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Alice Fox

Textile artist Alice Fox explains her background, discusses her work and reminds full time artists to create their own opportunities in her chat with Fibre Arts Take Two. 

Alice’s Friday Feature Artist Interview can be found at the bottom of this page.

Artist Alice Fox has a focus on nature and sustainability, using found materials in her projects. She recently caught up with Fibre Arts Take Two to chat about her life and work. 

“I suppose I’ve been creative all my life. I spent my childhood making stuff in my bedroom and things. But my first kind of passion, in a professional sense, was nature conservation,” says Alice.

“I was obsessed with otters, and I started working in otter conservation, but after I had children, that work became less compatible with family life. When I left that job, I took an adult education class, which got me into textiles. Having done that for a couple of years, I decided to study it further and did a degree over five years. I have been working freelance as a professional artist ever since.” 

Alice says her early studies in geography and career in nature conservation were transferable skills. “I used to have to do talks in my old job, and I was able to continue that as a textiles teacher,” she explains. 

Soon after graduating, Alice created a big project as an artist in residence at a nature reserve in East Yorkshire. 

“Looking back on it, it was a massively ambitious project to do in the first year after graduating. But that gave it a real stamp of approval on what I was doing.”


To create her works for the residency, Alice explored the use of rubbish, rusty objects and other bits and pieces. “I got into using those things, and now people know my work through things like rust printing. I made two big pieces, including one ten metres long, dyed using rusty objects from the beach. These were displayed in quite an unconventional way, across the floors of a heritage-listed lighthouse.” 

See more about Alice’s Spurn Point art project: https://www.alicefox.co.uk/spurn-point-artist-residence/.

Following this, Alice decided to do another site-based work, but this time without the restrictions of working on the public or third-party-owned property. “I am a keen gardener, and I decided to tie in having an allotment (community garden) with my work. This formed the basis of my MA and has now integrated into my life. The plot is run as a normal allotment, and I create works from grown and left-behind materials; there is a huge amount of stuff in the shed! I did a whole inventory and then started to explore how I would use what I found.

Alice uses weeds, bramble and sweetcorn fibre, leeks from the vegetable beds and other materials to make cordage, baskets and other artistic creations. “I’m still exploring the different materials and how to use it all,” she says. 

A book on the work, called Plot 105, can be purchased from Alice’s website. “My work isn’t always about final pieces; it’s more about the process. So I can tell the story of a body of work and how that’s developed through a publication like this. Then I can send them off around the world to people who have not necessarily seen my work in person. And now I do this with most of my projects.”


Having been a professional artist for ten years, Alice is now well-established with a strong following. 

“I hit the ground running when I finished my degree and had great opportunities, which led to all sorts of things. It is a struggle, though, although I am very focused. I wanted to be self-employed and make that work around my family. People ask me for advice for people starting out, and it’s not a case of waiting for things to come to you. You have to make your own opportunities.” 

Even as an experienced artist, Alice still gets knockbacks. 

“I’ve applied for stuff this year that I’ve not got into, and that kind of thing happens all the time, at whatever stage of your career. Every time it happens, it is important to pick yourself up, move on, and try other things.” 


About the artist

Alice’s process-led practice is based on personal engagement with the landscape and has sustainability at its heart. She is fascinated by the detail of organic things, and her work celebrates and carries an essence of what she experiences in the natural world. Her background in physical geography and nature conservation underpins my artistic practice.

Working with natural fibres and gathered materials, Alice employs natural dyes, stitch, weave and soft basketry techniques. These elements come together in different combinations to create grouped surfaces and structures. 

A member of the Textile Study Group and the Society of Designer Craftsmen, Alice studied Contemporary Surface Design & Textiles at Bradford School of Arts & Media and recently completed an MA in Creative Practice at Leeds Arts University. She works from my studio in Saltaire, West Yorkshire, UK, and exhibits, lectures and teaches workshops nationally and internationally.



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