My work takes the form of large embroidered textiles such as wall hangings, smaller framed or unframed wall pieces and cards. Inspiration comes from a variety of sources including the lush green, gold and turquoise of the Jamaican environment. I am also inspired by the art of the Nuer people of South Sudan. Mark Rothko’s paintings influence the way I develop the backgrounds upon which I embroider the wall pieces.
The figurative theme has been present in my work since my days as a student at Manchester Metropolitan University. Inspired by African and Aboriginal rock painting, the figures are mostly female. However, male figures now feature in developing work.
The embroideries follow a narrative theme; I use textile techniques to illustrate the work of black writers and poets. Recent work is inspired by African-Caribbean myths and legends. Dancing figures are a new source of inspiration.
Ideas for textile pieces usually begin in sketchbooks where I use a variety of techniques including watercolour painting, pastel and pencil drawings as well as layered collage. I will then experiment with fabrics, using both commercial and vegetable dyes to add colour to fleecy cottons and silks. Larger pieces of fabrics are then dyed, cut and layered. They are stitched to create backgrounds before adding figures using the fillerwork technique. I then finish the pieces with hand embroidery or beadwork on larger hangings.
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