Light is very important in my work I see it as a source of inspiration, presentation and as a tool for completing a piece. Working largely with fabrics and in particular, felted wool, presents a challenge when light is considered as wool naturally absorbs light and it is therefore difficult to marry the two together.
In 2003 I began investigating how the materiality of wool could be exploited using light to enhance the surface and below surface textures present in both woven and non woven fabrics. This became the basis of my work for many years and the pieces presented here give an overview of some of the findings from my work on the subject.
Felted, recycled blanket cut into ribbons and machine felted onto a plain white batt of Merino wool. This is a detail shot of a cylindrical light installation which hangs and is two metres tall. The light penetrates the surface showing the woven structure of the blanket, the needle punched connections of the whole surface as well as the occasional imperfection.
The image above shows a large installation (two metres square) which was part of my university degree show. As you can see the light from behind barely penetrates the darker coloured areas whilst the lighter parts glow gently. The detailed shot below demonstrates one of my solutions to the problem of light penetration through woolen felt. Making tightly rolled felt parcels which include tubing, silicone, plastics and fabrics and presenting them end on allow both a fascinating surface texture and stunning visual impact. The presence of the silicone allows the light to diffuse out towards the top fabric surface and lights the work from within.