Rhianna Cowans

Artist statement

With the overall theme of Wanderlust, I sought to create an artwork that reflects my own feelings on the subject while having some connection to others by depicting the architectural style of popular destination Oia, Santorini. This location was chosen for the beauty of the landscape and its wide appeal to others, but also connects to my other studies which motivate my own desire for travel as I study Classical Studies, focused on Greece. Given the time-consuming nature of embroidery, finding ways to cut down on production time while still producing a highly finished artwork within a deadline has been an invaluable experience for future projects. I have taken this time to explore new techniques in textile and embroidery art through the development process in this project, as well as adapting to a new looser sketch style in both drawing and sewing which has really brought new life into my drawings. There was a steep learning curve going from my detail-focused drawing style to something that feels freer and I learned the value of exploring colour versus simply replicating the colour of a source image. This was largely influenced by research into artists who did more than just directly copy the landscapes they worked from, applying their own art style to create something that was entirely theirs. In the final artwork I looked to combine all I had learned through development work to show an example of a range of textile techniques. In this, time restrictions have benefitted my practice since my previous art style would have been impossible to complete. I had to adapt and experiment. I would have liked to take the work further, looking into alternate materials to sew on or try larger scale projects but made the decision to focus on quality instead, although this is still on a much larger scale than the embroidery hoop art previously created.


BA Art and Design