Gill Swanson

After many years of working with a variety of different artistic mediums, I discovered textile art later in life. It seemed to be a perfect fusion of everything creative I had ever done.

My work explores colour and texture. Inspired by nature in all its forms, my textile pieces have an organic style.  By combining vibrant colours and textures and using a variety of techniques and processes, I seek to create artwork that reflects the powerful colours of plants and flowers.  Much of my recent work has been created by machine stitching on to dissolvable fabric to create a new fabric. I then develop these pieces further by adding beads or overlaying and combining them with embellished pieces to create richly coloured and textured artwork. I often include upcycled cloth in my work and recent pieces include the fabric from some old silk curtains, a silk evening dress from the 1980s and worn and frayed denim jeans.

I continue to experiment and develop new techniques. I enjoy working in an intuitive way and, as my directions change as I work, new ideas  unfold along the way.

To create a piece with a more natural organic look I chose to use more subtle and mellow colours than my usual colourful palette (apart from the very bright yellow beads!).  This is a closeup which gives much more detail of the texture and combination of fabrics. 

Exploring the possibilities of creating 3D forms, I used a mix of techniques and materials to create this flower including embellishing, free machine stitching and hand embroidery.

This evolved from a piece of copper metal leaf I found recently that I’d used for some craftwork a long time ago. The colour had become mottled over time and I just loved the way it looked. I decided to bond it on to some linen then went on to add some stitched and embellished pieces to blend with the lovely earthy colours and finished off with a few randomly scattered beads. 


Worn, textiles2020, Espacio Gallery, London, October 2023
Fishy Tales (a collaborative project), Festival of Quilts, NEC Birmingham, August 2023
Stories in Stich, textiles2020. Espacio Gallery, London, April 2022
textiles2020: the show, Espacio Gallery, London, December 2020
In Transition, Group Show, City Lit, Feb-March 2020
Construction Sites, Group Show, City Lit, July 2019

Follow me on Instagram: @gill.swanson