Textile Study Group

artists and tutors sharing ideas imagination and skills

Bobby Britnell

textile

Inspirational Source 1

Omweso is a traditional ‘stone-game’ of the Ugandan people, nowadays played primarily by villagers. This image shows an ancient stone slab into which the game has been carved.

textile

Inspirational Source 2

Many of the buildings in Kisaabwa, Uganda, are painted this beautiful blue colour, which has found its way into much of my work.

textile

Omweso Drawing 1

Drawing in mixed media representing Omweso

textile

Omweso Drawing 2

Drawing in mixed media representing Omweso

textile

Omweso with Seeds (1)

Printed bark cloth with reverse appliqué on printed cotton and black cotton fabric. All over machine stitch.

textile

Omweso with Seeds (6)

Reverse appliqué on printed cotton over printed bark cloth. Machine stitched.

Artist statement

I have been involved in textiles for over 40 years, working in theatre costume and tailoring, before qualifying as a teacher. My working life is rich and varied. I am fortunate to have my own working studio where I can teach and create. My own teaching takes me all over the country and abroad. I teach in schools, for community groups, for guilds and taught on the BA Stitched Textiles Degree programme for the Julia Caprara School of Stitched Textiles.

The beautiful Shropshire Countryside where I live and work, reflects my current working practice and has engaged my interest for some time. Marks and surfaces underfoot and the process of making these marks on cloth, has played its part in recent works. I enjoy the entire process of designing and drawing and an important stage in formulating ideas, is to start by making bold drawn statements in charcoal and pencil. The move into fabric is also very important and I constantly seek out processes which I feel keep the vitality of the drawings in the translation into fabric and stitch. I enjoy changing the surface of fabrics through, dyeing, colouring, printing and at times continuing to employ the heavily machine-stitched surfaces that I enjoy using in my work.

In January 2012 my husband and I set up a charity 'Hands up for Uganda' to help a community towards a more sustainable future. Part of this rewarding project has been to empower the woman of the community and to help them to develop their traditional crafts of basket making and woven rugs. My own work explores the use of their materials in less conventional ways and I look forward to continuing this creative partnership for years to come.

My first book published in April 2013 has also been an exciting challenge for me and it is hoped it will be enjoyed by many.

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