A R T I S T - I N S P I R A T I O N / by coral fowley

Art is ever changing, as is my relationship with it. As a textile artist, the majority of my portfolio is the outcome of experimentation which I give the stamp of ‘thats alright actually’.

We live in a world of creative innovation and inspiration. Surrounded by influential sources, I would like to share the artists inspire me and why.

Rowan Mersh - Multi-Media Sculptor

I definitively remember stumbling across Mersh’s work my Art and Design Foundation year, 2009. Not only did finding work inspire me, it opened a creative path. My schooling was formal and fine art based, two categories I do not fit at first glance.

I vividly recall spending hours observing  Pithváva Male in all of its delicate beauty.

Rowan Mersh is, and continues to be one of the main reasons I chose to study and practice textiles art.


Rowan Mersh, 2011.  Pithváva Male . (Image: http://wwww.rowanmersh.com)

Rowan Mersh, 2011. Pithváva Male. (Image: http://wwww.rowanmersh.com)

Yayoi Kusama - Avant-garde Sculptor, Painter and Novelist.

I have been a fan of Yayoi Kusama and her work for as long as I can remember. However her retrospective at the Tate Modern, London in 2012, really cementer my love for her practice.

It exhibited nine decades of work. Which to me, showcased the evolution of creativity and how your environment can impact your style. Kasuma has inspired my approach and work ethic more than anything.


Yayoi Kusama, 2016. (Image:   https://www.flickr.com/photos/98052824@N03/30383438991)

Yayoi Kusama, 2016. (Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/98052824@N03/30383438991)

Tara Donovan - Artist

I first became aware of Donovan, similar to Mersh, in my Foundation year. Donovan continues to inspire me for many different reasons, the main two being her use of the everyday objects and use of scale.

I absolutely adore the repetitive nature and streamline colour pallet of Donovan’s work.


Tara Donovan, 2018. (Image: https://www.pacegallery.com/news/3019/tara-donovan-in-hyperobjects-at-ballroom-marfa

Tara Donovan, 2018. (Image: https://www.pacegallery.com/news/3019/tara-donovan-in-hyperobjects-at-ballroom-marfa

Richard McVetis - Artist

This is a totally indulgent addition to the list. I am obsessed with McVetis’ intricate drawings and stitching, partly because I do not have the patience he does.

I found his work on instagram around a year ago and have been inspired since.


Richard McVetis, 2017. (Image: http://www.richardmcvetis.co.uk/light-abstractions-ii)

Richard McVetis, 2017. (Image: http://www.richardmcvetis.co.uk/light-abstractions-ii)

Vanessa Barragao - Textile Artist

Textiles is a medium so varied. As a printer and embroider I am fascinated by any form of textiles which I do not understand. I found Barragao’s work on social media, and have been inspired, perplexed and amazed since.   

Her work encourages me daily to push my medium further.


Vanessa Barragao, 2017. (Image: https://www.vanessabarragao.com/bleached-coral-i)

Vanessa Barragao, 2017. (Image: https://www.vanessabarragao.com/bleached-coral-i)

It is quite clear I am inspired by anything textural or repetitive. I am continuously inspired by the use, creation and exploration of texture, represented in the five artists mentioned.