Diary piece consists of 9 works, hung together 3X3, total size 66 x 60 cms
Each work measures approximately 19 x 19 cms
Titles of 9 works:
Skylarks singing and the scent of coconut from the gorse
May blossom and celandines
Ploughed fields and flowering daffodils
Wild garlic and bluebells under budding tree
Hedgerow flowers; red campion, bluebells, dandelion, wild garlic and red clover
Bluebells in the wood smelling of hyacinth
Crab apple blossom against the blue sky
Sea thrift on the walls of coast path
Foxgloves rising in the hedgerows
Wet felted wool and mixed fibres
How Covid-19 has affected my art made during lockdown.
I live with my husband in rural Cornwall, within walking distance of the sea. My studio is inside my home and before the pandemic I was working on a series of wet felted portraits, preparing for my first solo exhibition. Once lockdown began I was permitted one short walk as daily exercise, in the lanes and coast paths near my home. This time alone outside was very precious, and I savoured every moment of the daily walk. I experienced a heightened sense of the sights and sounds of emerging spring, magnified by the initial absence of people, cars and aeroplanes.
When I left my home on local shopping trips I found the sight of people wearing masks both disturbing and distressing. The idea that this could be our long term future challenged my deep rooted need to communicate with others on a nonverbal level, and enjoy the diversity of faces and facial expressions which I explored in my portraiture.
I withdrew from my portrait pieces and sought respite in illustrating the memories of my daily walks. I documented my time in lockdown by creating a visual felted diary of the changing flora during April and May in Cornwall 2020. I ended the diary once restrictions loosened, and have now returned to portraiture, albeit exploring different, more personal, subjects.
My development as a fibre artist followed a long and fulfilling career in Speech and Language Therapy. Attendance at portrait and life drawing classes, and short courses in textile art, led me to incorporate my love of fibres and textiles into my artistic expression. My subjects include a diversity of people with intriguing life stories, and the landscapes of Cornwall.
I use dyed wool, sari silks, tweed, linen and organza fabric scraps, and used clothing. I hand card the fibres to mix colours which are then laid down dry to form an image. The wet felting process uses water, soap and agitation by hand to mat the fibres together. Once dried, I sometimes use needle felting to add fine detail to the image. I enjoy the tactile and textural quality of varied fibres, and the physical connection to the medium throughout the process. I value the challenge of the unpredictability of shrinkage and distortion in the wet felting process. This sabotages my urge to reproduce a chosen image, and helps me to embrace the looser and uncertain nature of the medium.