Maggie Scott is an artist who creates her artwork from the particularity of who she is: a black woman, a feminist, a daughter, a mother, an activist, an artist and British.
Her most recent Textile works use felted re-interpretations of photographic images that often explore the politics of representation and the tensions and contradictions of a Black British identity.
“I am very interested in developing a dialogue with an ethnically diverse Audience, in particular one that identifies as Black.
I would love to see a critical and open debate about representations of Ethnicity and the function of Art and Craft in a multicultural society.”
Well-known for her sumptuously crafted felt textiles, her latest large-scale works draw out the aesthetic and symbolic potential of the laborious process of felting.
“Often assumed to be ‘women’s work’, felt here becomes the fabric of interwoven narratives and shared lives” (read more….)
After graduating from St. Martin’s School of Art in 1976, Maggie was immediately invited to the John Ashpool team based in Perugia, designing knitwear for exclusive boutiques around the world. Moving between Italy and France, she spent four years learning her trade before setting up her first studio in 1980. Maggie Scott has focused on a highly successful career of creating woven, knitted, stitched and felted pieces of ’wearable art’. Her professional life as a textile artist has existed in parallel with her involvement in gender and race politics.
“For many years now I have been engaged with the politics of liberation and during the 1980s and 90s was very active within groups and campaigns for women in general and black women in particular,……Until recently it had not seemed possible to combine these two passions, but the chance decision to take time out from producing wearable textiles and experiment with a series of large, autobiographical pieces led to a ‘shape of thing’s bursary award.”
The shape of things was an ambitious artists’ exhibition and venue development initiative for contemporary crafts. The shape of things aimed to encourage a contemporary crafts professional practice, audience and market that was culturally diverse and representative.
Maggie’s one-woman show ’NEGOTIATIONS’ was hosted by New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester (7th April – 20th May 2012).
Watch the video on Youtube
The catalyst for her latest work is the phenomenon of ‘Zwarte Piet’- the black slave/servant who traditionally accompanies Saint Nicolas at Christmas in Holland. The work, including a short film and sets of large felted Textiles, are direct critiques of this quaint Dutch ritual. In some the most recent work the images of the character Zwarte Piet evolves; In the series ‘I See you…” sets of self-portraits invite the viewer to re evaluate Zwarte Piet who is no longer the ‘child like’ fool, but a commanding adult and female presence with a very different agenda!