Wednesday, November 12, 2014

This is SAQA Europe/Middle East: The United Kingdom

Brenda Wroe

I am a contemporary quilt artist, having immersed myself in textile art at the start of the new millennium after a long professional IT career.  I do wonder now why I left it so long; there are so many opportunities for personal creativity and the textile world is really obsessive.   However making art quilts has to fit in with my unusual nomadic lifestyle, since I move home between the East Midlands in the UK, rural France and southern Spain, several times a year. 

My quilts are usually bold and colourful, often being inspired by particular shapes in the landscape or architecture which catch my eye whilst I am walking or travelling.  I create my own fabrics, hand-dyeing natural fibres of cottons, silks and linens which I often develop further by screen printing, discharging, or painting.  I am fortunate, due to my lifestyle, to be able to find and ‘reclaim’ old French bedlinen which makes such beautiful texture to work with.

bp@BP (2012)
I normally work intuitively, often with particular shapes in mind, considering what the fabric is asking for before deciding on a particular way forward. Frequently a project stays on my design wall for days, sometimes weeks, before I understand what it needs to express an idea that I have in mind.  Whilst actually creating fabric is always exciting I rarely consider a piece is nearing completion until it has been stitched, often by quite abundant machine quilting or by embellishing with hand embroidery stitching.   I do love a challenge and recently have been learning how to use a longarm sewing machine in creating art quilts.

Stormy Oak Tree (2013)

Through the Roof (2013)
In 2013 I curated a group exhibition called Hidden Treasures at the 19th European Patchwork Meeting in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines in Alsace and went back again to Alsace in September this year with a personal contribution to their celebratory 20th anniversary exhibition.  My work has been exhibited frequently in the UK and also in Spain and France and it is enjoyable to participate in international quilt challenges such as EQA.   Having only recently joined SAQA, I volunteered to assist on the SAQA stands at FoQ and EPM this year.  I was welcomed by many other members and will certainly be offering to help out again.
On reflection I consider life to be enriched by the opportunity to travel, make friends and create art quilts.

1 comment:

  1. An interesting insight into how you approach your work Brenda. I'm glad that you have enjoyed your involvement with SAQ so far.