Helyne Jennings – Multi Disciplinary Artist
Fabric – Paper – Thread
Hello and Welcome. I hope you will enjoy browsing through my eclectic mix of multi disciplinary items.
I am first and foremost a textile artist having trained in embroidery at Loughborough College of Art then continuing in textiles/tapestry at the Royal College of art in the late 70’s, early 80’s.
I lived in London for many years relocating back to my roots in Devon in 1995 after the birth of my daughter. I recently moved to Torrington where I feel very settled between the beautiful diverse scenery of moorlands, wooded valleys and expansive beaches that have become such an inspiration for my work in recent years.
I have found fabric fascinating since a child, always sewing pictures and fashioning dolls clothes out of my mothers endless remnant supply. It helped that my mother had studied fashion design and was always sewing. Whilst completing an art foundation course in Barnstaple, North Devon, in 1976 my tutor brought her sewing machine in for me to use recognising a textile leaning. I have never been far away from one ever since, indeed have burnt many out through over use.
My work is experimental involving mixed media on paper and fabric but hand and machine stitch is always integral in the construction, structure, texture and colour of most wall pieces. Fabric and thread are simply an addition to other medium such as paints inks and dyes which I use to create abstract art work.
It is and has been a driving force for me to be a textile artist and for textiles to be recognised as a fine art.
I have labelled myself a ‘multi disciplinary artist’ as my experimentation into different media and techniques has opened other avenues of making. In the mid 90’s I established my laminated paper jewellery which I began to sell at the Craft Council shop at the V & A Museum and it has become a mainstay ever since now available in many galleries throughout the UK. Every ear stud and brooch is designed and handmade as a ‘one of a kind’ piece, I regard them as miniature abstract paintings or wearable art. They are extremely durable even though made from paper, but because it is laminated this makes them very strong also lightweight and easy to wear.
I’m told by customers that their ear studs are ‘their favourites’. Some have returned many years later quite upset after loosing one hoping I can make another. I do my best!
In recent years I have become distracted by digital technology and how it can be applied to enhance or become another tool for creating original art work. I have many bits and snippets of my surfaced stitched work, off cuts from commissioned pieces that I have squirrelled away not liking to waste a scrap of hard work. I have discovered how I can use the technologies in my home to reproduce these to look exactly like the original and along with additions from scanned brush strokes, botanical drawing and photography have devised a new range of abstract digital textile art prints (that’s a mouth full!). I’m very excited about the potential of this added dimension, it enables me to produce original art in limited edition prints at a fraction of the cost making my work more affordable and accessable.
More recently I have begun to pick up the camera (no stranger to me as I’m constantly photographing work, also a constant companion during my travels), and using it to catalogue my collections of oceanic art and textiles, contemporary ceramics and found objects in still life arrangements in the style of an old master painting. Every picture tells a very personal story of a place in another time accentuated by the use of light and dark with rich textures and intense colour.
Diversifying into other media and creating new works in another genre keeps me moving forward as an artist, each discipline feeding the other in a constant rotation, variety being ‘the spice of life’.
My working process is intense, ideas are triggered by emotion to events or something visual and generally form a series with a beginning and an end. Once the idea is executed and there is a natural end I start to work in another discipline.
I feel compelled to make the work that I do, I have to create the vision inside my head in any way that befits in any media that is appropriate and in whichever way I’m guided.
I welcome commissioned work and working with Interior Designers having been involved in creating works for hotels, offices and private clients in the UK, Singapore, Japan and for many Caribbean and P&O Cruise Ships.
If you have any queries please contact me via email…[email protected] or go to my website and fill out my contact form at the bottom of the front page.
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