jude fenton

Hi. I am an artist from Belfast, N. Ireland now working from my secluded little studio in my garden. I work in mostly watercolour, acrylic and ink but like to add painted papers to my pieces and experiment with mixed media from time to time. Most recently my painting ‘Hay Fever’ was short listed for the Sunday Times Watercolour Artist of the Year Competition and three of my pieces, ‘Thread Less Weave,’  ‘Pontefract Cakes’ and ‘Wednesday’ were chosen to be displayed at the Stitchery exhibition at the Top Floor Gallery in Saintfield.

My background is in textiles and I studied at Lougborough University graduating with first class BA(hons) in Printed Textiles in 2003. In the same year I won an RSA Travel Award to Italy and also a placement to work with textile design company Dorma in Manchester. I returned to Belfast and after selling several pieces from my degree show to local shops and the Ulster Museum Archives and decide to set up my own design label hand crafting bags and accessories from my studio in Cotton Court Belfast.  I sold to many boutiques and galleries throughout Ireland and the U.K. I took part in runway shows at Belfast Fashion Week and Leitrim Design House and showed at many retail and trade fairs over the years.

Recently I had some time out after the birth of my daughter but I have returned to creativity with a new interest and great enthusiasm for painting. It is a change of direction for me but at the moment I am really enjoying the freedom that painting brings and the ease of expression. I am interested in the quality of marks made from placing papers and threads in wet paint which are later removed creating a wonderful quality of line, texture and depth. It is exciting to see the manner in which the paint has reacted with different papers and the different amounts of water applied at various stages in the evolution of the piece. There is an element of chance when letting the paint have a certain amount of liberty and then revealing what lies beneath. Colour is a huge part of my work and I enjoy combining tonal hues using a variety of paints and ink. I’m inspired by nature particularly wild grasses and seed heads although it is not my intention to replicate what I see more to create an impression, a feeling.

‘Pontefact Cakes’ and ‘Wednesday’ are part of  ‘Aunt Kitty’s Sewing Box’ collection of mixed media pieces using papers, fabrics and sewing box treasures, evoking memories and the essence of time passing.