Wednesday, 30 January 2019

A special commission to start the year.

I have been very fortunate to have my work for sale at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter for a couple of years. Its very apt as their beautiful butterfly room was one of my inspirations when looking for a new direction in my embroidery.
You cannot fail to be creatively fuelled when you see such beauty.
 The shop at the RAMM is really lovely and better still every purchase helps to fund the museum.
So I was thrilled to be asked to create an exclusive butterfly to coincide with the Criminal Ornamentation exhibition this January. This is a touring Arts Council exhibition curated by the artist Yinka Shinobare, exploring decorative art and craft, it brings big names to Exeter, including the work of Alexander McQueen, William Morris and Timorous Beasties.
My first stop was the online collection where I was drawn to the splendour of the Queen Alexander's Birdwing butterfly. Found in Papua new Guinea, though extremely endangered, the female is the world's largest butterfly with a wingspan of up to 30cm.
So using various source photographs I first sketched out my design, this helps me to select the colours of silk and thread.
The drawing is then used as a pattern, there are four layers of silk in each wing which are stitched to reveal the colours underneath. A final layer of shot organza is placed over the whole piece, I stitch again and then I cut away small areas before stitching again. The final stage is hand beading and adding tiny sequins to catch the light. The body of the butterfly is wet felted and then stitched into.

I have created a large wall piece and a smaller wearable version.
Available exclusively at The shop@RAMM.

1 comment:

  1. These butterflies are stunning wonderful work your very talented Heather, love their colour also 🦋🦋