We recently had the pleasure of hosting Graham Hollick’s in our Coal Drops Yard store where he will not only displayed his art whilst working on a piece as well as holding a workshop. Graham, is a creative director based in London with extensive international experience in art direction, creative consultancy, design, and trend forecasting. He has worked with renowned international clients and has taught at art colleges in the UK and Europe while mentoring students during his time in Paris.
He founded Stitch by Stitch, an ethical home textiles brand that works with artisans in India and Nepal. Graham's recent obsession with rug hooking began during the first COVID-19 lockdown. He uses entirely reused materials, such as strips of textiles from used clothing and coffee sacks, to create his innovative rug hooked works. Graham has been published in Selvedge magazine, mentored a group of rug hookers in Toronto, and we’re delighted to have him with us so you can experience his work.
We had the chance to take some time out and quiz him about his experiences and inspiration for his current exploration of ‘Rug-Hooking’.
BLA: Hi Graham, could you tell us what is the connection with Denim and what you do?
GH: As I had decided that I wanted to continue working with this “rug hooking’ technique, I started to think about how I could show my work. I thought it would be interesting to approach fashion brands to see if there was any interest in a collaboration where I could use their off cuts. Blackhorse Lane Ateliers was and obvious one as they are based close to me, and I like the artisan ethics of the brand.
Although denim is not the ideal material for rug hooking as it is quite stiff, and the colour pallet is narrow. I quickly discovered (as with Jeans) there is an immediate seduction in those indigo shades. As BLA had responded positively to my proposal I felt the challenge was to come up with something special with their waste.
BLA: Your work utilises waste materials, was this a conscious decision or something you had on hand when starting out?
GH: I guess initially it was what I had to hand, although I have alway been attracted to the ‘make do and mend’ mentality. As soon as I realised what I could create using entirely discarded fabrics I decided that would become integral to this work.
BLA: You mentioned that your work is inspired by Street Art, is there any particular artists or era’s that you have drawn upon?
GH: Since Malcom McLaren introduced me to street art with his Duck Rock album of 1983, and it’s mix of world music and Hip Hop and the cover design including Keith Haring's work,I have been attracted to Street Art. More recently I started to see more and more on the streets of Hackney especially along the Canals, I became interested in random words and phrases that appear on walls making enigmatic statements, I started to make pieces that visualised some of these and their surroundings.
BLA: If someone is interested in getting into Rug Hooking where is the best place to start?
GH: Come to one of my workshops !!!! Actually there are lot of Youtube tutorials which are and ideas way to start. You can begin with a crochet hook some old clothes and a coffee sack, it’s as easy as that .
BLA: You just completed a Rug Hooking Workshop in our store as well as having a 1 week residency, what have you taken away from this experience?
GH: This was a really great experience for me and a confidence boost. This being the first time I have presented this artistic work in public, it was very inspiring to get peoples reaction in person and see the enthusiasm for what I am doing.
We want to thank Graham for his time with us and for creating such a great and engaging workshop for our community!
If you would like to find out more about Graham you can do so HERE.