A collection of three fibre artworks completed in 2022 around the theme of Samsara – The Wheel of Life
The Wheel of Life
This series was started in January 2022 after a loss in the family. Little did I know that this was just the start of a year of grief and loss and upheaval for our family.
Before I began I had no plan, other than to keep my mind and hand busy on something creative. I wanted to challenge myself to create something new and outside my comfort zone. So I went through the fibre drawers and intentionally picked out colours that I wouldn’t normally choose.
Work on this series was put on hold for weeks and months at a time over the year. In moments between dealing the practical aspects of losing someone and trying to come to terms with what was happening I would revisit it. As I made this series in the midst of all this, the meanings and clarity were formed during the process of making rather than at the beginning.
All three pieces started in the series with blue. I placed fluffy layers of blue wool to start, with my chosen colours as a layer over and felted it all down, just enjoying the colours and textures. A blue base gives me a cool tone underlying everything, in the same way I would use a yellow base for a warm glow.
The form and shapes of the poppy petals was made by cutting away the red to reveal the blue below. This was a new process for me but something I found interesting in its effect. I love the pop of the cold blue here.
As I worked cutting away the red the curves and shapes began to form the spiral shapes and reveal the poppy forms. This is when I began to think of samsara and the wheel.
Before this year pink was most definitely outside my comfort zone. I’ve since developed a new respect for the colour and use it often in new work.
This piece is all about the variety of tones of pink, softness, fluffiness and peacful calm. I’ve used white silk noil, died mawata silk, chunk art yarns and cocoons.
The circles and spirals and growth theme flow throughout the piece,
Immortelle or Everlasting flowers (Helichrysum) are renowned since ancient times for their healing properties, Helichrysum oil was even mentioned in the Odyssey as Ulysses is gifted and bathed in the oil by Nausicaa, his strength, vigor and beauty returns.
I’ve used thick circles wool felt, (cushions for furniture legs) and covered them with silk fibres to fix them down and create these circles. Spiral and circle forms and emphasise continuity in the piece.