Wendy Profile Photograph 1

My stitched textile work is strongly influenced by the natural world, in particular sea and landscapes that change with the weather. I love walking and looking, allowing images to settle in my mind's eye. Sketching and painting whilst outside has been a more recent activity which gives me many starting points for my stitched work. Taking pictures with my eyes and creating a paper collage from the memory has been a way of freeing up the need to copy the view exactly.

Walking on the granite landscape of Dartmoor or beside the open ocean gives one an objective view and a space in the mind in which to develop ideas. Creativity is an absorbing occupation where time disappears. Making pieces that start life as a colour, a shape, a fabric or a thread and are assembled in a multitude of ways is an engrossing process.

As a choreographer I am used to arranging moving bodies and I see movement in everything, so I try to create movement in my stitched pieces; arranging the threads and fabrics to create stormy waves, falling leaves and fields of waving corn or flocking birds and darting fish. Scrunched chiffon secured with fly stitch creates sheets of rain, and swathes of running stitches can give the effect of light and shadow on curving architecture.

I like to use a variety of techniques, choosing the most appropriate for each piece of work. Machine embroidery with massed stitches can give a painterly effect. Cut shapes, pieced together and quilted produce a soft tactile three dimensional result, and hand stitching can bring a variety of textures to a piece. Layering is a great way of creating depth and shifting colour to produce an atmospheric picture.

Lately I have become interested in working with the embellishing machine - a form of dry felting. The more impressionistic images produced have a different appeal and this method lends itself to misty landscapes.

I have always been a stitcher and maker but was given a real boost when I took the City and Guilds Creative Embroidery course parts 1 and 2. Many more doors were opened; in one way giving so many more ways to create stitched textiles, yet in another way providing me with far too many choices - so many ideas and not enough time.

Last year, 2015, I spent four months working on a private commission for a large wall hanging and now as a result of that I am working on another one of similar size.  I won the prize for the visitors' favourite picture at the Beaminster Festival in June and I received the award for best picture by a non-member at the Blandford Art Society's Open Exhibition in July which was all very exciting.

Dorset Art Weeks 2016 was a great success sharing the garden shed space with my daughter who makes stained glass pieces. Since then I have made a large hanging for a private commission and a mounted triptych of the cliffs from West Bay to Burton Bradstock as another commission. Now I am getting ready for an exhibition at the Sugar Cube Gallery at Bowdon's Farm near Ilminster and then the Beaminster Festival. I shall be  taking part in the Bridport Open Studios this year which has now moved to September time, sharing the garden shed again with my daughter Caroline with her stained glass.

OTHER EXHIBITIONS

Blandford Art Society Open exhibition August 2017

Burton Bradstock Art Society Open exhibition August 2017

Beaminster Festival Art Exhibition June 2017 - Won the prize for best picture in the show

Sugar Cube Gallery Bowdens Farm Ilminster

Cerne Abbas MADE IN DORSET April 2017

Broadwindsor Craft Centre, Attic Gallery

Dorset Art Weeks 2016

Blandford Art Society Open Exhibition 2016

Beaminster Festival Art Exhibition June 2015 - Won the prize for the visitors' favourite picture

Blandford Art Society's Open Exhibition July 2015 - Won award Best Picture by a non-member

Dorset Art Weeks 2014 Beaminster, Dorset

April 2014 Drawing Inspiration, Beaminster - an exhibition linked with the AONB project encouraging People to get out and see the beautiful places that had inspired the art work

December 2013 Art and Craft Fair Ilminster

September 2013 Losing the Thread - Strummer Pink Gallery Beaminster

Winter 2012/2013 - 303 Gallery Martock Somerset

August 2012 - Meeting House Gallery, Ilminster, Somerset

May/June 2012, 2010, 2008 Dorset Art Weeks in Beaminster, Dorset

July 2003 - 2012 - Beaminster Festival

August 2012 - Art@Eype, Dorset

November 2011 - Clevedon Toll House Gallery, North Somerset

Summer 2011, 2008 - Morvah Schoolhouse Gallery, West Penwith, Cornwall

November 2009, 2010 - The Exchange, Sturminter Newton, North Dorset

EARLIER EXHIBITIONS

Salisbury Art centre; Falmouth Art Centre, Cornwall; Otterton Mill, Devon; Octagon Theatre Art Gallery, Yeovil, Somerset; Chard Gallery, Somerset; Exmouth Gallery, Devon

» » Visit my workshops and events page for details of forthcoming exhibitions.

Wendy Profile Photograph 2 In 2006 I ran a year long arts council funded project called Threads of Memory Footprints of Time which was an intergenerational event based on the stimulus of the iron- age hill forts of Pilsdon Pen in West Dorset and Ham Hill in South Somerset. Children made costumes and dances based on the history of Ham Hill and the adults made 2 metre panels, costumes and dances based on several visits to Pilsdon Pen, for their combined performances. The resulting stitched textile work was full of movement and vitality and the performances were very lively. The participants experienced new exciting ways into creativity.

Since then I continue to run weekend workshops along similar lines opening the interpretation of the movement and dance to a wider form of artistic expression such as painting, weaving and various forms of making or writing. These workshops are called DANCING INTO ELEMENTAL ART and I run them once or twice a year.

Visit my workshops and events page to see more about these workshops and when they are happening.

Over many years I have taught creative and contemporary dance based on Rudolf Laban’s principles, in schools, on summer schools, here and abroad, including Laban International Courses (LInC), on teacher training courses for the Laban Guild and have choreographed dances in schools and in the community and I feel that this helps my work in stitched textiles. I still feel at the beginning and that there is so much more to explore but I love every minute of it, even the exasperating moments that inevitably come with the creative process!