Textile Study Group

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Gwen Hedley

Artist statement

My local shore and inland walks are energising and enable me to see and think with greater clarity. I have big pockets and spare bags, as I always find plenty to collect - pieces of metal, papers, cloth, stone etc, all of which have been changed by time and the elements into pieces with a different sort of beauty, that rarely fails to engage me. I am instinctively drawn to them, so these ‘finds’ are the underpinnings to much of my work.

The ancient philosopher Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD) said:

Nature, which governs the whole, will soon change all things which you see...and out of their substance, will make other things, and again other things, in order that the world may be ever new.

Those fundamental marks, scars and signs of disintegration still excite me and I enjoy finding greater detail through close examination and magnification. Next comes drawing, then isolating areas, changing scale, maybe tearing and exploring possibilities of repositioning pieces. This opens up pathways for abstract design ideas and ways of stitching.

I often make intaglio prints of designs onto paper and cloth, then combine them, to both unify the materials and enhance the design. I once found a little disintegrating shoe, tangled in seaweed and just had to draw it. This process was the genesis of Material Change: Shoe - a combination of draw, print, patch and stitch.

My colour palette has recently become somewhat monochrome, exploring tonal change and contrast. This is exemplified in my latest works - 50cm of Rock which is concerned with the marks and in particular, the holes in rocks - some of which form very shallow, raised cellular patterns on the surface, whilst others are deep. These small and intensively hand-stitched works, focus solely on surface texture, colour shift and deep holes containing small elements.


    • Location: South East Kent
    • Member since 2001
    • Available for courses, lectures, articles, book reviews, exhibition reviews

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