Thursday, 25 February 2010
Textile Art in Salisbury Starbucks
This textile art commission was done for Starbucks Coffee Shop in Salisbury, Wiltshire. So if you are in the area and fancy a coffee you can have a look at the art work too. The work is on permanent show in their upstairs room.
The commission was through a design company called One Red Wall for Starbucks "Local Relevance Project". A scheme to put original art by local artists into their coffee shops to reflect the character of the area.
Salisbury's wealth was originally created by the wool trade so textile art seemed appropriate. The design company wanted the art to reflect the landscape surrounding Salisbury. I use textiles to create Wiltshire Landscapes so I was chosen for the commission.
The four pieces are made from hand dyed fabric and fleece which has been pieced and layered together. Hand stitching was used to assemble the work and the detail drawn into the surface with embroidery stitches.
Work in progress on the studio pinboard.
The textile work was going to be on permanent display in a public area so needed to be well protected under glass in box frames. The wall was going to be painted a dark wine red so my usual simple lime waxed frames would work well. The wall was 12 feet long so I decided to do four individual pieces to reflect different aspects of the landscape around Salisbury. I chose Stonehenge, the chalk downland, the chalk hill figures and the archaeology.
I worked on the four pieces together to make sure they complimented each other even though they were quite different.
So from left to right on the pinboard is 'Hill Figure', 'Stormhenge', 'Chalkhill Blue', and 'Circles in the Plain'.
An earlier photograph of the pinboard with the first paper sketches under the textiles. 'Chalkhill Blue' is in the very early stages of assembly. It changed considerably! 'Stormhenge' is progressing well, and 'Hill Figure' before I cut out the horse.
'Circles in the Plain'. This piece represents Salisbury Plain from the air. The manipulated hand dyed fabric is pleated to echo the land forms of strip lynchets and sheep tracks. The various circle patterns represent the many archaeological forms of henges and burial mounds, many of which are circular.
A close-up of the main circular focal point. The white embroidered stitches are sheep!
Close-up of more circles, sheep and lay lines.
A close-up of the bottom of the textile representing the river valleys around Salisbury where five rivers meet and meander across the water meadows.
A close-up of the folds in the land.
Lots of sheep wandering across the Plain.
The finished 'Circles in the Plain" ready for framing.
This is "Chalkhill Blue". Very different from the first assembled idea and more abstract than my first sketch. Chalkhill Blue is a rare butterfly that is found on the wild flowers that grow on the chalk downland.
Close-up of 'Chalkhill Blue' with butterflies, field patterns, and seed stitches for flowers.
Close-up of 'Chalkhill Blue'.
'Stormhenge', Stonehenge seen with a stormy sky and passing rain. Salisbury Plain is a wonderful place for weather watching.
Close-up of 'Stormhenge'. Shafts of light through stormy clouds, the stone circle and a flock of birds.
'Hill Figure'. This is inspired by the Alton Barnes White Horse, a favourite place of mine. The design is based on drawings from old aerial photographs.
Close-up of 'Hill Figure". The horse was cut out of the green fabric field, just as the real one was cut from the hillside grass to reveal the chalk beneath. This horse is white felt though, not chalk!
Close-up of 'Hill Figure', field patterns, plough lines, footpaths and crop circles.
And finally the finished, framed textiles are installed in Starbucks.