Interview with Kylie McNulty, Summer Showcase participant

We speak to 21-year-old Kylie McNulty about their entry to the Voice Summer Showcase.

Interview with Kylie McNulty, Summer Showcase participant

For their submission to the 2021 Voice Summer Showcase, Kylie submitted embroidery recreations of mould growth – which they had been documenting during lockdown.

We invited Jack Solloway, Marketing Executive at Bloomsbury Digital Resources and former Assistant Editor to Voice, to join current Assistant Editor Saskia Calliste to view the submission and provide feedback to the artist. 

Jack said: "A strange and beguiling piece of embroidery, and a fabulous idea that works very well in practice. The French knots technique and the overall texture of the textile spores are perfectly matched in their exploration of mould growth. I’d love to see more of this - the pairing of scientific observation and the art of embroidery. Curiosity-led with  fascinating results, Kylie’s embroidery project captures a sense of wonder that demonstrates an uncommon attention to detail. I hope this concept propagates further!"

Saskia said: "This is certainly not something you see every day. Experimenting and observing mould growth is a rather strange hobby; however, the results of Kylie’s embroidery are great. The colour, textures, and attention to detail all come together to make a solid piece of art.  Not only that but the creativity behind turning something rather icky like mould into art that can be appreciated is genius."

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am currently a first year student studying Textiles in Practice at University where I focus on print and embroidery with an interest in 3D design. I have an interest in construction to explore tactile surfaces created with the intention on using the senses of touch throughout my practice. I greatly enjoy hand embroidery as its really therapeutic and helps me a lot to be less stressed.

Give us a brief description of your submission?

Through out lockdowns I had been documenting mould growth which has fascinated me with the texture of fuzziness, the colour distribution and the overall 3D expected produced through the spores.

I decided to reproduce and draw one of my documented mould spores into a textiles embroidered piece. I wanted to explore the texture of mould and producing 3D samples through fabric and stitch. I was able to do this successfully on my " Mould Growth" sample as the build-up of knot stitches creates a textured layer while giving a 3D appearance.

How long have you been practicing your artform?

I found my passion for embroidery when I was exploring this medium in college and now continuing it on in University so now will be my second year of exploring with this medium.

What is some advice you wish you'd had before you started your artform?

As hand embroidering takes a long time to produce I have always worried of not being productive enough when producing my embroidery samples. I would advice myself not to stress about how long it takes as the detail and texture is one of the aspects I love about my samples and that all the added detail needs to be there even if it takes a long time to finish off.

Who are your artistic inspirations?

When looking into mould through out the lockdowns I had found artist Lizan Freijsen. I had found these pieces inspirational, with the throught-out composition when taking the pictures – as well as the texture and colour.

To see Kylie's submission, click here

To see all the submissions to the 2021 Voice Summer Showcase, follow this link.


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