Artist Statement: Wendy Ann Stanger.
My work is inspired by the natural landscapes of my home environment, the life cycles and seasons related to fauna and flora as well as the ecological changes, which cause various degrees of decomposition within plant forms found in the rugged landscapes.
I am absorbed by decaying surfaces and objects and the colours, patterns and textures that evolve. My work is also inspired by the Japanese art form of Wabi Sabi, which reflects the distressed beauty in objects, in the same way I am drawn to the desiccated flower with its fragile tissue, encased within a papery skin, and by its seeping halo’s of colour into delicate eco dyed silk papers. Flowers and Roses in particular have the ability to remain sturdy and beautiful even after life has been drained from their being.
I use the technique of silk fusion and felting, using the flower’s natural dye, which bleeds into the fibres. By embedding actual, pressed dry flowers into my artwork I can create highly textured surfaces. The work is augmented with a wide variety of plant and animal fibres such as fleece, alpaca, bamboo, linen, cotton, silk, horsehair and feathers. I also on occasion add vintage lace and yarns before freehand machine embroidering into the paper’s surface, using hand stitch and beads to further embellish the artwork.
My techniques are quite different from basic silk paper making, developing the process over the last 15 years since graduating from Cumbria institute of the arts with a 2.1 Bachelor of Arts. I later gained a Post Grad in Secondary Education and worked as an Art and Design teacher in County Durham schools for the best part of 10 years. I now run school and College workshops as well as Adult courses.
I attend events throughout the North of England and have sold work to private buyers in Australia, USA and Qatar. Working from my studio I am able to produce commissions to order, often I am asked to use flowers and items from a special occasion such as a Wedding or Anniversary to create an everlasting keepsake.
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