Nerissa Cargill Thompson

‘Buy Better’, 2019

Textile Sculpture & Photography, Portrait A2 x 3 (approx 140 x 60 cm)


Nerissa Cargill Thompson, encourages the viewer to stop and look closer; to consider the beauty, value

and purpose in the old and discarded through photography and three-dimensional textiles. Her work

investigates how things change appearance & shape over time, not just eroding or decaying but also new

layers of growth, giving interesting juxtapositions of structure and colour. She uses old clothes and scrap

materials within her work for economic & ecological sustainability, choosing fabrics that hold some

significance or connection to the work. Designer, maker and facilitator with over 20 years experience of

professional and community practice. Originally trained in Theatre Design but through her community arts practice, her interest in fibre art grew and a desire to develop personal artwork. 


Recent graduate in MA Textile Practice from Manchester School of Art. She is a member of Prism Contemporary Textiles Collective.

Solo exhibitions: Buy Better (Buy the Kilo, Tynemouth), Beached (Art in Windows, Liverpool), TIME, Arc Centre (Stockport) with accompanying textile workshops.

Recent group exhibitions: Fragility - Prism Collective (Hoxton Arches, London), Micro (AIR Gallery, Altrincham), Take Flight (MA exhibition Manchester School of Art), Thoughtful Planet 2 (Thought Foundation, Birtley), London Road Project (Plant NOMA, Manchester), Loss/Inheritance (Manchester Craft & Design Centre), Thresholds: The Adjacent Possible (Tapestry, Liverpool), Blowing a Gail (Old Town House, Warrington).


About the work: 

“BUY BETTER (2019), Coffee Break/McFuture/It’s A Real Thing” by environmental artist Nerissa Cargill Thompson highlights the issue of plastic pollution. It invites us to consider the packaging that we use and discard on a daily basis; objects such as drinks bottles, styrofoam cups and food wrappers that are so lightweight and seem so insignificant that we barely notice them.

Casting concrete in actual litter and using large scale photographs printed on advertising board, Cargill Thompson cleverly plays with material, scale and presentation to give this waste a greater physical and psychological presence that mirrors the seriousness of the ecological catastrophe we are creating with them.

Cargill Thompson’s incorporation of detailed embroidery touches upon the way our waste becomes subsumed into the natural world around us. However, the pretty, colourful lichens, seaweed and molluscs fail to obliterate the hulking, grey, concrete bottles that peer out from beneath them. The damage we are causing to planet earth and ourselves may be hidden but it is there nevertheless and needs our immediate attention.





Social Media: @nerissact