Alice Palmer is a London based textile artist and knitwear designer, renowned for pushing boundaries within art, design and production.
Through her recent knitted tapestries she explores the way in which iconic artwork and sculpture is perceived today. She asks, how do the public interact with classic art in the age of the internet and social media? Does it lose its worth, and has commoditisation negated aesthetic value? Do we appreciate these artworks as pieces of beauty and skill, or do we use them for our own amusement – to collect images for Flickr, Pinterest and Instagram accounts, or to update Twitter and Facebook statuses with?
The Mona Lisa, famously, has had many replicas and reinterpretations. Even at the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition in Florence, a celebration of the artist’s great genius, there is a Mona Lisa at the entrance with a cut-out face, allowing visitors to recreate that famous smile. Thus the image is constantly being reinvented, re-imagined and re-appropriated for a new aesthetic – one which removes the traditionally reverent relationship between art and artist.
To explore these ideas in this series of works, Alice Palmer uses industrial machines to create knitted artworks in a tapestry style, thus combining traditional techniques of creation with modern methods of production. Palmer produces her knitted technology and combines this with digital photography, Photoshop technologies and Pop Art inspired colour schemes to interact with old classics in a new, fresh way.
Palmer draws inspiration from a diverse range of subjects: the illusionary and mathematical aesthetics of polyhedra and topology; the theories of Physics; the music of David Bowie, and the style of Pop Art, to name but a few.
Following completing a BA in Knitted Textiles at the Glasgow School of Art (1996-2000), her passion for furthering her knitting skills took her to London to study a Masters at the Royal College of Art (2005-07), where she specialised in Knitted Textiles, concentrating on developing unconventional ways of constructing knit.
Palmer has created several innovative fashion collections shown in London, Paris, Tokyo and New York, winning numerous awards including Textile Brand of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards 2013, and NY Profile Best Womenswear designer, New York Fashion Week 2008. Palmer’s recent exhibitions include Young Masters Art Prize, London; Knitwear Chanel to Westwood, London; The Wool Exhibition, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo and London; Allotments, Schwartz Gallery, Hackney Wick, and Little Black Dress, Carlisle.