Textiles Artist and Illustrator Cara McCaughey

Cara McCaughey is a Belfast based textile artist and illustrator specialising in hand embroidery, who graduated from the Belfast School of Art in Textiles.

Cara Mccaughey embroidery work

“My work has always been about drawing. From a really young age I’ve been happiest when creating and using my hands, but I’ve always reserved drawing as my favourite technique. During my Foundation year at Belfast School of Art I discovered textile art and was instantly captured. Here was an art form that held my illustrative style of drawing over countless techniques. I carried on in Textile Art as my degree specialisation and feel I’ve really flourished by learning to use hand embroidery, machine embroidery, knit machines, laser cutters, screen printing and more to build on and add to my drawings. Textiles have such potential – textile work can be anything from art, craft, design, product, accessories, functional, decorative and the blurring of all these boundaries is exciting for me as an artist.”

Cara Mccaughey textiles work

“I am inspired by narrative, wildlife and of course traditional textile techniques and I work to bring the three together in a harmonious and contemporary way. The technique I favour above all is hand embroidery. I work exclusively by hand and hope this brings attention to the rich, sometimes overlooked, history of hand embellishment.

My influences are quite varied. In regards to textiles I’m feeling very inspired by Timorous Beasties right now because I am working with repeat patterns. I am eternally inspired by and in awe of contemporary embroiderers pushing the boundaries of stitch, such as the fantastic Jenny Hart, Paddy Killer and Tilleke Schwarz. A lot of my influences are illustrators, such as Mark Hearld, Oliver Jeffers and Rob Ryan for their immediately recognisable graphic style. Finally, for philosophy behind working and living a creative life I am constantly turning to Stefan Sagmeister, especially his thought provoking, beautifully presented TED Talks.”

Cara Mccaughey textiles

“Currently I am in my final term of my final year in Belfast School of Art, working toward my degree show. I am building on an earlier piece of work, an exploration of life and death through the media of screen print and hand embroidery. Screen printing has been used as a means to draw the eye over the piece so that the hand embellished sections jump out and can be “read” as the eye is taken in a fluid motion by the repeating animals.”

Cara Mccaughey embroidery

Cara Mccaughey work

Cara Mccaughey

Website | Tumblr | @caramc_artist