I am very much inspired by the textures created by erosion and the destruction of time, particularly on the manmade, in the landscape and on the personal objects we leave behind us. This has resulted in work inspired by Whitby Abbey and the Great Pyramid, and by the grave goods and fabrics in the Coptic Collections at the British Museum and the Museum of Textiles in Barcelona.
Although I love these early pieces, I have felt the need to add another dimension to my work by trying to evoke feeling and memory. This came about through my final college collection, “Cherished, Lost, Broken and Found”, where I made vessels to evoke cherished memories and to enfold and repair the objects we keep to remember people and events.
This project was inspired by the landscape and ripples at Crosby Beach, and particularly by the memories and feelings evoked by the Antony Gormley statues. Although I never visited Crosby with my Dad, the statues created a powerful emotional response of sadness, yearning and happy childhood holiday memories. He loved harbours, beaches, cliffs and piers and was always at peace when he was staring out to sea, lost in thought. The rows of statues staring out across the horizon reminded me so much of him, and I made my first vessel to evoke these memories.
My creative goal is to develop pieces based on my own cherished memories and objects and make commissions based on other people’s recollections. My collection of 2D textile pieces creating the effect of ripples and erosion is called “Waiting for Time and Tide”. I am developing these techniques into 3D to create vessels that evoke the feelings of time passing, of holding on to fading memories, celebrating the past and looking back with joy.
I have just returned from the most fantastic holiday travelling through Norway by train. The snow covered scenery, frozen fjords, and the most amazing skies were so inspirational that it seems the right subject to finally start this blog with.
I am not used to seeing snow at such depths and over such vast landscapes, the way it envelopes everything. House roofs under two foot of snow peep out from behind vast drifts. Trees lose their definition, and small branches and grasses peep out at strange angles.
Initially the landscape appears a bleak grey and white monotone, but as we slowly travelled through, subtle variations and tones began to show themselves. Rocks with rusts and copper pink, tree bark layered with rusts and bronzes, browns and silver. The fjords and skies were a myriad of greys with hints of pink and everything had the sparkle of sunlight, water and ice.
What I particularly enjoyed were the aspects of colour created in the landscape by man! All the houses are painted red, yellow ochre, blue or green and fit into the landscape well as these traditional colours originate from the local minerals and ores found within.
The more modern colours injected an element of fun such as the bright orange snow shovels and the plastic security fencing I spotted half way up a mountain.
I have a piece of pure silk velvet that I bought many years ago, and have been loath to touch it because I didn’t want to spoil its pristine loveliness. Seeing all this snow has made me want to work on it, so I am setting myself a challenge. I usually steer away from using subtle colour schemes as I find them extremely difficult to work with. So I am going to use this Norway colour pallet and come out of my comfort zone by designing an embroidery that uses this piece of velvet. It may take a while as I am in the middle of working on my “Waiting for Time and Tide” series based on ripples and erosion, but it will be nice to have a diversion.