I am interested in the value, heritage and traditions of hand made creative skills of Shetland lace knitting in relation to – or relevance to art practices today.
Tracey Doxey is a practicing Sheffield-based artist with a nomadic, cross disciplinary artistic practice expressed through creating site-specific / site-responsive work which utilises 2D and 3D materials to address the themes and value of Shetland heritage and traditional handmade creative domestic knitting skills (past and present) alongside drawing on the gendered politics of the women who made (and still make) knitted articles to subsidise an income.
She is a knitter, creates hand block printed lace design wallpaper and lace laser cuts in paper. She is also a photographer, ethnographic story teller, blogger and traveller. She graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 1998 in Fine Art specialising in Super 8 films and photography. Since graduating, Tracey has worked at BALTIC Centre of Contemporary Art, Danceworks UK, London Contemporary Dance School and Site Gallery, Sheffield. In July 2008, Tracey left Sheffield on the 8am train to London then arrived, after catching many more trains, in Beijing on 08-08-08. where she lived, worked and travelled across China for 18 months.
Tracey’s creative practice has been to embed herself within place, write and blog of her journey, photograph the stories of the people and the places in which they and she lived and to develop ethnographic research in the places that she has deeply known – most recently – the remote islands of Shetland. She has also developed a creative knitting practice for forty years.
Eighteen years after graduating from a BA Fine Art at SHU, Tracey returned to University to attend a part-time MA in Textiles /Knit at Nottingham Trent University, specialising in Computer Aided Design knitted lace, inspired by the traditional heritage of the Shetland knitted lace industry and its knitters. Her digital CAD simulations of the lace knit were used in further processes to create large scale paper laser cuts and laser cut stamps to hand block print. The outcome is a run of popup, site-specific exhibitions using lace knit, paper laser cuts and wallpaper, placed in abandoned croft houses across Shetland on the small islands of Unst, Bressay and Burra. The work grew to be placed as a testament to the many lace knitters who subsidised the meagre income of the family and who lived for generations in the many now abandoned croft houses scattered across the islands.
A distillation between time, place and experience.
During a one month residency in Scalloway, in December 2017 and an Arts Council, Making Ways R&D Grant to return to Shetland in May 2018, Tracey firmly established her creative practice.
In July 2018, Tracey graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a high distinction.
In October 2018, Tracey joined the AA2A Artist Residency Programme at Sheffield Institute of Arts and has continued to develop experimenting with digital laser printing on paper using her lace knit. She continues to explore ideas of site specific installation work within the abandoned homes in Shetland, drawing on the stories of the women who lived there.
From October to December 2019, Tracey will be living on the small Island of Fair Isle as intern to Mati Ventrillon at Fair Isle Knitwear, Shetland to work and continue to create site-specific art.
Site Specific work – Bressay May 2018
The Old Haa, The Island of Yell – August 2017
Dear Gentle Reader – Sheffield Institute of Arts. June 2019
Printed booklet on Site Specific work on request – pdf link below
‘Be the artist you are.’
Live home/work space with Alfie chubchub
One Hundred views of The Arts Tower. March 2019