Distant Views

Recording memories using textiles
My work is inspired from travelling through the landscape. I record my observations of distant views such as hillsides and details like stones, tree trunks and rivers. Back in my studio I work in abstraction with reference to these experiences. Using the knowledge I have acquired and working with different fabrics, some eco-dyed and others from my collection, I work intuitively, layering my selection of fabrics, then creating a stitched background over which I free machine stitch to form the design.
 
As seen in the “Flight of the Bush Parrot,“ I have tried to capture the movement of the parrot and the character of the habitat of the bird in the Australian bush.
 
I also work with felt sculpture. Once I have created the sculpture I often machine stitch into the piece to enhance it. This is shown in “Greenway Duo-Land and Water”.
 
The wall work “My Mud Map” directly relates to my travels around Australia where I have combined a collection of ideas and images of places that I have visited. The rivers, ploughed fields, hills, water -courses etc, were placed according to feeling and mood. The image developed as the work progressed as is normal for me.
 
The piece “Rock Patterns” references walking along the shoreline on the beach in the literal zone where the ocean meets the land. By stitching on handmade felt I have used eco-dyed silk fabric to create earth mounds and rock patterns.
 
“Seed Pods” is a more literal idea where I have created 50 wet felted seedpods, which were inspired by my mother’s native plant garden. These have been shaped by the felting process then enhanced with machine and hand stitching. Quite often I will create these pieces while in the landscape using the found objects around me, like “Eroded Rock”, currently on touring exhibition with my textile group, the Untethered Fibre Artists. 
 
I also teach many felting workshops, one with Arkaroola Art Adventures in the Northern Flinders Rangers in South Australia where we work in the landscape. “Arid Lands, Late Afternoon” is one of these and the “Arkaroola Vessel” was created on site.
 
The “Wandering West” sculpture is a collaboration with my husband, Peter Griffen, who painted the shape derived from the landscape on to it. We often exhibit together as we travel to the same places teaching workshops in Australia, as well as Internationally, for example Portugal and London. We live and work together in our studio warehouse. Our next exhibition is in Buren, the Netherlands, in mid May, after which we are teaching together in Olhao at www.artinthealgarve 
 
My work is exhibited regularly in Australia and internationally and I have enjoyed winning many prizes. I have been published as an artist widely with the most recent being “Dimensional Cloth Sculpture by Contemporary Textile Artists”, author Andra F Stanton.
 
 For more information visit www.deniselithgow.com.
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