I admire are Nike Schroeder and Lauren DiCioccio. I find their figurative embroidered artworks very interesting and tactile and their work continues to inspire me.
Nikkita Morgan, Awareness, 2018
What projects have you got coming up?
I am currently working on my new project Brexit means…. Which focuses on Brexit and the real impact it will have on Ireland and the UK. I am working towards my solo ‘live art’ exhibition this August in Edinburgh where the public will have the chance to discuss and write their response to Brexit. After the exhibition I intend to create an artwork based on the publics response.
My intention for this project is to highlight current issues regarding Brexit and how the exact terms of departing from the EU are mismanaged and unclear in how this will affect the island of Ireland and the UK. As an Irish citizen from the North, Brexit is a major concern, mainly due to the Irish border and what will happen between the North and South of Ireland.
Published July 2018