Meet the Artist 2018: Rachel Concannon
Published: 23 May 2018
In its ninth year, Skipton Open Studios is returning to celebrate the wealth of talented artists and makers in Jersey. With over 70 different artists and collectives taking part, there will be 38 different studio locations around the island. This includes textile artist Rachel Concannon of Rachel's Textiles Studio, located in St Helier, who is participating in Skipton Open Studios for the first time. Rachel not only produces her own unique textile creations, but she also offers classes at her studio and her shop is full of haberdashery, ribbons, laces and trims, sewing essentials and even some quirky bits and pieces.
As part of Skipton Open Studios, Rachel will be offering an English paper piercing class on 24th June, 10am–12pm, and a Fly Stich lesson on 1st July, 10am–12pm. Keep an eye on her website for more information.
We caught up with Rachel to ask a few questions about her artistic practice:
How did you first get into art? I have been sewing since knee high, but I was not good at art till after leaving school. I became extremely interested in the work of many textile artists and found my calling.
What is your favourite part of the creative process? I just wake up with so many ideas and I can get lost in so many parts of the process, so it is difficult to say which is my favourite.
How do you think your art has changed since you first started creating? I am so much more confident now as I used to believe that I was not good at art or drawing. I am not scared to make a mistake at the beginning of a piece because it always seems to evolve into something exciting, and yes, I can draw!
How do you know when a work is finished? Sometimes I just have to call a halt as I can always work into pieces more. So I don’t is the answer!
What was the first piece of art that really mattered to you? I have had many special pieces, there is not one that I can pick out. Recently my Havre des Pas scene would be the most significant.
Have you taken part in Skipton Open Studios before? No.
What have you been doing so far to prepare for Skipton Open Studios? Producing more pieces. I make things most days from textile art to functional items. I have had a spate of pretty little purses but now ‘time for tea and teapots’ are in my head.
Does living in Jersey influence your work? If so, how? I love living down at Havre des Pas and often take images of the scenery at the pool. My garden is hugely important too.
What is the best thing you’ve enjoyed as part of the recent cultural offering in Jersey? I really enjoyed the Paper Talks exhibition.
What is the most important tool in your studio? My sewing machine/s.
If I could ‘wave a magic wand’ and grant you one wish that would impact upon your work or life as an artist, what would it be? There is a saying “be careful what you wish for! ‘I am already so lucky I couldn’t wish for more.
Gallery images courtesy of Holly Smith Photography and video by Little River Pictures.