Rosalind Wyatt: Text and Textile
The versatility of textiles and the wide spectrum of usage of fabrics and threads are enormous. Rosalind Wyatt, London based visual artist and calligrapher is well aware of it and use it in her creative work to put two seemingly incomparable things together: text and textiles. And it works very well.
Rosalind Wyatt has graduated calligraphy and bookbinding from Roehampton Institute. Later she was drawn into the world of textiles, so she earned her MA Constructed Textiles mixed media at Royal School of Art.
She is often inspired by texts to create her pieces, collages of textile and paper, hand made canvases and hand painted materials. Rosalind stitching is done on existing garments, pre-used clothing, and she ‘tells’ their owner’s story by stitching them on the material. The stitching is so gentle and poignant, almost dreamlike ephemera that we have to grasp quickly before it’s gone.
‘The Stitch Lives of London’ is the project that celebrates the lives and ways of citizens of the British capital. Various garments were donated to Rosalind from Londoners from all walks of life – young Mary Pearce, a daughter of a shoemaker in the 19th century who stole £7 from her father; the actor Jude Low donated the shirt he was wearing while playing Hamlet; running top that belonged to Stephen Lawrence, a black teenager murdered by a gang of white youths in South East London in 1993; Jonny Benjamin who donated the white t-shirt he was wearing on the day he was about to commit suicide by jumping from Waterloo Bridge. Rosalind uses the garments to stitch the owners’ story, in their own handwriting. Rosalind has had a team of expert stitchers, specially-trained by herself to “write with a needle”.
Rosalind Wyatt works across media – from providing historic calligraphy for film (Mamma Mia 2, 2018, The Favourite, 2018) to commissioned one-off garments where she ‘writes with a needle’ the story of an individual onto a garment they might have worn (Burberry 2017).
She has taught and lectured at, among others, the V&A, the BBC, Kew Gardens, and The Art Academy and her work is widely published.
Rosalind Wyatt website
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