Darren Ball’s embroidery reflects his love of textiles and the visual qualities present in fabric and thread. He uses applique and free machine embroidery to illustrate personal narratives or ideas, inspired by memorabilia,or his collection of vintage ‘Stitchcraft’ knitting and embroidery magazines. Period photographs or drawings provide the figurative element in his work: his ideas evolve from personal experiences, film, textile history or a chance find. Darren works with fabrics he has collected over many years fortheir specific characteristics, and this adds a uniqueness and ‘slowness’ to the handmade production of each piece. He carefully selects each fabric for its colour, surface and possible connotations,as well as its physical quality and response to cutting, layering and sewing. Darren may also include pieces of found embroidery, vintage or knitted fabrics to increase the variety of surface and to reference domestic handwork.
Darren aims to draw and paint with textiles, and his mark-making is achieved through sewing, contrasting surface qualities and embellishment. Stylistically he is influenced by fashion drawing, particularly the illustrations of Carl Erickson, Christian Berard and Rene Gruau. He admires theireconomical use of line, in which he sees relationshipsto free style embroideryand its relevance to his magazine collection. The scale of his current work reflects the domestic nature of the magazines he collects, adding both intimacy and an appropriateness of his work for domestic interiors.
Darren is based in Surreyand joined Design-Nation in 2019.