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Artists CV    artwork
Amy Owen

SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS
1995-2002 Castell Alun High School, Hope, Flintshire.
9 GCSEs
3 A-Levels
English Literature: A; Psychology: A; Art: A

2002-2003 Yale College, Wrexham
Art Foundation Course completed 2003 with Merit.

2003-2006 Staffordshire University
BA (Hons) Fine Art, University of Staffordshire. Currently studying in second year.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2003-2004
Exhibition Experience
Awarded a 1st for "Exhibition and Curation" module for first year Fine Art BA (Hons).
Private: University-held two person show, January 04.
First Year Show 2004 (as part of degree course.) May 04.
Ideal Home: Bentilee Housing Estate, Stoke-on-Trent. Community intervention/site-specific project and exhibition. June 04.
North Wales Open: selected for Clwyd Theatr Cymru show of work by Artists in North Wales. July 04.
Isle of Art Exposure Gallery, Swansea. Exhibition of 'small works'. August 04.
Art of Love: gallery@oxo on London's South bank, exhibition of art and poetry on the theme of love. February-March 05. (Available on line at www.londonart.co.uk from September 04)
2004-2005
Professional Experience
" Gallery Assistant, Wrexham Arts Centre.

Taken from catalogue for "Private" exhibition, January 04:

"Amy Owen uses traditional techniques such as embroidery and cross stitch to make her emotionally charged work. Themes such as love and lust, the feminine domestic role, and the collapse of relationships are explored.
Owen sees herself as the messenger, or ventriloquist's dummy, in her role as an artist. The voice, emotions, thoughts and statements expressed are not her own but those of various others she has created.
There is a sense of loss of grief here, a feeling of deep injury that leaves the viewer unsure as to their role in the work. The small pieces of sewn fabric dare to discuss sex and death, violence, love, faith and gender. They identify insecurity, passion, depression, belief and despair.
When viewing this exhibition, the audience find themselves reeled in by seductive fabrics and textures. Their trust is gained by the familiar domestic items: doilies and bedsheets, and the perceived prettiness of synthetic roses and decorative fabrics. However, once the viewer comes into close proximity with the work, a darker more unstable reality emerges: plastic roses become pornographic, bedsheets become banners declaring desperate emotions, clothing zips are genitalia and doilies are leaked secret thoughts. "Private" is a show that examines what is human in all of us, and through this it gains universal significance. It is tender and explicit all at once, leaving the viewer with little choice but to respond."

Taken from Professional Practice Document May 2004:

"By late autumn 2003 I realised how important 'skill' was to my way of thinking, and resolved to learn and improve my abilities with fabric and thread. I chose cross stitch first, and studied the "Home Sweet Home" or "Bless This House" samplers found in so many homes over the last hundred years. I made my own version of this using the traditional pastel colours and centred text, but instead of a twee message of saccharine comfort, I wrote "Please Don't Fuck Me Over". For me, this was an attempt to deliver honesty where deception usually resides; I feel that there is much more emotional turmoil and discomfort whenever there is a concerted attempt to hide such things. I also enjoyed the fact that a cross stitch sampler will always reference its own infinite social history, and that perhaps what I was stitching was not necessarily coming from me but from every previous generation of women who bent their heads over such work. We have all been paranoid, we have all been insecure, we have all felt afraid."

Taken From Current Artist's Statement :

The familiar domestic items around our homes usually give us a sense of security and comfort. In my work I take these items and subvert their meaning so that they become more disturbing, eliciting feelings of guilt, anxiety and doubt. I do this using stitch, a process mainly employed for domestic tasks. I am concerned with love and relationships, particularly their psychological consequences. I find that when I communicate a statement of keenly felt emotion the audience's response is equally strong, they recognise an experience or memory that is evoked by the work; to elicit an emotional response is an exciting form of success.
There is a clear gender-awareness in my work, but I hope that this does not necessarily mean the work is gender specific or exclusive. I am particularly interested in the role of women in society, and especially in relation to the domestic, but this should not immediately identify my work as 'feminist'.
Through my research and practice of traditionally female fabric crafts, such as dressmaking, knitting, and patchwork quilting, I discovered cross stitch and embroidery as effective modes of communication using text. This embroidery of words onto domestic fabrics became the core of my work during last year. I have recently moved on to photography and more sculptural pieces, and look forward to an opportunity to exhibit these in the near future.