Monday, 2 January 2017

Ready to Fly

Ready to Fly, 2017

I wrote in my last post that my aims for this year included prioritising creativity. To that end I have started the year off with a small submission project. I have taken part in Surface Gallery's International Postcard Show three times before (2013,14 and 15) but didn't take part last year for reasons I can't really recall. I really like this project as it is small enough to fit in around even a busy schedule but there is still the satisfaction of making a piece of work and knowing it will be on show.

Ready to stitch

Layering Fabrics

Last year I really enjoyed working on my feather and textile pieces so I decided to continue working in this way for my postcard. I feel like I'm starting to really develop a personal vocabulary working in this way, with particular colours, stitches and fabrics signifying specific things. It doesn't matter whether or not this vocabulary is understood by other people, it is part of my creative process and way of exploring my ideas.



In my recent work birds (and feathers) have become a symbol of transcendence, a belief found in many cultural systems across the world due to their ability to fly into the heavens. In this piece and in other recent pieces the blues represent the sky and freedom, the feather symbolises the soul and the red symbolises life. For me this piece is about spreading your wings and rising up to meet life's challenges.



I used a piece of felted wool blanket as a base and layered it up with pieces of silk organza. All the fabrics I used were ones that I'd dyed with indigo. I used a combination of fly stitch, running stitch, seeding stitch and beading to hold the layers together. I love the way the stitches sink into the felted wool, creating another layer of texture. I'm pleased with how this piece has worked out and it has got my new year off to a creative and positive start. If you're in Nottingham the show is on from 14th January to 11th February.



  1. Happy creative New Year Helen, lovely work, so gentle but powerful in intent, and thanks for the postcard info, I'm going to get into my studio now! just time I think...Emmax