Creatives of Sheffield: Jacqueline Hilson

28th June, 2018
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"I’m Jacqui Hilson and I’m a textile artist based in Walkley. I call myself a textile artist because it’s a bit of a shortcut - I think my work is quite hard to explain unless you see it. 

"I work in fabrics so a lot of people are like 'Is it cushions?' No, it’s not cushions. It’s art - and that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with craft but I sort of want to take people away from that. My influences aren’t craft - they’re really painters. I really like abstract, expressionists - Edvard Munch, those kinds of people. I like a lot of African art as well - my parents are Nigerian so I’m influenced by that."

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"I enjoy colour, although I don’t tend to wear it myself I do like working with it. I used to paint but I like working with fabric because I think art is a metaphor for life, so I love all the layers. I like the idea that we put layers on and you don’t really get to know a person until you dig into those layers and that’s what I’m doing with a lot of my work. A lot of the work looks quite simple but when I talk about the process it’s about trying to reveal what’s underneath. 

"Usually I like to work for myself. I did try for a bit where I was trying to second-guess what an audience might want but then I’d finish a piece and absolutely hate it. At the same time, we live in a world where you have to pay the bills so you want to be able to sell your work. I struggle with the idea that people say ‘it’s not all about you’ because I think that it is all about me! How can I work with someone else? That’s the internal struggle you have, about how to make it relevant to other people.

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"I do a lot of trees because I find trees fascinating, I especially like bare trees because I think people find them quite negative but I think they’re beautiful - bare trees hold a promise. I love the idea that you wait and wait and wait and then one day, something happens."