Alice Palmer is a London-based textile artist and knitwear designer, who pushes the boundaries between art, design and production. Through her knitted tapestries she explores the ways in which iconic works of art are perceived today in the age of the Internet and social media. Palmer uses industrial machines to create knitted artworks in a tapestry style, thus combining traditional techniques with modern methods of production. Palmer mass-produces her knitted technology and combines this with digital photography, Photoshop technologies and Pop Art inspired colour schemes to interact with the Old Masters 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.
Palmer has created successful and innovative fashion collections shown in London, Paris, Tokyo and New York, and has won numerous awards including Textile Brand of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards 2013. 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). At the Royal College of Art, Palmer specialised in Knitted Textiles, concentrating on developing unconventional ways of constructing knit.
Palmer’s recent exhibitions include The Wool Exhibition, South Korea, Tokyo and London, Easternblock showroom, Paris, Allotments, Schwartz Gallery, London, and Little Black Dress, Carlisle.
What is it about the Young Masters Art Prize that you are most interested in?
I have been following the Young Masters Art Prize ever since it started, and love the way the initiative encourages artists to celebrate the style and craftsmanship of the Old Mastes, while firmly connecting it to what is happening now.
Can you explain to us what your work is about?
I have created a range of knitted tapestries that explore the way in which iconic artwork and sculpture is perceived today. I am interested to question how the public interacts with classic art in the age of the internet and social media. Does art lose its worth, and has commoditisation of art negated its aesthetic value? Do we appreciate the beauty and skill of Old Masters artworks, or do we use them for our own amusement – to collect images for our own Flickr, Pinterest and Instagram accounts or to update our Twitter and Facebook accounts with?
Which artist/s are you most inspired by?
Richard Hamilton, Roy Lichtenstein, Grayson Perry, Michelangelo.
Can you tell us something about your background?
I studied a BA in Knitted Textiles at Glasgow School of Art (1996-2000) and a Masters at the Royal College of Art (2005-2007). Based in London, I have had my own knitwear company for six years. As well as showing several successful and innovative fashion collections in London, Paris, Tokyo and New York, I have exhibited knitted sculpture at Schwartz Gallery, Hackney Wick, for three consecutive years in a group show called Allotments.
What inspired you to become an artist?
I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t want to be an artist.
If you weren’t an artist what would you be?
Apart from being a textile artist and knitwear designer, my other ambition was to be a stuntwoman. Unfortunately as I developed carpel tunnel syndrome, my ability to fling myself off bannisters and drive cars into huge inflatables has been severely diminished.
What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
Winning the ‘Textile Brand of the Year’ award at the Scottish Fashion Awards, 2013 and of course being shortlisted for the Young Masters Art Prize, 2014.
What are your plans for the future?
To continue focusing on creating textile art and sculpture, developing ideas and techniques and ultimately, my goal is to have my first solo show in 2015.