Nigel Cheney

"zero patience - just very very stubborn"

What do you make?

Wall-hung textile art (both for home and for commercial outfits); throws, cushions and so on for interiors; and scarves, jackets and other fashion items. I use lots of textile processes including digital print and stitch and hand-embroidery. Sometimes I use vintage textiles – like an old jacket – giving discards a new life. I sell my work through galleries and private clients/commissions

Tell us more

My work combines drawing, texture and colour – that’s my focus. My images have a dark humour, and come from all over – history, literature, nature, animals and more. But I always tell a story. I’d like to do more collaborations with interior designers for specific venues.

What motivates you?

There is something so seductive about the feel of a stitch in a piece of cloth. It still makes my heart sing after 35 years of sewing practically every day. People say to me: “You must be so patient”. I have zero patience. I’m just very, very stubborn.

How did you train?

I’ve been an educator, artist and designer for over 25 years, both in the UK and Ireland. I trained at Manchester Metropolitan University in the late 80’s early 90’s and started my career in industrial embroidery for High Street leisurewear. I’m more and more fascinated by the contrast of complex technology and the simplicity of some hand processes – and how they come together. My main challenge is lack of time and funding for my ideas.

Where do you work?

I’m a complete nomad. My studio is wherever I find myself. As long as there is a pencil, a laptop, a needle and thread I can make work. But there’s got to be constant music as I struggle to make in silence. My favourite tool is simply a needle.

Advice

Do what you love. You will always find the way if you have that passion.