Sunday, April 12, 2015

Birding with Abigail Brown


Close up of fabric owl - Wilma Simmons, Empress Wu Designs 2015.
Abigail Brown  is described as a creature textile designer extraordinaire, and having met Abigaill recently, I would add a very talented, generous, spirited  and beautiful artist. Her vibrant work rejoices in the amazing beauty of nature ... here is what Abigail says about her stunning soft sculptures ....
I am excited by the opportunity to create life from these flat pieces of cloth, working with their weave to mould shapes, fraying their edges to form feathered breasts, creating stiffened tail feathers from something that was limp. That final placing of the eye and a new life is born...The Animal Kingdom is the inspiration behind all my work. I am fascinated by its rituals and language, a world of mystery and secrets on which we can but speculate. My fabric bird sculptures are a celebration of textures, patterns, colours and forms that delight me in nature.
Abigail Brown with workshop participants' birds 
I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop  with Abigail at Timeless Textiles, Newcastle ( NSW Australia) and created a simple bird on the first day  under Abigail's guidance. 
Green bird - Wilma Simmons, Empress Wu Designs, 2015 
Basic bird in progress - Wilma Simmons, Empress Wu Designs. 2015

Basic Bird in progress - Wilma Simmons, Empress Wu Designs 2015

When it was time to create our own pattern, I chose a woodland owl, because my owl collector sister's birthday was imminent, and I had recently dyed some wool with eucalypt leaves which I though would look good as an owl body. So with other hand dyed fabrics and a batik shirt abandoned by my husband, an  owl is born..... 
Early stages of owl in progress - Wilma Simmons, Empress Wu Designs, 2015 
 Sample of feathers, and various fabric feathers - Wilma Simmons, Empress Wu Designs, 2015. 
Some close ups - Owl by Wilma Simmons, Empress Wu Designs, 2015 

'Owl in garden' by Wilma Simmons, Empress Wu Designs, 2015 
Happy Birthday Owl -  Wilma Simmons, Empress Wu Designs, 2015 
Owl in new home  with a previously created owl woman (circa 2009) Wilma Simmons, Empress Wu Designs, 2015 
And as a post script.... many thanks to Anne Kempton from Timeless Textiles who organises fabulous artists like Abigail Brown to visit Newcastle to  inspire many like myself to create.... 
Anne Kempton, Timeless Textiles with her little owl created in the Abigail Brown workshop, March 2015.