Gavin Fry

Gavin Fry


I am a hand embroiderer and a collagist, I make artworks and keep visual diaries in order to understand my place in the world. Both the world and I constantly change; I document how I feel about this.

I use a process known as active documentation when I create work; this means that all my investigations are recorded as part of a body of research material that is diaristic in format and emphasis. By capturing information at the time it is found and made then accidental discoveries, improvements or problematic blocks (which can become invisible with progress) are then kept available for me to reflect on then use.

When I make artwork as embroidery or collage, in sketchbooks or as notations and photographs I am engaging with material processes to report, reflect and discover coherence or disturbance. My artwork is simply me thinking aloud.

My influences span art and design history, and my making process can best be described as thinking when making or transcognition. This is the on-going dialogue that operates between, within and around an artist, an artwork, the viewer and its context where each has a role in constructing meaning from an artwork. My art practice enables me to hold ideas and provides time to reflect upon them. This is arts practice as a dialogic tool, a process used to reflect on events and objects, and then to understand their place within my life as a whole.

COWBOYS & INDIANS | 2018 17.2cm x 15.6cm found lead toys, repurposed needlepoint, pencil, silk ribbon and thread, hand stitching. Description: Recalling watching the TV series The Virginian. The characters were very much alive inside my head; I was the hero played by Doug McLure and my grandmother’s dog Square barked constantly throughout.
GODDESS YOKO | 2016 16cm x 14.2cm cotton needlepoint and glass beads. Description: in the Ancient Egypt & Sudan collections of British Museum in London there is a bone figure of woman with inlaid blue glazed composition eyes. From the first Naqada period she appears to be wearing dark glasses that had to her enigmatic beauty.
EYE PATCH | 2018 10cm x 5.6cm hand embroidery on cotton with lurex. Description: an eye patch for Vincent.
CATS EYES, BRITISH MUSEM | 2016 61cm x 29cm patchwork, reclaimed tea towels. Description: in this patchwork strips of cat’s eyes divide the ancient couple. Although meant to simply warn us cat’s eyes are confusingly unfathomable and alluring, the characters here cannot read each other and are lost on their road.
CHECKED STUDY EYE PATCH | 2018 10cm x 11cm pencil, hand stitching and applique on found calico. Description: with Nicholas Hilliard’s eyes this work stems from winter evening visits to the V&A; marble tiled floors are mixed up with a lover’s gaze as he moves through the English Galleries drawing and redrawing his path.
Southern England
Workshops: No
Talks: No
Commissions: No