An artist a day ft. Amy Yarwood

This years Oldham Open features over 300 individual pieces from small intricately crafted jewellery to a large 6ft x 6ft mixed media canvas. The remarkable array of mediums, techniques and styles used demonstrates the talents and skills of local artists and craftspeople from the Oldham Borough.

To celebrate the opening of the Oldham Open we will be featuring a number of our exhibiting artists as guest bloggers, telling us a little about themselves and their work.

The next fantastic artist to feature as a guest blogger is…

Amy YarwoodWhite Mandala

1. Please can you give me a brief introduction about yourself and your work…

Since Graduating from Huddersfield University, the signature of my work has become well defined. My home sits between Oldham and Manchester and this has inspired the amalgamation of styles which I have fostered. In Manchester I see gritty street art sitting beside Buddhist temples, the endless stretches of beautiful bars & restaurants which flood the once desolate Northern Quarter. Hipsters, Straight Edge Vegans, Scene kids and those still stuck in the 90’s intermingle among the Guerrilla gardening, tagging, yarn bombing and general organised chaos of the city’s new heart; the life blood of the Mancunian art scene. In contrast, the historic links between Oldham and textiles, a well established and proud history of manufacturing which is echoed in the remaining cotton mills which still stand today. This link between functionality and artistic expression is where my passion lies. I can’t quite get enough of this seemingly endless evolution. This is my first submission to an exhibition post graduation, and I hope it to be the first in a long line of exciting new ventures.

2. Can you tell me about the work you have  about your inspiration for the piece, is this your usual type of work? What technique have you used and why?

The word ‘Mandala’ is an old Sanskrit term which loosely translates to circle. It has been used in Hindu and Buddhist tradition to represent the universe and has been adopted by many as a generic symbol of the cosmos.

This piece has been created using a combination of Indian Ink and pencil, and the frame completed by wrapping up cycled black cotton. Mandala’s are extremely pleasing to draw, the representative action of creating as close to perfect symmetrical sections becomes a meditative practice, a sense of calm is needed and patience is key.

3. Are you working on anything else at the moment?

I am currently working on a collection of fabrics which feature my art work. . Reoccurring themes include birds, Mandalas, The Ocean, and The All Seeing Eye.

4. What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you couldn’t make your work without?

A good quality permanent black marker. I could spend my life drawing in pencil and rubbing it out, pen marks are much harder to retract.

5. When you’re not busy creating what do you like doing in your spare time? Any other hobbies or interests?

I am a full time textile designer running my own business. My artwork features in most of my work. Outside of this, I attend Yoga and Pilates weekly, and am a fur mum to my dog Hunter who likes to keep my company whilst I work.

6. Which other artists do you admire or inspire your work? (famous or not!)

Mr Finch is a Leeds based artist who creates textile taxidermy. I have always admired his creativity and imagination. Alexander McQueen is also a favourite of mine.

7. What would people be surprised to find out about you?

I am the only left handed, one dimpled Vegan that I know exists!

8. And lastly, do you have any inspiring tips or words to share with everyone?

I was always worried about how ‘Good’ I was, leading to massive amounts of self criticism.Even after my formal education I still wasn’t sure what direction to take my creativity. No matter what stage of life you are at, do not be afraid to try and discover your inner potential.

See more of Amys work by visiting her Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram or Linkdin

The Oldham Open is on until December 5, be sure to visit to see Amys work and all of the other submitting artists and makers.

EvaD Ould-Okojie

Access and Interpretation Officer