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Textile Nature
with Anne Kelly
on 02 July 2019

An illustrated talk from Anne Kelly, textile artist and tutor, gave members a wide insight into her ‘Practice’ which she defines as ‘Textile Nature and Folk Art’.

Originally studying Fine Art, she later embraced Textiles, enjoying drawing objects from the natural world in a strong physical rather than abstract style, which she then expresses in hand embroidery and machine stitch, using many layers incorporating tissue, paper, old book pages, maps and fabric, often using appliquéd old loved material pieces, lace and crochet. Anne overstitches the entire surfaces with set pattern machine stitch to form a fine netted surface which enhances whilst softening and integrating the diverse elements.

Anne has had many exhibitions in partnership with organisations such as the RSPB, where the threatened status of sparrows was the focus; ‘Buglife’ for insect conservation; work related to the life of suffragette Amelia Scott, who set up a laundry for soldiers during the 1914-18 war in Tunbridge Wells. We saw textile pieces for hospices, a multi-faith hanging for a hospital chapel and wildlife pieces from her residency at Sussex Prairies Garden.

“Folk Art should not be perfect; it has lots of colour and interest”. Anne was born and grew up in Canada; her father was a refugee in 1938 from Germany. This influenced her Folk Art in designs incorporating symbolic family dresses. Tutoring journeys to Australia and New Zealand generated rich workshop pieces featuring wildlife, topography and cultural aspects.  Chinese Art has also been an influence.

Members were able to ask questions and examine many pieces including hangings, boxes and a variety of books. Anne had a variety of items to sell and she very kindly made a generous donation of 10% of the sales to the branch.

A very thought provoking and inspirational afternoon.


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