Maxine Bristow

Reader in Fine Art, Programme Leader: MA Fine Art

Qualifications

2009 - present   Norwich University College of the Arts/ University of the Arts London, Practice-as-Research PhD: Pragmatics of Attachment and Detachment: the Productive Indeterminacy of Textile

1984 - 1985       Manchester Metropolitan University, MA Textiles

1981 - 1984       Manchester Metropolitan University, BA (Hons) Fashion/Textiles (Embroidery), First Class

Overview

Maxine Bristow is Reader in Fine Art and Programme Leader for the MA Fine Art. With a history rooted in textiles but having taught within the department of Fine Art since 1993, Maxine’s teaching, research and practice concerns are with the formal and semantic conventions of textile and the critical debates which surround the negotiation of these conventions within the broader realm of contemporary visual culture.

She has exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented in the permanent collections of the Crafts Council, London; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; and Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery (work purchased by the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with funds from the Arts Council Lottery, 2004). She was selected for The Jerwood Textiles Prize in 2002, and in 2008 was one of the nominated artists for the Northern Arts Prize. She has been external examiner at Goldsmith’s College, University of London; Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton; University of Huddersfield; University of Hertfordshire; and University of Bedfordshire. She was a member of the Art and Design Sub-Panel in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and is currently a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council peer-review College.

Teaching

Maxine teaches on the BA and MA fine art programmes where a dialogue between the formal and semantic conventions of textile and broader fine art contexts has developed as a particular feature of the curriculum. A personal interest in the specific conventions of textile extends to a concern with artistic practice that embodies a broader material sensibility and interest in the relationships between material and visual culture. 

Research

Maxine’s research arises out of her own situated experience and the subsequent positioning of her practice in the unspecified critical space between textile and fine art contexts. Generally manifest is textile objects and installation, her earlier work (largely represented by her signature ‘bag’ and ‘buttonhole’ pieces) harnessed the processes, materials and accompanying discourses of needlework/plain-sewing within the conventions of a minimalist aesthetic. Exploring the critical and cultural contexts of both of these codes of practice, the work mediated between these two historical legacies with the aim of subverting conventional definitions of meaning.

More recent work framed within PhD research entitled Pragmatics of attachment and detachment: the productive indeterminacy of textile investigates textile as a site of multiple complex and contradictory connections and intermediary material agency. The overarching aims of the research are to develop a model of a critical practice which moves from dualist conceptual constraints and an interpretation of the work that is largely dictated by a rhetoric of negative opposition, to a more provisional mimetic openness where meaning is not stable but continually in flux. Arguably, this more affirmative stance allows for a more playful mixing of codes and the creation of heterogeneous connections across a range of disciplinary, material and semantic contexts, together with and a greater contiguity between the subjective and objective dimensions of the work.

A key focus of the investigation is the tension between processes of assimilation and differentiation and the development of strategies which facilitate both attachment and detachment. This tension is explored from three perspectives: from the strategic negotiation of the diverse material and visual culture contexts from which textile derives its contradictory meanings; from the subjective and objective dimensions of the practice and the experience that it induces in the viewer; and from the constitution of my own subjectivity as it is materialised and mobilised in relation to the textile and fine art communities in which I operate.

Through this methodological shift, the cultural ambivalence of textile is reinterpreted as a productive indeterminacy that embraces ambiguity, complexity and contradiction. Within this model, textile conventions and contexts provide a point of departure but the investigation is not bounded by these conventions. The practice instead expands to embrace the richness and complexity of the disciplinary associations and psychological relationships and correspondences that are facilitated by the medium

Published work

Exhibitions and publications

Solo exhibitions

2006       Sensual Austerity, The Hub: National Centre for Craft and Design and Bolton Museum and Art Gallery

2004       Serial Repetition Grosvenor Museum, Chester.

1999       Southern Arts Touring Exhibition Service. Maidstone Library Gallery.

1999       Kunstindustrimuseum, Copenhagen.

1997       Southern Arts Touring Exhibition Service. Banbury Museum, Oxfordshire; Viables Craft Centre, Basingstoke; The Winchester Gallery, Hampshire.

 

Group exhibitions (selected)

2012     Transformations (including artists Susan Collis, Freddie Robins and Caroline Wright, Haroon Mirza, Ben Coode-Adams, Catherine Bertola, and Roger Hiorns); Smiths Row Gallery, Bury St Edmunds.

2011     Z Depth Buffer (joint exhibition with Sally Morfill), 5 Years Gallery, London

Bite-Size: Miniature Textiles from Japan and the UK, Japan House Gallery, Daiwa Anglo Japanese Foundation

PGR Exhibition, Norwich University College of the Arts, Norwich

2010     Thinking Practice, Norwich University College of the Arts, Norwich

            Material Evidence, Corsham Court Centre, University of   Bath

2009     4°: Intro, Cube Gallery, Manchester

Encounter, Contemporary Urban Centre. Greenland Street, Liverpool

2008     Cloth and Culture NOW, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.

2007     Unbound (including artists Caroline Broadhead, Susie MacMurray and Elizabeth Smith), Turnpike Gallery, Leigh.

Business as Usual, (including artists Susan Collis, Sean Edwards, David Ersser), Angel Row Gallery.

2005     Reveal, Nottingham Museum and Art Gallery

Hands Across the Border. Ruthin Craft Centre; The Hub, Sleaford; Mission Gallery, Swansea: The

Black Swan Gallery, Frome.

2004/    Through the Surface, Collaborating Textile Artists from Britain and Japan. James Hockey and Foyer

2005     Galleries, The Surrey Institute of Art & Design University College, Farnham; Brighton and Hove Museum and Art Gallery; The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art, Norwich; Bankfield Museum, Huddersfield, and Piece Hall, Halifax; Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery; Kyoto Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto.

2002     The Gaps Between, International Textile Biannual 2002. Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast.

            Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2002: Textiles. Crafts Council, London; Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Manchester; Crafts Council of Ireland, Kilkenny; Ulster Museum, Belfast.

2001                 The 10th International Triennial of Tapestry. Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland.

                        Dovetail. Travelling Gallery, City Art Centre, Edinburgh.

2000     The Contemplative Stitch. H&R Block Artspace at The Kansas City Art Institute, USA.

1999     The 6th International Textile Competition ’99 - Kyoto. Museum of Kyoto, Japan.

[Un] Limited. Diversity and Change in International Contemporary Craft. Crafts Council, London.

Textures of Memory: The Poetics of Cloth. Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham; Pittshanger Gallery, London; Piece Hall, Halifax; MAC, Birmingham.

1998     Knot as They Seam: Puns and Permutations in Fibre Arts. Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, USA.

Contemporary Embroidery: An International Perspective. The Arts Centre at Dockland, Bermuda.

            Joint exhibition with Claire Curneen. MAC, Birmingham.

            Stitch. Bury St. Edmunds Art Gallery.

            Natural Resources. Ruthin Crafts Centre, Oriel 31, Newtown.

1997     Flexible 2 Pan European Art. Nederland Textielmuseum, Tilburg, Netherlands; Galeria Awangarda, Wroclaw, Poland; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, Great Britain.

British Art Textiles. Bury St. Edmunds Art Gallery; Watermans Art Centre, Brentford; Mercer Art

Gallery, Harrogate; Braintree District Museum, Bonnington Gallery, Nottingham; Orleans Hose

Gallery, Twickenham; MAC, Birmingham; Durham Art Gallery.

Leinen. Galerie Handwerk, Munich, Germany.

 

Bibliography

 

Authored (selected)

‘Continuity of Touch - Textile as Silent Witness’ in Hemmings, J. (ed) (2012) The Textile Reader      

pp.44 - 51pp. Oxford, New York: Berg. ISBN978 1 84788 635 4

‘A Tribute to Rozsika Parker’ (1945-2010), Journal of Cloth and Culture, Volume 9, Number 2, July 2011, pp.200-211(12).

‘Cloth and Culture Now’ Statement reflecting on the importance of my cultural roots to my practice as part of the cross cultural/trans-national Transition and Influence project, January 2007, (http://www.clothandculturenow.com/Maxine_Bristow.html)

‘Materially Measured’ In: Bristow, M. & Oliver, E. ed. Repeat Repeat – Negotiated Positions, 2007.

Catalogue to accompany ‘Repeat Repeat’ Conference, University of Chester, 19th, 20th April 2007.

‘Maxine Bristow’, catalogue essay in Revealed, Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery, 2005. pp.38-39 ISBN 0 905634 72

Exhibition Review, ‘Surfacing: Retrospective and New Work by Polly Binns’ in Textile, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.208-217. Berg, 2004. ISSN1475-9756/ISBN 1 85973 759 5

‘Material Trace-Marking Time and Defining Space’ in Through the Surface Collaborating Textile Artists from Britain and Japan, p.58-59. The Surrey Institute of Art and Design, 2004. ISBN 0-9546285-2-7

Reflective journal documenting contribution to Through the Surface Collaborating Textile Artists from Britain and Japan published at www.throughthesurface.surrart.ac.uk.

‘Three Weeks to Turn 348, Three Years to Turn Intuition Towards Understanding’ in Ideas in The Making: Practice in Theory, 1998. University of East Anglia/Crafts Council.

ISBN 187014581X.

‘Material Culture - The Language of Textiles’ in The World of Embroidery, p.308-310, vol.48. no.6, November, 1997. ISSN 1351-9603.

 

Other author publications and catalogues:

Bite-Size Miniature Textiles from Japan and the UK, ISBN 978-0-9564160-9-4

Cloth and Culture NOW. 180 page colour publication includes catalogue essays by Astrida Berzina, Keiko Fujimoto, Jennifer Harris, Kai Lobjakas, Lesley Millar, Leena Svinhufvud, Virginija Vitkiene. Also includes edited extracts from an interview with Lesley Millar and Maxine Bristow’s. ISBN: 978-09551166-2-9. Additional project statement by Maxine Bristow can be found at www.clothandculturenow.com.

Unbound. Pamphlet catalogue including images and text on each of the four contributing artists

Business as Usual, Exhibition pamphlet including texts by Deborah Dean and Adam Caruso.

Negotiated Positions, catalogue to accompany ‘Repeat Repeat’ Conference, University of Chester,

19th, 20th April 2007, ISBN 978-1-905929-21-4

Sensual Austerity. Essays include ‘Articulate Silence’ by Elisa Oliver and ‘Clothing the Grid: Alterations and Alternations’ by Victoria Mitchell. The Hub: National Centre for Craft and Design and Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, 2006. ISBN 0-9548015-2-0

Revealed. Forward by Kate Stoddard, Introductory essay by Dr Jennifer Harris. Essay on works in the collection [Doing Without: Sustaining 7 Square Metres, 2003, and Pockets/Ventillation Grill, 2004] by Maxine Bristow and Lesley Millar respectively. Nottingham Museum and Art Gallery, 2005. ISBN 0 905634 72

Hands Across the Border. Introduction by Philip Hughes, essays by Amanda Fielding and Judy Dames. Ruthin Craft Centre, 2004. ISBN 1 900941 77 5

Through the Surface Collaborating Textile Artists from Britain and Japan. Introductions by Ian Dumelow and Takeo Uchiyama; foreword Professor Marie Conte-Helm; essays by Lesley Millar, Keiko Kawashima, Jay Merrick, Gerry Diebel, and the 14 project artists.The Surrey Institute of Art and Design, 2004. ISBN 0-9546285-2-7

Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2002: Textiles. Essay by Lesley Millar. Crafts Council, London, 2002ISBN 1-903713-07-2.

The Gaps Between, International Textile Biannual 2002. Essay by David Brett. Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast, 2003.

The 10th International Triennial of Tapestry. Introduction by Norbert Zawiskza, essay by Irena Huml. Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland, 2001. ISBN 83-913224-0-8.

Textures of Memory: The Poetics of Cloth. Essays by Pamela Johnson and Pennina Barnett. Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham, 1999. ISBN 0 905 634 39X.

(Un) Limited. Repetition and Change in International Contemporary Craft. Foreword by Dr Louise Taylor, introduction by Emmanuel Cooper, and essay by John Tozer. Crafts Council, London, 1999. ISBN 1 870145 85 2.

The 6th International Textile Competition ’99 - Kyoto. Museum of Kyoto, Japan.

Natural Resources. Ruthin Crafts Centre, 1998. ISBN 1 9000 941 14 7.

Knot as They Seam: Puns and Permutations in Fibre Arts. Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, USA.

Catalogue to accompany solo show. Essay by John Gillet. Southern Arts Touring, 1997. ISBN 1 873451 31 8.

British Art Textiles. Foreword by Barbara Taylor, essays by Linda Theophilus and Judith Ellen Duffey (Harding). Bury St. Edmunds Art Gallery, 1996. ISBN 0 9528639 0 1.

Flexible 2 Pan European Art. Nederlands Textielmuseum, Tilburg, 1996. ISBN 90-70962-27-6.

 

Conference/Symposium presentations:

 

‘Staging (and restaging) the specific unspecificity of textile (and other) things’, UAL, London, 17.2.12

‘Materialising the Grid: Correspondences, Contradictions and Conventions’, Material Evidence Symposium, Corsham Court Centre, University of Bath

‘Materialising the Grid’ University of the Arts London, 28.6.10

‘Two Cultures’, Textile Society Conference and AGM 2009, Macclesfield, Cheshire, 26.9.09

Invited visiting artist and conference presentation, St. Petersburg School of Folk Arts 7th -11th November 2007.

‘Shades of Grey’, reflections in relation to Minimalism and monochrome painting, Day School - Colour in Textiles, Macclesfield Silk Museum, 7th July 2007.

Pushing Boundaries symposium on national and international crafts practice, Staffordshire University in collaboration with Craftspace and Designer Maker West Midlands, 16th July 2007.

‘Continuity of Touch - Textiles as Silent Witness’, Repeat Repeat Conference Paper, University of Chester, 19th, 20th April 2007.

Breakout group leader ‘Ambiguous Spaces’, symposium to accompany the exhibition 2121 The Textile vision of Reiko Sudo and Nuno, University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham, 11.11.05

Joint presentation with Kyoko Nitta, Through the Surface Symposium, Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan, 22.04.05

Conference presentation - Creative Dates. A Conference of the North West Art and Design Research Group, 23-24.09.04

Joint convenor, What’s in the Tin? Research Symposium to mark the launch of the Centre for Practice as Research in the Arts, University College Chester, 27.10.04

Keynote speaker, Textile Symposium, Celebrating Diversity in Stitch, Ruthin Craft Centre, 2.10.04

‘Creative Dialogues 2’ (joint presentation with Kyoko Nitta as part of Through the Surface, Collaborating Textile Artists from Britain and Japan), Bankfield Museum and Art Gallery, Halifax, 23.7.04

Keynote speaker, Cheshire Annual Art and Design Conference, Frodsham, Cheshire, 17.01.04

‘Textile Vocabularies, Innovation in Practice’, 29.10.03, Herriot Watt University, Scottish Borders Campus, Galashiels.

Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2002: Textiles. Crafts Council, London, 21.10.02.

‘Mapping Territories - Defining Contexts’, Nomansland Conference, Bath City College, 23.3.02.

‘Kon’texst Locating and Developing Practice’, seminar convenor and presentation of paper, Chester College of Higher Education, 6.10.01.

‘Exchanging the Planks’ seminar presentation at Textile Forum, Knowle House, Sevenoaks, (Organised by Kent County Council and chaired by Professor Anne Morrell), 5.5.98.

‘Three Weeks to Turn 348, Three Years to Turn Intuition Towards Understanding’, Ideas in The Making: Practice in Theory, conference presentation, University of East Anglia/Crafts Council, 25.4.98.

Textile Matters - a public debate on issues surrounding the production and status of contemporary art. Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, (Chaired by Jennifer Harris as part of a programme of event accompanying Flexible 2: Pan European Art), May 1997

 

Reviews/Articles/Citations:

June Hill, Sensual Austerity, Selvedge, Issue 13, p.91

Jessica Hemmings, Sensual Austerity, Crafts, No.203, Nov/Dec 2006, p.64

Kay Carson, Sensual Austerity, 24 Hour Museum, 22.9.06

Kay Greenlees, ‘Revealed: Nottingham’s Contemporary Textiles’ in Selvedge, Nov/Dec 05, Issue 08, p. 88. ISSN 1742-254X

Jessica Hemmings, ‘A Bridge Between Britain and Japan’ in Surface Design Journal, pp.36-41, Fall 2004.

Oliver Lowenstein, ‘Through the Surface’ in FibreArts, p.46-51, Sept/October 2004.

Lesley Millar, ‘Through the Surface’ in a-n Magazine, p.32-35, April 2004.

Liz Hoggard, ‘Surface Treatment’ in Crafts, no. 187, pp.25-31, March/April 2004.

Hilary Turner, ‘Through the Surface: Collaboration, Process and Outcome’ in Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, pp.20-24, March 2004.

Angela Kennedy, ‘Fabric Futures’ in IdFX Magazine, p.34-39, March 2004.

Polly Leonard, ‘Through the Surface Collaborating Textile Artists from Britain and Japan’ in Embroidery vol.54, pp.38-39 Sept 2003.

Polly Binns, ‘Jerwood Applied Arts Prize’ in Textile - The Journal of Cloth and Culture, vol.1, issue 1, Spring 2003.

Mary Schoeser, ‘Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2002: Textiles’ in Crafts, no.180 Jan/Feb 2003, p.50

Jo Saunders, ‘Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2002: Textiles’ in Embroidery, vol.54, Jan 2003

Polly Leonard, ‘Textile Innovation The Jerwood Prize for Textiles’ in Embroidery Magazine, September 2002, pp.20-21

Anne Hamlyn, ‘Textures of Memory’ in n.paradoxa Vol.6, 2000. ISSN 1461-0434

‘Textures of Memory the Poetics of Cloth’ in Crafts, no.162, Jan/Feb 2000

Polly Leonard, ‘Cloth or Concept Trends in Textiles Today’ in The World of Embroidery, July 1998 Volume 49, No.4

Pamela Johnson, ‘A Sense of Order’, Crafts, vol. 47 July/August 1997, p.26-29. ISSN 0306-6 10x

Pamela Johnson, exhibition review Flexible 2, Crafts, vol. 47 July/August 1997, pp.53-54. ISSN 0306-6 10x

Pamela Johnson, ‘Time for Textiles’, Crafts, No.144 January/February 1997, pp.20-25. ISSN 0306-610X.

Renata Brink, ‘Textile Texts’ in Artists Newsletter, November 1996.