“I believe the most innovative work emanates from a synthesis of historical and contemporary sources, based upon an assured understanding of both comparative technique and historical precedent. Materials are imbued with both a practical and conceptual dimension, I’m interested in embedded content, how we build and enrich an idea. My works recognise no hierarchy in approach or discipline; my visual language is a synthesis of craft, painterly, design and sculptural traditions.”
Michael has an international reputation as one of the most innovative and inspiring artists working in textiles today. Michael draws in fabrics, his work is sculptural and tactile. He is particularly interested in embroidery, lace-making and traditions in floral textiles. He uses his knowledge in these ancient crafts and combines them with modern day techniques, such as digital printing and computerised machine embroidery, to create sculptural, wall-hung, textile and multimedia pieces.
Although his work is first and foremost decorative it can be read on more than one level. Michael uses titles to allude to the source of inspiration for each one of his works. Recent flag-based pieces, for example, reveal their reference to conflict and war when seen up close.
Born in Bury, Lancashire, Michael has over 40 years experience as a practising artist. He has lectured at Goldsmiths College, London and has taught and held residencies at universities in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Belgium.
He was appointed Professor of Art - Politics in Ornament at Wolverhampton University in 2013.
Michael’s work has been commissioned by numerous organisations and is represented in private and public collections worldwide including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the National Gallery of Australia and the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, Japan.