Corinne Young is a textile artist from the UK. She creates embroidered botanically-inspired 3D artwork and completed a degree in Textile Design at Bradford College in 2003.
Corinne has exhibited widely in galleries throughout the UK, and taken part in Open Studios, and other arts events. She has also undertaken several large commissions and residencies. Her work is in private collections all over the world.
Corinne’s father and several ancestors on both sides of her family worked in the Lancashire textile industry. Her mother, aunt and grandmother were all keen needlewomen, and taught her the possibilities of working with fabric. She has always loved to stitch, and has done so ever since she can remember, making outfits for her dolls, and a memorable smocked top for herself when she was 9! She says: “it was truly terrible, but I was very proud of it and wore it all the time!”
Corinne’s mother was a keen gardener and taught her a great deal about plants. As a child she found gardens fascinating and magical, and this feeling has always stayed with her. Alongside her passion for textiles, it was a natural progression for botanical studies to form a major part of her degree work. It also involved studying at the RHS Lindley Library in London and the Economic Botany collection at Kew Gardens. Much inspired by her studies, her final year collection of embroidered hand made paper pieces was based around botanical specimens and seedheads.
After completing her degree, Corinne’s career began with a big commission gained at her first exhibition in London. It involved making 16 large painted and embroidered hangings as publicity pieces for the Lord of the Rings stage show.
In recent years, and after moving to the countryside, Corinne‘s own work has become increasingly inspired by plants. It has progressed from 2D framed pieces through to stumpwork, and finally to 3D sculptures and dioramas.
“Thank you for your tremendous work on the commissioned pieces for The Lord of the Rings opening night event. They exceeded our expectations and generated much attention and praise from the guests. I can only marvel at the amount of skill and attention to detail that went into each panel. We have now installed the work in our offices and look forward to enjoying them for many years to come.”William Bennett, Kevin Wallace Ltd.
Methods and Current Work
Corinne’s current collections are all about the flowers she studies in her garden, antique botanical books, flower myths and meanings and the artefacts to be found in historic houses (particularly 17th century stumpwork).
She still uses the handmade linen paper she developed during her degree as a base for her embroidery. She makes this in large sheets in her studio using linen fibres and a silk paper making method. This material is robust and has a natural stiffness which works really well with the layers of stitch to make her sculptures.
Corinne says: “A couple of years ago I became obsessed with Auriculas when I saw them being exhibited in ‘theatres’ at flower shows. They are such beautiful, theatrical plants with a huge variety of different types and colourways. When I look at them they suggest embroidery to me, and I love that they have a long history with many textile associations.
“The plants have a very short flowering season, and I am happy that I have been able to create stitched versions which are always in flower, and can bring everlasting joy to their owners. They have quickly become my most popular products. I am in the process of making a new collection of other embroidered pot plants to compliment the Auriculas. I intend these collections to be seasonal”.
These future heirloom pieces are delicate in feel and reflect the complexity and fragility of their subject matter. All pieces are designed, made, constructed and finished by Corinne. Everything she produces is made with great care, and takes many hours to create.
“Minute study of the botanical detail of her subjects may be the starting point for Corinne’s work, but she shows us that she can take her observations in a range of directions depending on the qualities she seeks to highlight and the context or purpose of the piece she is making. By exercising tight control over the fundamental materials and techniques she uses, even hand making her own linen paper as a base, she gives herself the freedom to incorporate vintage fabrics and serendipitous finds while still retaining the integrity of her designs.Wendy Morris, Judge, Craft & Design Magazine Selected Maker Awards 2015