Art and Textiles by University of Bolton Graduate Kayleagh Dowdall

This morning’s post involves talented and passionate artist Kayleagh Dowdall! A recent graduate from the University of Bolton, Kayleagh is now getting stuck into life as a professional artist with her new business ‘Art Shaped‘. The thought and love that go into Kayleagh’s projects are really evident and it’s a pleasure to showcase some of them here on Business Boom:

“I have had a passion for art since being a child. I was always encouraged with drawing and being creative and so obviously it was just in my nature to continue with it in my life and therefore, my education. I have followed art through as a single subject since my GCSEs which I studied at Ashton on Mersey High School in Sale, and graduated in 2011 from The University of Bolton with a 2:1 Ba Hons in Art & Design.

Starfish - Acrylic

My work is influenced by cultural sources, mostly old dress making patterns, nature and family imagery. Artists obviously inspire my artwork; Cy Twombly, Lauren Child, Eduardo Recife, Merle Goll and Anya Gallaccio are among my favourite artists! I work across several areas of art, including Photoshop, painting and drawing. My real passion, however, lies in textiles, particularly in free machine embroidery. For me, the needle is just a drawing instrument, yet the thread just adds a different kind of depth to the work. Works of this kind will soon be available in my Etsy shop.

Cake Shop - Textiles

Off the Bobbin 1

Off the Bobbin 2

I enjoy thinking up new solutions or ideas for work, often I experiment with using a material in a way in which I wouldn’t have originally thought of using it. My larger projects have often been very metaphorical and have a heavy theory behind them, mainly personal ones; nevertheless, I also enjoy just creating art for the aesthetics.

My most recent project was about memory, where I looked closely at the brain diseases Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Unfortunately, this disease is something that has been in my family, but many people are affected by these ailments each year, not only the sufferer themselves but those surrounding them also. The project began by looking at temporary art, metaphorically linking the decaying of natural materials to the loss of memory and deterioration of the brain. I was influenced by the works of Anya Gallaccio, Andy Goldsworthy and an artist I had seen at the Liverpool Biennial named Sachiko Abe. The work went through several stages of development (some of these can be seen on my website) and eventually became a combination of family imagery and organic decaying materials. The project wasn’t just about Alzheimer’s, it was about keeping memories also and so the images that were eventually chosen for the final exhibits were all deep with sentimental meaning. The work became conceptual and two of the works were site specific in the idea that they would no longer exist after the exhibition. The works were also meant to evoke emotion using sense and therefore it is difficult to represent them online. Please view my website for further information about the project.

Gran developmental piece - bleach on gloss


I am currently in the transition of leaving university and finding myself as an independent artist. I have been surrounded by art solely in education for 8 years and I feel this is just the start of something. I am competitive with myself and passionate about my subject, it’s not something I think I could ever live without. I seem to turn the most mundane things into something creative, maybe art is my addiction? If my lifelong career was just to create every day, I think that would be a pretty ideal life.”

For further works, information, works for sale and updates about Kayleagh’s work, please see the following:!/artshaped

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