This was a group exhibition Second Impressions , which I took part in with some of my former M.A. printmaking graduate friends at The New Brewery Arts centre in Cirencester January, 2014 .
This selection of exhibits were inspired by the colour of honey but also colours associated with bees like pollen.
I use the digital programme Adobe Illustrator to design my patterns, which may be screenprinted or digitally printed.
As a large part of my former professional background was in interiors, much of the challenge for me, was to make my patterns fit forms possibly suitable for the domestic interior. However, as you can see, they became improbable domestic items- bar the lampshades. The exhibition space allowed me to create playful “objets”.
“Improbable cushions 1 + 2 ”( the hanging ones) are made from one single piece of digitally printed fabric, printed as a net, which are then sewn together to make the final forms, punctuated and reshaped with twelve covered buttons. The lampshades are similarly designed to fit the final form. My colour palette in these pieces is based on pollen colours, specifically those typically collected by bees in England, which range from a very dark blue black (which comes from the Oriental Poppy) to reds, browns, greens and yellows.
For the “Improbable cushion 3” ( the very large one on the plinth) I wanted to use hand sewn patchwork made from different fabrics which would be both rich in texture and colour . Honeycomb can look very much like a patchwork and is indeed the work of many bees and from many different sources. The colour of the individual capsules in a honeycomb is dependant on the source of the nectar from which the bee collects it, whether from a flower or another source. I was inspired by an article I read about French honey farmers being alarmed by the strange colour of the honey their bees were producing, much more green and blueish shades than one would expect. They traced their bees foraging in a local M&M factory where the bees were feeding on the artificially coloured sugar waste. I have used a combination of hand dyed silk, linen, velvet and cotton, which have then been screen printed either with gold or flocked (a heat transfer process). I digitally designed individual motifs for some of the patches, which could be stitched together to form flower like shapes. This was a labour of love hand sewing it all together and I have been kept as busy as a bee to achieve it!