Manc of the Month: Marian Jazmik.

We’ve all been on long walks this year, explored our local parks and green space etc. Well this month’s Manc of the Month artist goes one step further. She can takes in her surroundings as she explores the natural world, and she documents the bits we maybe don’t pay as much attention to – and she makes us pay attention to them! Marian Jazmik is a textiles artist and produces work that correlates with the northern landscape and translates the textures nature has to offer, to create various textile pieces using a mix of materials and techniques, producing a variety of interesting, beautiful and delicate work for us to view.

We had to pleasure to speak to Marian about her work, her exhibitions and what she likes to do in her down time.

Cotton On MCR: Please introduce yourself and your work to the Cotton On MCR readers. 

Marian Jazmik: ‘Hi, I am Marian Jazmik and I am a textile artist based in Bolton, Greater Manchester, where I was born and where I live. I am a retired Head of Design Technology teacher and although I have always produced textile art, retirement has provided the perfect opportunity to develop, produce and exhibit my own work. I now have a home studio and I produce textile art inspired by nature, mainly observed on the nearby Lancashire moors. I record images using photography and use the computer to develop ‘macro’ images which are my inspiration. I interpret the images using a wide variety of textile techniques, but key to my work is the use of mixed media materials normally found in our homes, sheds and garages, much of which would normally end up in landfill. I design and make work which is highly textured, whether this is wall art, sculptures or vessels. My work evolves and develops through experimentation and the creative journey is always unpredictable.’

CO: Your work stems directly from nature, what is it about the natural surroundings that makes you want to replicate aspects of them? 

MJ: ‘As we all know, nature offers the artist such a wealth of inspiration, the same tree can look vastly different at different times of the year and even different times of the day so I always have a wealth of primary inspirational material just on my doorstep. I particularly find growth and decay of the natural environment appealing. I love to observe the textural surfaces of trees, lichen, fungi, seed heads, shells, foliage and I am always amazed and inspired by the textures, shapes and colours that ‘macro’ photography reveals. I don’t use a sketchbook, my samples/experimental pieces are my go to library and they help me to develop my ideas for final pieces.’

CO: Your work is full of different layers, do you have a particular layer/material you always start from? 

MJ: ‘I always work with a range of fabrics and mixed media components. The base layer is usually a heavy weight interfacing that is primarily used in upholstery. I like to combine fabrics, generally selecting fine synthetic fabrics which I sometimes dye, but my colour palette more often than not is muted and often monochrome. I combine fabrics using free machine embroidery which allows me to ‘draw’ with thread using the sewing machine. Fabrics and mixed media components such as wires, mesh, packaging and other items are subjected to various heat treatments and the work begins to evolve.’

CO: How have you found creating work this year with the challenges that Covid-19 has brought?  

MJ: ‘I have to say that I am a very prolific worker! Keeping busy has certainly helped me to cope with all the problems and issues that lockdown has caused for us all and has provided a form of escapism. Following my first solo exhibition with the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexander Palace, London and at Harrogate conference centre in 2019, I was commissioned to write a book about my work, so during lockdown this is exactly what I did! It is due to be published late summer 2021. Lockdown also provided even more opportunities than normal, to walk and to observe the natural environment. This certainly helped my own mental health and provided lots and lots of inspirational images. I decided to produce a series of work inspired by tree bark and a series of vessels inspired by ‘slime mould’.’

CO: What is your favourite piece/one you are most proud of and why? 

MJ: ‘I am a member of ‘Prism’, an international textile exhibiting group and S.E.W (Society for Embroidered Work). I am most pleased with a series of work that I produced for the Prism exhibition in London, ‘Fragility’. It consisted of a series of textile art spheres inspired by seed heads and their delicate but functional structures. I later exhibited these at the Manchester Open exhibition and was delighted to be shortlisted for the sculpture award. It was wonderful to see textile art along with other fabulous art mediums.’


CO: What do you think of Manchester’s art scene? 

MJ: ‘I know that the art scene is diverse and multicultural and this was very evident at the ‘Home’ art open exhibition. I don’t get into the city that often but I am always on the lookout for exhibitions that I would like to see. I particularly enjoy the textile arts but these exhibitions are few and far between so I often visit galleries/museums throughout the North West. I would love to exhibit in Manchester one day!’

CO: Who are your favourite artists?

MJ: ‘I’ve never forgotten a visit to the Whitworth art gallery many years ago and seeing the work of Michael Brennand-Wood. I was so enthused to see his 3D textile/mixed media pieces. His sculptural works continue to inspire.’  

CO: What do you do when you aren’t making art? What are your other hobbies/what do you do on the weekend? 

MJ: ‘Days out visiting various areas and perhaps taking in an exhibition. Going for long walks (always taking my trusty camera phone along just in case!) and a visit to a great restaurant at the end of the day is always a treat.’

CO: What’s your fave Netflix binge/what are you currently watching? 

MJ: ‘I’m a sucker for a good detective series, latest watch has actually been a rerun of Luther!’ 

CO: What famous art work would you like to live in and why?  

MJ: ‘L S Lowry’s ‘Going to the Match’. I’ve always associated this painting as being Burden Park in Bolton. I was brought up not far away and it always brings back wonderful memories of childhood days and of being taken to the match with my dad. I am now a lifelong Bolton Wanderers supporter!’

Read our previous Manc of the Month article with Nancy Collantine.

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