‘Retracing Lovat’ 2020 Collaged hand botanical prints with embroidery 32cm x 34cm
Gathered lichens and leaves from the walk have been printed using contact botanical print technique in this piece. The densely embroidered sections are a reference to growths of mosses and lichens which sit on surfaces of fences, bark and stones. I wanted to interpret into embroidery the many little colonies of differing shapes and forms living comfortably atop contrasting textures. The fabric sections which are largely wool have been coloured with tannin water created using gathered oak galls of which there is an abundance in the area.
Some parts of the Lovat Estate have huge sprawling fields of barley which undulate gently in the wind creating a huge ocean of waves of yellow which, once ready will be off to make whiskey at one of the many huge distilleries in the area. The grasses create another contrasting texture on the many differing layers of this estate which is so close to my heart.
As I move closer towards Beaufort Castle, the trees become more selectively placed. The old oaks, birch and rowan woods turn to majestic limes, horse Chestnut and copper beech. The grounds are more neatly manicured and ordered. A favourite tree nearer to the castle is my wonderful dogwood which creates deep sap greens when printed.
So many layers and textures within this beautiful quiet estate. Looking at some of the much older trees, one can only imagine what history they have seen; who has walked these footsteps on this site so rich in historical significance in past centuries. I am embroidering my footsteps on my beloved Lovat.
‘Lovat Terrains’ When I go on my walks, the textures of the ground under my feet change from soft, mossy land to overgrown to marshy to tangled roots. This area of land has some forest, some gentle woods, arable fields, marshland and riverside. I walk through the familiar sections, visiting my favourite trees and plants; the Dogwood whose leaves yield the most beautiful lime greens, the Oak which is most preferred by the oak gall wasps, the swathes of butterbur, the wild geraniums and the various wonderful lichens. Walking, looking, listening and gathering leaves to use later in the printed panels. This work is broken into grids which tell the story of my steps along this old friend which I walk most days and whose subtle changes I watch throughout the year.
This piece is a view which I see most days along the side of the Beauly Firth. This landscape is an imprint on my memory never to be lost. The mapwork includes the spots alongside the firth where I gather my foliage. I have used it in some way as a pinboard with little imprints from the land placed on the landscape. The foliage is worked in to the land and the hills fossilized forever imprinted into my wool. I like the notion that those colours were made with the very landscape that it depicts.
‘Hills beyond Loch Laide’ 2020 Landscape with collaged botanical print onto felt, silk and woven wool, Loch Laide, Abriachan
Abriachan is an area which moves up into the hills behind Kiltarlity and weaves towards Drumnadrochit and Loch Ness. The area is filled with beautiful forests and gentle hills. Sitting hidden in the hills is the small , ethereal Loch Laide. The loch can be seen best from the little hyde at Abriachan woods. The light on the Loch is always beautiful; always different. A special place.
‘Cerebral Dreamings’1919 Using symmetrical forms from my own body to create internal bodyparts.
‘Dreamings’ Using my own body on repetition.
Smaller embroideries recording my steps.
This embroidery has been worked with fabric weather worn in the elements and pushed to the brink of erosion.