Drudess Art Exhibition

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Whilst at Upper School in Bedfordshire, I was encouraged to explore the art of silk batik by an inspirational teacher. She had spent time in Indonesia where the process of transferring a design onto textiles by using molten wax has been used for centuries.

At school, we began working with wax on silk, using tjantings, silk dyes and substances such as salt, water and surgical spirit to create different textures.

After ‘A’ level Art, in which some of the coursework was using the medium of batik, I went on to study Textile Design & Technology at De Montfort University; specialising in knitwear and design. I still ‘dabbled’ with batik in my spare time, and was able to incorporate batik in my final year project and exhibition based on Romantic Poets.
Following graduation from university, I returned to live in the South East and began working in an admin job as the textile industry (or what is left of it) is more Midlands based. However, I was keen to continue my interest in textiles, and batik in particular, so set up a small craft business and attended several large and prestigious craft shows at country houses in the mid 90’s; selling smaller silk batik pictures and unique quilted silk clocks to suit the casual purchaser. At that time, I was keen to promote my business and held several small exhibitions and featured in a national craft magazine. However, this never quite satisfied my desire to exploit the larger, expressive canvas that batik pieces offer.

My batik work took a back seat whilst my son was younger, and I had a job as a teaching assistant. However, since our move to Herefordshire five years ago, I have found fresh motivation and inspiration to do more.
This exhibition is an aspiration I’ve had for a long time and, as I approach my 40th birthday at the end of the year, I thought it a good way to mark this milestone in a positive way. Therefore, I have chosen three charities who will share the funds raised: Macmillan Cancer Support, St. Michael’s Hospice, Action on Pre-eclampsia (APEC).

The richness and textures of the natural world inspire my designs, as does the colour and energy associated with different cultures and foreign lands. More recently, I have enjoyed exploring the work of other artists such as Gustav Klimt and Jack Vettriano and selecting elements from their work as a basis for my own designs that I further develop in a way that explore the batik medium.

Colour, pattern and texture are important to me and my designs reflect this.