In the Spotlight: Artist Q&A - Hayley McCrirrick

Artist Q&A, In the SpotlightEMERGE

In the Spotlight

Artist Q&A - Hayley McCrirrick

There’s just something about monochromes that we absolutely love here at Emerge; something enigmatic about them. Inspired by the grey light and rugged landscapes of her rural Scottish surroundings Hayley creates distinctive dyed compositions on textured linens. A monochrome palette of black and ecru distills the organic quality of line found between the base cloth and washes of dye. Hayley McCrirrick is a Textile Artist based in the Scottish Borders. Since graduating in 2017 she has shown her work in London and Paris, also completing various commercial and private commissions in the U.K and USA.
Interested to gain a little insight into the inspiration behind Hayley’s work, we thought we’d ask her a few questions.

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1. How did you get into art?

I always enjoyed being creative growing up, but studying and practising art professionally wasn’t something I could have imagined. In my final year of school I had a very supportive teacher who encouraged me to pursue my passion and I went on to study textiles for four years before setting up my own studio.  

2. What is your chosen subject? and why? 

All of my work has a restrictive element. I use a specific technique of screen-printing, working with only one black dye. If I work on paper I use black charcoal, conte crayon or Indian ink. By working with these restraints I hope to seek out ultimate refinement in what I create.

3. What materials do you use and why?

 I work with natural cloth and unbleached papers. My favourite cloth is linen, it has an inherent beauty that is a constant inspiration to me. 

4. Where do you get your inspiration from?

I am inspired primarily by landscapes. I always try to extract the very essence of my subject, focussing on simple forms and lines. In terms of influence, I am fascinated with Korean and Japanese minimalism.

5. What’s your studio like?

My studio is a converted coach house which sits in the grounds of an estate. My surroundings are very peaceful and look out on to a loch, forest and rolling hills. It’s a very beautiful place to work from.


6. Are there any other artists that inspire you?

I love Yun Hyong-Keun’s approach to painting and use of colour. I recently discovered Emma Zhang’s beautiful collages, they have quiet depth and character. 

7. What is it you are trying to achieve in your pieces?

I want my work to feel very grounded, almost meditative.

8. How do you know when a piece is finished and when it’s the right time to stop?

Beginning new work with a calm mind is the best way for me to create in a considered and balanced way. I have to have a vision or overall feel for the piece I am about to start. Once I lay out the screen and apply the dye I need to be completely happy with the stencilled composition. Drafting the stencil can sometimes take days. During this stage I try to allow myself to create more freely. These moments of spontaneity often inform the rest of the process: either resolving a piece or over-working it. It’s a very fine balance and for me one of the hardest skills to grasp as an artist.

9. Are there any other art forms that you would like to try such as sculpture, ceramics, printmaking etc?

 I would love to try stone lithography. I’m actually planning to take classes this year. As a print technique it has the most amazing painterly quality, which I think is really interesting.  

10. What are you working on currently?

I am currently working on a series of large-scale screen-printed canvases. Creating work of this scale has required some adaptations in my process, but it has really pushed the boundaries of my practice.

I’m also working on some new landscape line drawings which will be exhibited alongside the canvases at an exhibition I have coming up in Edinburgh this September.