Abigail Booth

2020 QEST Jenifer Emery Scholar - Textiles & Painting

Abigail is a contemporary artist, whose practice is rooted in the crafts of quilt-making and painting. Through pictorial as well as material choices, she explores dialogues around landscape, history and place, and ideas of cultural and environmental identity. Hand-stitching her ‘canvases’—often from recycled textiles— she uses traditional patchwork and quilting techniques to construct her paintings, while her paints are crafted using natural dyes and pigments extracted from plants and minerals such as earth, wood and bone. 

In 2014, she co-founded studio practice Forest + Found with her partner, wood turner and 2019 QEST Winch Design Scholar Max Bainbridge, as a space for material research and cross-disciplinary collaboration as they work to redefine the languages of craft. Collectively and independently they have exhibited throughout the UK and internationally, including at Collect, the Jerwood Makers Open and Hauser & Wirth’s Make gallery. 

With support from QEST, Abigail will undertake a series of one-to-one masterclasses with David Cranswick, PhD tutor at the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts. She will learn in-depth methods for making pigments from nature, preparation of traditional grounds and their significance, painting with oil, and colour theory. Her tuition will build on her existing skills, feeding directly into her ongoing material development, research and teaching.

I believe that cultural narratives and identity can be challenged and re-formed through the physical act of making and a psychological exploration of the natural. Through acquiring complex, historical techniques in hand-crafting and using organic pigments, I wish to deepen my understanding and research into the material origins and workings of natural textiles and paint.