Collect Art Fair 2022

Seasons Of The Sea

Arra Textiles - Seasons Of The Sea Winter Storm 1.1 in progress 2.jpg

Collect Open

Created over the course of 24 months for Collect Open 2022, Seasons of the Sea is a collection of handwoven artworks exploring the themes of sustainability, traceability and connection to place. 

With a contemporary twist on an age old process, I blend ancient tapestry techniques with contemporary woven design. By using a blend of locally foraged plants and an organic indigo vat to dye yarn, I have created a unique colour palette inspired by seas and storms. Using raw Ryeland wool fleece sourced within walking distance of the studio, I have experimented with a variety of material properties and demonstrated the adaptations of an ancient, natural and renewable fibre. A focus on heritage making processes, including hand carding and hand spinning raw fibre into usable yarns, has allowed me to create unique textile artworks with texture and depth, each one illustrating wild Scottish coastlines and creating an image within an image.

Collect is one of the world’s most influential fairs focusing on contemporary craft and design and living artists, and takes place each year at Somerset House in the heart of London. The Fair’s aim is to introduce and cultivate purchasing audiences to develop and grow the financial and intellectual value of craft at this level. Organised by the Crafts Council, the Collect Fair is well-regarded for its credibility, sector authority and leadership with a warm-hearted openness and shared experience that the Crafts Council prides itself in delivering.

 

The Fair provides art consultants, interiors specialists, collectors, museum curators, design practitioners and wider enthusiasts with an unrivalled opportunity to discover and invest in contemporary craft that will surprise, delight and endure.

Lucy MacDonald CO 1.jpg

Upwelling - Winter Storm - Oceanic

I like to think of these pieces as being a dichotomy; traditional tapestry weaving on a modern computerised loom, hand processed and plant dyed weft yarns with existing British wools in the warp and a design which seems simple from a distance which becomes increasingly complex on closer inspection. 

This collection was created over the course of 24 months and explores themes of sustainability, traceability and connection to place. Sourcing materials as close to the studio as possible was a hugely important factor when creating the Seasons Of The Sea artworks. 

I wanted to create a collection of designs which were multi layered, containing an image within an image. The wave pattern was created with complex structures which become more delicate and detailed the closer you look, this part of the design is meticulously planned out and set up in advance. On the opposite end of the spectrum the tapestry style hand woven colours are much more spontaneous and felt almost like painting with yarn. 

I dyed the majority of the yarn used myself with a variety of locally foraged plants including nettles, gorse and alder cones from the local riverbank along with lavender, roses, eucalyptus bark and leaves from my late Grandmothers garden. With the process lasting almost two years, I had multiple seasons of plants to choose from and was able to create a fairly large colour pallet to work with. I also used an organic indigo vat to create the shades of blue and green, it was a process which was completely new to me but fascinating to experiment with. I found the variety of colours which could be produced from plants found on my doorstep to be endlessly fascinating and don’t think I could tire of trying new combinations! 

I hand spun around 6kg of Ryeland wool into weft yarns for the project. The fleece came from two sheep called Cobweb and Roy, part of a flock local to my studio. I often drive past their field on my way to work each morning! As I needed a mix of more colourful yarns and neutral shades for the woven designs I blended different shades of the fleece together to create a variety to choose from. The existing yarns I used came from both Yorkshire and Uist and were British breed wool which I also dyed myself with plant and indigo dyes. 

Weaving these unique textile artworks which illustrate the wild coastlines I’ve grown up with has been a journey of experimentation, discovery and connection. The traditional processes and landscapes which inspired each piece has become as large a part of their story as the final outcomes themselves. 

Upwelling 1.1.jpeg

Upwelling 1.1

March - August

"Brisk spring winds churn up cold waters from the deep ocean bringing warmer days and late evening sunsets where sunlight sparkles on the water surface."

Dye plants used include; 

Organic indigo vat, eucalyptus bark, eucalyptus leaves, yellow roses, avocado stones, alder cones, nettles and lichens.

Handwoven in the studio using 100% Wool, framed with locally sourced and sustainably felled oak.

136cm x 100cm x 4cm

2022

Winter Storm 1.1

December - February

"Coastal waters are at their coldest with storms from the north building enormous swells and bringing bitter winter squalls, white horses and biting winds."

Dye plants used include; 

Yellow roses, pink roses, lavender, avocado stones, nettles, eucalyptus leaves, eucalyptus bark, lichens and organic indigo vat.

Handwoven in the studio using 100% Wool, framed with locally sourced and sustainably felled oak.

136cm x 100cm x 4cm

2021

Winter Storm 1.1.jpeg
Oceanic 1.1.jpeg

Oceanic 1.1

September - November

"As the winds slow in the Autumn the ocean calms, upwelling ceases, and warm surface waters shift back toward the coast bringing cooler water in the fading daylight."

Dye plants used include; 

Eucalyptus bark, avocado, nettles, eucalyptus leaves, alder cones, rosemary and organic indigo vat.

Handwoven in the studio using 100% Wool, framed with locally sourced and sustainably felled oak.

136cm x 100cm x 4cm

2021

Winter Storm 1.2

December - February

"Coastal waters are at their coldest with storms from the north building enormous swells and bringing bitter winter squalls, white horses and biting winds."

Dye plants used include; 

 organic indigo vat, yellow roses, nettles, lavender, alder cones, avocado, eucalyptus leaves and bark.

Handwoven in the studio using 100% Wool, framed with locally sourced and sustainably felled oak.

POA

76cm x 57cm x 4cm

2022

winter Storm 1.2.jpg
Oceanic 1.2.jpeg

Oceanic 1.2

September - November

"As the winds slow in the Autumn the ocean calms, upwelling ceases, and warm surface waters shift back toward the coast bringing cooler water in the fading daylight."

Dye plants used include; 

Roses, alder cones, nettles and an organic indigo vat.

Handwoven in the studio using 100% Wool, framed with locally sourced and sustainably felled oak.

POA

76cm x 57cm x 4cm 

2022

Upwelling 1.2

March - August

"Brisk spring winds churn up cold waters from the deep ocean bringing warmer days and late evening sunsets where sunlight sparkles on the water surface."

Dye plants used include;

Organic indigo vat, roses, nettles, avocado.

Handwoven in the studio using 100% Wool, framed with locally sourced and sustainably felled oak.

POA

Set of three

Each Panel Measures 76cm x 57cm x 4cm

2022

Creating "Seasons Of The Sea"

Visit my blog to see exactly how the collection was created and for a behind the scenes look into the more technical side of the studio.