Beverley Coleclough, Desert Trails Night & Sand
I have been travelling to Australia since 2001 and had a 2 month residency at the Vancouver Arts Centre, Albany Western Australia, and a 6 month residency at Central Craft, Alice Springs Northern Territory, of which I am a member. This is where I learned to do wet felting.
I planned my 6 week trip to Australia for January 2020 to travel and work again at the Craft Centre in Alice. I seem to spend a lot of time in isolation there, as it is always quiet after the Christmas period and managed to complete a large felted hanging ready for entry to an exhibition there and also prepared some pre-felted pieces to complete on my return to the UK.
I arrived back here in the UK just before the lockdown, and have been using this additional isolation period to do some ‘slow stitching’ and have been working into the pre-felts that I had brought back with me. The basis for these pre-felts was an areal view of the landscape and mounted on a circular board. My current piece happens to be rectangular, but for no particular reason. I keep the stitches small and to a very simple running stitch which almost like a form of meditation in itself. By nature I like to work quickly, so this is a new way of working for me. Being in total isolation has been particularly difficult, because in a normal ‘studio’ situation other people tend bob in and out, talk about their work or yours, and break up the day into a mixture of quiet contemplation and stimulating conversation. I shall continue to work on this process throughout the whole of the lockdown period and hope to have enough pieces worth showing when lockdown is cleared. I’m hoping to stay sane for the most part.
Since my return from Australia I have also extended a recent collection of smaller painted seascapes based on my journeys around the south west coast near Perth WA. These are mainly colour wash/soft chalk pastels on 300gm watercolour colour paper and may be a basis for larger paintings on canvas depending on how long the isolation period lasts. Another two are acrylic on board of the same area in Western Australia