Christian Newby’s practice suggests approaching the intersections of creative production through horizontal rather than vertical, or hierarchical paths. Through his practice he seeks to examine and broadly subvert metrics pertaining to value and skill within fine and applied arts practices. Newby is currently looking at the industrial carpet-tufting gun as a case study in how the roles of artist, artisan and fabricator are determined by terminal belief systems in productivity and commodification. His unique technique of ‘drawing with carpet’ redirects the manufacturing function of the carpet-tufting gun and instead explores its capacities as a mark-making tool, while observing its fundamental equivalences to the pencil, spray can, paintbrush and tattoo needle. Newby’s textiles carry an awareness of the anonymity of globalized commercial production and mass labour, in direct contrast with the skilful mastery equated with artisanal handicraft.
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