My work as a teacher left little time to continue the dressmaking, knitting, crochet and embroidery which I enjoyed so much and it is only since I retired that I have returned to these creative activities and discovered a whole new textile art world.
Although I love words, songs and poetry, my work is usually inspired by pictures - things I have seen or places I have been. I make no attempt to recreate them literally, preferring to work with symbols, texture and, most significantly, with colour to create abstract images, sometimes including metal, but mainly using an embellisher, hand and machine embroidery, felt, fabric, yarn and beads.
Since joining Traverse, I have expanded my practice, through discussion and valuable skill-sharing within the group, and I've particularly enjoyed exploring the use of paint on various surfaces and also working in 3D, which is reflected in some of my work for our 2019 exhibition, 'Revealed’.
Different layers and surfaces are revealed, having either been cut or burned away; this creates contrasting textures, reminiscent of contour lines and the hidden third dimension within them, or archetypal symbols and ancient vessels. These textured surfaces are then decorated with stitch or sometimes layers of paint, which in turn are rubbed away, showing further hidden shades of colour beneath.
My work for ‘Destinations’ (2018) was inspired by landscapes – real and imaginary - either memories of favourite places or those in books I’d read. I was also exploring views of the Earth from space and developing work on landscapes which are hidden from conventional viewpoints.
Felt, yarn & velvet, needle felted by hand and an embellisher with free motion machine embroidery and some hand stitching
Peel Street Caves, Nottingham
Reverse appliqué velvet over copper shim on an embellished background with hand embroidery and beads
Zanskar, 'Little Tibet', Northern India
Reverse appliqué, red felt and gold silk symbols on embellished fabric with machine and hand embroidery
Tracks, Australian Desert
Merino wool tops, wet felted with silk fibres and yarn, cut back and stitched by hand
Wet felted merino wool tops and silk fibres with free motion embroidery and hand stitch
Free motion machine and hand embroidery on soluble fabric mounted on an embellished felt background
Examples of previous work
‘Floating Flowers’ (46cm x 36cm) - mainly using an embellisher, some heat treatment of sheer synthetics, hand and machine embroidery and beads
Mixed Weaving (40cm x 26cm) – yarn warp, woven with fabric strips, yarns, copper strips and wire of varying gauges, a few wooden beads. Handmade beads, using heat on lutradur, Tyvek and cellophane hanging from the warp