Shortlisted artist Alice Palmer tells us about her unique textile pieces…

Alice Palmer specialises in knitted textiles which she uses to create vibrant tapestries as a comment on our contemporary commodification of art…

What is it about the Young Masters Art Prize that you are most interested in?

I have been following the Young Masters Art Prize ever since it started, and love the way the initiative encourages artists to celebrate the style and craftsmanship of the Old Mastes, while firmly connecting it to what is happening now.

Can you explain to us what your work is about?

I have created a range of knitted tapestries that explore the way in which iconic artwork and sculpture is perceived today. I am interested to question how the public interacts with classic art in the age of the internet and social media. Does art lose its worth, and has commoditisation of art negated its aesthetic value? Do we appreciate the beauty and skill of Old Masters artworks, or do we use them for our own amusement – to collect images for our own Flickr, Pinterest and Instagram accounts or to update our Twitter and Facebook accounts with?

Which artist/s are you most inspired by?

Richard Hamilton

Roy Lichtenstein

Grayson Perry


Can you tell us something about your background?

I studied a BA in Knitted Textiles at Glasgow School of Art (1996-2000) and a Masters at the Royal College of Art (2005-2007). Based in London, I have had my own knitwear company for six years. As well as showing several successful and innovative fashion collections in London, Paris, Tokyo and New York, I have exhibited knitted sculpture at Schwartz Gallery, Hackney Wick, for three consecutive years in a group show called Allotments.

What inspired you to become an artist?

I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t want to be an artist.

If you weren’t an artist what would you be?

Apart from being a textile artist and knitwear designer, my other ambition was to be a stuntwoman. Unfortunately as I developed carpel tunnel syndrome, my ability to fling myself off bannisters and drive cars into huge inflatables has been severely diminished.

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

Winning the ‘Textile Brand of the Year’ award at the Scottish Fashion Awards, 2013 and of course being shortlisted for the Young Masters Art Prize, 2014.

What are your plans for the future?

To continue focusing on creating textile art and sculpture, developing ideas and techniques and ultimately, my goal is to have my first solo show in 2015.

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