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An Interview with Textile Artist Diana Mckinnon

February 04, 2022

An Interview with Textile Artist Diana Mckinnon

Hello. Who are you and what do you do? 

I'm Diana Mckinnon. I’m a Textile Artist. I love using fabric and stitch in creative ways.

Do you have any shows/open studios, art festivals, demos, awards etc coming up in the next six months?  

Talk at Beckenham Quilter's Guild. March 1st Organise and show at Riverhill Bluebell Festival, April 20th – May 1st Exhibit with SDC at Southbank Gallery in June


How has your practice changed over time?

The use of free motion stitching on silk fibres has intensified, whereas I used to focus on the fabrics, with minimal stitch and beaded decoration.

What’s your scariest experience?

Trusting picture rails, put up temporarily with strong glue, to hang work for Open Studio exhibition, hearing a strange noise a while later and turning to watch my pictures slide down the wall.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

I was a Primary School teacher. Ran an Artist in Residence Scheme for a London Charity.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

Last Open Studio a couple told me they had purchased a poppy picture about 12 years ago. Work had taken them abroad over the years but my picture had always travelled with them as a reminder of the English countryside.

Are there stories behind the two artworks you have selected to appear here?  

A unique image of waves crashing against the rocks, made by artist diana mckinnon using fabrics, threads and machine embroidery.

"Forever Turning" above, is from a photograph I took trying to capture the height of the highest wave as the sea hit the rocks. I was standing on a beach, on an island off Auckland, where the day before my nephew had got married at a beautiful winery overlooking the vineyards and sea.

‘On the Lookout’ below, combines a series of different techniques that I experimented with in Lockdown. I had time to explore and discover new ways of using stitch and fabric.

On the Lookout, by artist diana mckinnon, an image of a barn owl with a white face sitting on a wooden stump, made from free embroidery and fabrics

What research to you do?

Attend exhibitions, belong to a Textile Site that interviews artists and offers workshops.

Favourite or most inspirational place?

Come spring I’m taking my camera to capture more bluebell photographs to use as inspiration for my signature pictures. Arlington Farm in Sussex has the most amazing bluebell walks.


What wouldn’t you do without?

My sewing machine, silk fibres and vast collection of threads.

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