Michelle Walker’s work is in many public collections and she has exhibited widely. In 2007 she was guest curator at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery for ‘The art of wrapping: furoshiki textiles from Japan.’
Artist curator Michele Walker studied graphic design at Canterbury College of Art and the London College of Printing. For a number of years she combined work as a freelance art editor for Dorling Kindersley Publishers, London with her textile practice.
Her research into Japanese sashiko textiles began in 2002 as a participating artist with British Crafts in Japan, a research mission organised by the Crafts Council, London. The following year she was awarded a three year (practice led) Arts and Humanities Research Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts, hosted by the School of Arts and Architecture, University of Brighton. Additional funding for her research was received from a Wingate Scholarship, the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation and Arts Council England.
Walker’s work is in many public collections and she has exhibited widely, most recently in ‘The fabric of myth’, Compton Verney, Warwickshire. In 2007 she was guest curator at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery for ‘The art of wrapping: furoshiki textiles from Japan’ display, showing textiles she had collected in Japan on behalf of the museum. Presently she is curating a touring exhibition in collaboration with York Museums Trust titled ‘Japanese sashiko textiles’, that will open in October 2009 at York Art Gallery.
Her association with the university as research fellow gave Walker the chance to develop her practice on a larger scale; to explore a wide range of materials and work with sound and lighting effects. In 2005 as part of the Brighton Festival programme, Fabrica commissioned Walker to create Maker’s Unknown, a sculptural installation based on her research into the cultural and decline of communities that produced sashiko.
A later outcome was an exhibition in 2007 at University of Brighton Gallery ‘Stitching for survival’, that was made in response to her extensive fieldwork in Japan. The presentation of preliminary models, studies and illustrative materials provided a further insight into the methodology and depth of research that underpins her practice. The exhibition coincided with a symposium ‘Contemporary artists’ responses to Japanese traditions’.