Introducing Sharon Gill
Artist & Cultural Producer, Creative Consultant
I have been working in arts and culture for voluntary led organisations for over 30 years. This amazing journey has taught me many skills in cultural production, exhibition curation, building management, organisational governance, fundraising, financial management, commissioning and contracting for example.
There are a few constants that have served me well, one is co-creation and the profound impact this way of working can have on all involved, and the physical and mental well being that working together creatively and productively can bring. Diversity and Inclusion is something I feel passionaltely about, as we all need each other to care, to be challenged in our ideas and understanding if we are to grow.
After 10 years as CEO of ROAR, and Arts Council National Portfolio Orgnaisation, running an artists studio base, professional development for a growing membership, and strategic cultural development for the Borough through consortia working and community projects, I have decided to to expand my opportunities and seek new adventures by working freelance. You can find my professional portfolio that detail my achievements and Directorships on linkedin, the link and my contact details all at the end of this page.
I started out wanting to fulfil my creative ambitions of beng a sculptor, working specifically in textiles. Life, as my good friend explains, is not a straight line and it has taken me some time to feel ready. I now find myself motivated to explore some fundamental issues that still concern me like the plethora of fabric in our society.
Textiles facsinate me, their versatility, their endless application and abundance. They come in the most fantastic colours and textures and can be made from almost anything that can create a long fibre. The process for constructing fabric or clothing has developed independantly across the world, such as silk in the Far East and barkcloth in the Pacific islands. The history of fabric has literally shaped our world, from the invention of maths for weaving patterns to the Industrial Revolution through spinning and weaving machines.
Politics and Textiles
Public awareness of the environmental impact of the textile industry and specifically clothing manufacture and dying processes, and the shortages of cotton due to the Climate Crisis, has increased significantly in recent years and is being monetised by fashion brands as we are all asked to be mindful of our useage. This re-use and upcycle attitude has been with me since jumble sales in my childhood, and evidenced by the hoards of fabric and haberdashery gifted and donated to me, that I am sure will be very useful in my sculpting as well as quilting. It does also bring the skills with a needle into fashion which is a good thing.
You can not work with textiles without being keenly aware of the feminine agenda and history associated with needlework. The Amercian quilting circles for example or the weaving communities of Central America where the making of cloth is a social and cultural part of their community life. This communal activity is something I am keen to share in my own creative practice.
Throughout history the same work by women has been relatively undervalued compared to that by men, whether that’s making chains or fishing nets. This value system persist and we still do not see the hours of skilled labour in emboridery or domestic textiles as having equal financial value as work in resistent materials, such as sculpting in stone or metal. I am interested in exploring this tension and value system that is perceived between materials. To inform a new body of work I am learning to weld so I can bring metal and thread together, to juxtapose their strengths and weaknesses in equal measure.
The process of making I find compelling and a necessity to my own wellbeing. The connection between my mind and my hands, and how that describes my connection to the wider world fascinates me endlessly. I am sure a little piece of my soul is embedded in everything I create.
Below you will find a few images of my creativity. Thank You for coming to visit.