A Walk Through the Woods

A Walk through the Woods’ Textile Art Exhibition by Kate Slaughter at Allendale Forge Studios throughout September 2019.

As a Textile Artist I take my inspiration from the wild flora of both Cumbria and Northumberland. Having photographed my subjects, I then dye fabrics, yarns and threads to create my fabric pieces; including machine and hand embroidery for emphasis and texture.

This exhibition is inspired by the textures and colours of the woodland; the protective comforting trees and the delicate flowers; the soft woodland floor and the rough textured bark.  A walk through the woods is comforting, relaxing and inspiring which has led to the development of this collection of work.

The tree of life symbolises many things, to me it represents strength, protection, harmony, and longevity. I find comfort and peaceful solitude when walking through trees and this provides me with time to reflect and contemplate.

The colours, patterns and textures of nature are used to inform my textile art. The exploration of colour and texture is further developed through dyeing fabrics, threads and textured yarns, I combine colours using variegated dyeing techniques and paint my yarns. 

Fabric scraps and mixed media create the foundations for my embroidery; hand dyed fabrics are used to create the textures and hand dyed threads are embroidered into my work to add definition using both machine and hand embroidery. French knots are my favourite way of adding texture within hand embroidery and are incorporated into many pieces of my work. 

Within my collection I have interpreted the different textures of trees with a range of fabric manipulation techniques. Leaves have been created with both delicate fabrics and metals showing both the strength of a new leaf with hope and renewal to the fragility of the falling leaf with decay and sadness. 

I have incorporated slow stitching with in some pieces, this is a rhythmic, meditative way of hand sewing that enables me to pause and relax. A family friend donated her precious collection of pressed flowers that are 50 years old, these are meticulously preserved providing me with a bounty of inspiration.  I have incorporated some of these within my piece of work ‘Leaves from my Woodland Walk’. 

Walking the edge of the wood you are met with rolling meadows and fields which provide a fresh surrounding which feels more exposed however the hedgerows and flowers provide me with new inspiration that is delicate and colourful. I have interpreted this through layering fabrics and using textured yarns.  

Here is a link to the feature article in the Hexham Courant :

click here

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy my work