'Another Stitch in the Wall’
An exhibition of art textiles by stitchers inc.
In October stitchers inc, 10 artists based in North Essex and South Suffolk, take over the first floor gallery with a unique exhibition of textiles produced on the theme of walls and boundaries, hence ‘Another Stitch in the Wall’. Each of them has taken an aspect of that theme and explored it in detail through sketchbooks, experimental pieces, framed items, hangings and free-standing vessels, and using diverse and exciting combinations of techniques. The work spans a huge range of approaches from homage to humble garden and field walls, through joyous celebration of architectural masterpieces, to contemplative testament of walls that come between families and peoples.
Mentored by Alex Waylett, stitchers inc. are Carolyn Dilloway, Dot Ronaldson, Jane Baston, Jill Duffy, Julia Pearce, Juliet Day, Liz Pilkington, Margaret Kay and Pauline Wilson.
All the artists are hugely talented and this body of textile work is a display of their individual talents and showcases their techniques and personal styles.
Here is an insight into each artist and their work…
I was delighted to be invited to become a member of stitchers inc. My style is developing through learning and exploring new techniques and materials, incorporating these into my work. I am particularly enjoying a mixed media, collage approach with hand stitching. My inspiration for this exhibition is Gaudi’s mosaic structural designs in Barcelona. Whilst visiting the city, I loved the vibrant colours, patterns and shapes, especially found in Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working within the theme of ‘Walls’ and being part of such an inspirational and friendly group.
I have always enjoyed sewing and was pretty much self taught until 2013 when I first attended an Alex Waylett Machine embroidery workshop. I then followed Alex’s Design for Stitch course before becoming part of the exhibiting group Raw Edge and I’m now a member of Stitchers Inc. I like to use a wide range of techniques. I particularly enjoy paper and fabric collage. Adding lots of free motion and hand embroidery. My work has been described as colourful, illustrative, precise and up-lifting. I hope you enjoy the exhibition. I’ve certainly enjoyed creating the pieces.
My textile and mixed media “Wall” pieces were inspired by a sunny corner of a village churchyard, where vibrant trails of ivy and bindweed crept over a crumbling wall. I have tried to recreate the colours and textures by using cotton and silk fabrics and papers which I dyed and painted, adding hand stitching and free machine embroidery. I created the 3D leaves and flowers using painted cotton and silk fabrics, fine wire and free machining.
This body of work is inspired by the aged rubble wall in my garden, with its random assortment of flint, bricks and stone. Their natural colours provided the palette and their shapes influenced the design elements. The following techniques were used; photography, Momigami (kneaded paper), wet felting, printing with handmade stencils, silk painting, water soluble fabric, quilting and stitching by hand and machine.
I have always loved making things and was taught to knit, crochet, sew and embroider by my mother and grandma. In my 30’s, I decided I wanted to design and increase my knowledge of textile art so I enrolled on a C&G Embroidery Course at the Suffolk College. I studied for 5 years with Isobel Clover and then embarked on another 2 years Fashion and Pattern Cutting Course.
A whole new world opened up for me after I completed a C&G Teaching qualification. I began teaching embroidery classes and workshops in Essex, Suffolk and London. I ran my own business ‘Threads & Things’ supplying materials related to embroidery and gave talks to various groups and clubs in the south of England. After a break of 20 years I have returned to textile art having been inspired, encouraged and taught by Alex Waylett at Elm Farm Studio in Little Tey.
Walls are not just one dimensional and many provide a home for a wide variety of life, humans included. My work tends to evolve slowly, I keep going over what I am doing and changing bits until I am satisfied with the (almost) final result. My first exhibition piece was missing something until I spotted a sand lizard sunbathing one day and ‘Eddie Lizzard’ was born.
After that he managed to appear in everything. Having seen the amazing work by Marian Jazmik I was inspired to try out different methods and fabrics than I usually work with. I am always trying different techniques and I love experimenting, not always successfully. As long as the process is fun and I learn something along the way, that is all I ask.
I love my small, walled garden. I love the mixture of colours in the old bricks, the light and shade, the moss, the lichen and the plants rambling up and over, ever-changing through the seasons. It inspired me to create this collection of work. The inclusion of wrought iron is due to wonderful childhood memories of my mother’s beautiful garden and the wrought iron gate made by my father. My work is colourful and abstract, using a wide variety of fabrics, many hand-dyed, as well as a variety of techniques - machine and hand embroidery, collage, reverse appliqué, printing, fabric painting, stencilling, gelli printing and foiling. All lots of fun!
I love the rolling landscapes of the Derbyshire White Peak, defined by ancient drystone walls of limestone and studded with myriad upon myriad of fossils - locally dominant are the intriguing stacks and sections of Crinoids or sea lilies, and these shapes suggest the forms of my work, whilst the colours have been inspired by another curiosity of that area: the purples and yellows of the mineral Derbyshire Blue John. For the abstract “Ancient Echoes” series, I have used Procion dyes with wax resist and bleach to create the initial shapes. Stencilled fossils, printed tissue and photocopied fossil images are superimposed and these have been highlighted with machine and/or hand embroidery. Other pieces take the stonework more literally and are directly inspired by the structure of these walls: nuno-and needle-felting with stitch are used to recreate fossil and lichen studded details. Man has moulded this landscape over millenia and the walls I depict are an integral and vital element of it.
The exhibition runs from Saturday 2nd October to Sunday 31st October. The gallery is open, Thursday to Sunday 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Free Admission.
Please RSVP at www.milltyegallery.co.uk/exhibitions
Alexandra Waylett runs textile, art and design workshops, from her Elm Farm Studio, a multitude of different arts and crafts all under one creative roof!
Go to alexandrawaylett.com for details of the courses and keep up to date with the latest workshops and availability on her website blog and Facebook. Elm Farm Studio