I wrote about my work for the Capability Brown Festival in my last entry, explaining how Petworth House in West Sussex was my inspiration, but this was not the first time I had used this beautiful venue for my work. Back in 1997 I relinquished my post as principal lecturer in the Fine Art department at Chichester University in order to free lance and concentrate purely on making my own work. This was a pretty scary step at the time, waking up each day with no timetable and no commitments other than going ot my studio to stitch! I began to apply for anything that looked possible for textile art, and saw a Festival of Craftmanship advertised. This was being organised by the Surrey Guild with Crafts Council support. Nothing venture, nothing gained, they wanted applications for commissioned pieces. I had carried out a commission for St Richards hospital in Chichester earlier in 1997, and this had been the catalyst that made me stop teaching. The brief for the commissions was to make work inspired by Petworth as the festival was to be held there in 1998. I was delighted when my ideas and designs were accepted.
As you will see from the images that follow, my work was completely different nearly 20 years ago! At that point architecture was the theme I had been working with, so the house provided me with wonderful starting points. I made a diptych (approx 55cm x 130 cm) each panel for the commission, and made several more pieces that explored architectural features in Chichester and Petworth. I don’t have really good photos of the work, but I think the following gives a clear idea. Here is the diptych where you can see the architectural features of the house and gardens, followed by a detail.
drawings of building features
and finally one of the other embroideries I made which I still have at home! September Haze, Petworth, 76cm x 60cm approx