Textile Study Group

artists and tutors sharing ideas imagination and skills

Shelley Rhodes

textile

Shoreline Series detail

Drawings, layered with paper and fabric fragments held together with stitch

textile

From Here to There

Collection of found fragments from a series of walks

textile

Reef Marks detail

Indigo dyed and reclaimed fabrics with stitch marks inspired from coral fragments

textile

Kantha Fragment Series

Fragments from India, re-ordered, re-assembled and re-stitched

textile

Coral Fragments

Work in progress – exploring marks found on coral through drawings, prints and fabric manipulation

textile

Sketchbook Pages

Pages from an ‘every day sketchbook’

Artist statement

My mixed media work combines paper, drawings, photographs and prints with painted and dyed fabric. I am interested in detail, extracting small marks found in nature or man-made objects. Recently I have been recording a series of walks depicting my route from one place to another. On each walk I draw, photograph, write and collect, recording marks, patterns, shapes, colour and texture. It could be the impressions left behind in mud or sand, ripples, leaves, grasses, cracks or peeling paint.

I am drawn to the effects of time, the transience of nature, the things that go un-noticed and the ever changing fragility of the things around me. My latest work is looking at the impact of man on the environment and the death of the coral seas.

Fragmentation, reconstruction and repair are a recurring theme. I often use techniques inspired by Kantha and Japanese Boro, layering scraps of distressed, pre-used fabrics to create a new whole by layering, darning and mending. I print, paint, dye and stain fabrics and paper. After careful selection, the small pieces are layered, patched and pieced, then held together with stitch or other materials such as metal, plaster, nails, pins, tacks, staples and wire or whatever is relevant to the subject.

Another central part of my practice is working in sketchbooks, sometimes as preparatory work but often as an end itself. Recording a journey has long been a passion. Whenever I travel I am inspired to record what I see. Drawings, paintings, collage, words, photographic images and found objects become an integral part of my sketchbooks. I enjoy the freedom and spontaneity that working in sketchbooks brings.

I teach workshops from my studio, at venues throughout the UK and abroad.

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