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Nigel Cheney |

Nigel Graham Cheney (MA)

After gaining a first class B.A Textiles, with Commendation in Art History, in 1990, Nigel Cheney graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1991 with an MA Textiles. He has held the position of Lecturer in Embroidered Textiles at NCAD since 1993. He has been the Republic of Ireland Selector for the Lódz Tapestry Triennale, Poland, since 2000. Professional duties have included being an External Examiner for the B.A. Textile Design, Bradford College 2002-2004. He is an expert in Industrial Multi-Head embroidery and has worked with several companies in Ireland and the UK.

His studio practice has revolved around the act of drawing and the production of stitched textiles for fashion, interiors, commission and gallery work. Recent works reflect the emotions and images associated with particular pieces of music. The titles refer to fragments of lyrics, which are indicative of some of these wide-ranging references. This work is predominantly process led, grounded in tradition and a passion for cloth and textile craftsmanship, with a striving for technical excellence. The ability to combine a wide variety of historical techniques is an essential part of the ‘act of making’ and a reflection on historical processes such as blackwork, voiding, appliqué, and hand stitches.

These are juxtaposed with the utilisation of digital media, transfer prints and hand painted cloth, reinterpreted through machine techniques and a contemporary aesthetic. These eclectic images are digitally scanned, manipulated, transferred, and embroidered. The resulting textile itself is often then rescanned and so the process repeats, like a refrain lingering in the subconscious long after the sound has faded. Textiles are worked, dissected, assembled, over printed, stitched and then cut up again.

These complex surfaces and textures are continually pulled apart and composed until the compositions are in the discord and harmony associated with their original audible inspiration. Despite the narrative elements of the work they are not meant as illustrations, rather a response to the stimulus of the record collection.


Current Research

The advanced practice of textiles as narratives/metaphor; the use of complex textile multi-disciplinary process to create discourse with relation to esoteric topics such as:

  • Autosomal recessive genetic disorders, in particular cohen syndrome:
  • The cult of saint sebastian, and male portraiture
  • The curation of natural history museums and the depiction of the natural world in a synthetic construct.

The dissemination of the development of teaching methodologies relating to:

  • drawing for design
  • Market research for textiles/fashion

New technologies in art and design, specifically the potential of industrial CAD for embrodiery. Cheney’s research interests span drawing painting and stitched textiles. There are a number of projects currently being explored.


Ongoing projects

Goldilocks and the 2 Bears- Developing a proposal for a 3 person show involving a textile sculptor and a ceramic artist. This focuses on reinterpreting aspects of the children’s story.

Not worth the paper its printed on - exploring found imagery from old bank notes and documents as pattern and imagery for large scale textile works.

Dark entries – documenting figurative carvings, and mouldings as architectural details found on entrances.





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