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Peter Farley works mainly in watercolours, his main interest is the texture of crumbling stone and paintwork on old buildings in France and Italy. He has had many solo exhibitions and has exhibited around the country as far west as Wales Workshop, Fishguard and as far east as The Parish Lantern Walberswick, not to mention venues such as Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, Royal West of England Academy, The Royal Inst. of Oil Painters. He is a regular exhibitor with Oxfordshire Artweeks. He is also Deputy Chairman of the Oxford Art Society.
Margaret Fitzpatrick is a botanical artist who has exhibited at the Society of Graphic Artists, the Victoria and Albert Museum and galleries on the south coast and the Cotswolds. She has a diploma in Botanical Illustration from the Society of Botanical Artists and has been awarded a silver medal by the Royal Horticultural Society.
At the start of his career Andrew produced mostly illustration work, drawing birds and animals for journals, magazines and books (most notably as principal illustrator for ‘The Birds of Oxfordshire’ for which he produced the colour plate for the dust-jacket and 87 of the 147 ink drawings in the book). A self-taught wildlife artist, he works in a variety of media, including graphite pencil, acrylics and pastel to complete his originals. He has produced several commissions for the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds), of which he has been a member for over thirty years. He is a keen naturalist and has travelled in both this country and abroad in search of wildlife. His artwork has also travelled widely, with examples of his art in collections in the UK, Europe, Kenya, Canada, USA and Nepal. Andrew is a signature member of The Artists for Conservation Foundation and also a member of The Wildlife Art Society International. His wildlife art has been displayed at many British venues including Nature in Art at Gloucester (where he participates in their ‘Artist in Residence’ programme and runs drawing workshops), The Mall Galleries, Christies, Sotheby’s, The Artist and Illustrator’s Show at Olympia and Galleries at WWT Slimbridge, Arundel and The London Wetland Centre.
As a textile artist I am interested in texture and using stitch to explore and interpret different surfaces, especially from organic, natural, and historical sources. I specialise in machine embroidery with hand stitch on printed or dyed backgrounds, layering and defining details and focal points.
Having been introduced to textiles by my grandmothers, I first trained in fashion and textile design, going on to run my own dressmaking business and teaching for adult and further education establishments. Studying for a City and Guilds qualification in embroidery while my children were young allowed me to explore and expand my love of stitch. I recently gained an MA in fine art textiles, using my love of walking to explore ideas of our links to the history of the landscape.
The landscape around us has been shaped by thousands of years of human activity and
natural forces. In recording textures and patterns, mapping memories using fabric and stitch, I aim to interpret an atmosphere of place. Colour schemes are derived from dyeing with plant material native to walk locations. Folding or scrunching fabrics during dyeing results in rhythmic markings reminiscent of landscape topography. Patterns stitched into textiles and paper are taken from surfaces, ancient or modern, trodden beneath my feet. Printed or stitched patterns of flora or architectural details may be added to dyed materials or layered between translucent fabrics creating unique pieces for wear or decoration. Scanning and digitally printing dyed experiments provides a way of repeating designs on a variety of fabrics which are then made into home furnishings and accessories sometimes with added stitched embellishment.
I have a strong ecological ethos, utilising natural fabrics to create my textile pieces and hoarding scraps of materials to minimise waste. I hope to encourage my audience to take time to enjoy our natural world and to reflect on our history and our need for consideration of nature through my textile work.