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Inspiration

My inspiration is taken from the natural world; the woodlands of the Chilterns where I have lived for 30 years and the coastlines that are enjoyed in all weathers for their changing vistas, mesmerising and sometimes dramatic waters. Since 2007 I have been returning to North Queensland to experience the rainforest and reef. The Coral triangle of the Pacific offers much inspiration and invites the artist to respond to the marine environment, the inter- connectivity and delicate balance that is underwater, unseen. Coral bleaching and ghost nets, the rope waste of the man- made environment can be the starting point for creativity. More recently the contrast in Western Australia, the dramatic coastline in the far south and the abundance of wild flowers has caught my eye; taking photos, sketches, developing designs, researching and looking for the essential evidence leads to a textile response.

Creating colour on cloth is the starting point of my textiles, which often feature painted silk layered with felted wool fibres. Working with natural fibres invites a sympathetic response, learning from the different qualities in the fibres has an element of risk and exploration.
Wool and silk fibres are wet felted, dried and stitched, and often felted again. Fine fabrics and recycled saris can be laminated with wool fibres. I am continually exploring the versatility of the materials, from deliciously fine semi-sheer to the solid forms that can be a means of artistic expression and fulfil a functional use. This is serendipity. The process is both physical and contemplative, connecting me with crafts people all around the world for whom ‘making’ is both a way of life and life enhancing.

The impressions and memories of trips and travels has been the basis much of my work. The East Coast of Australia inspired my Journal Quilts; Gaudi was a major influence for the mosaic style of quilts -'Barcelona', 'Prague' and 'Sienna', just as Klimt had been a strong influence with the Birch Wood Quilts.
The 'Gherkin' in the City of London was the inspiration for 'Re Swiss' and 'Six in the City'

But nearer to home the wall paintings in the British Museum and at St.Albans Verulamium have proved to be a rich source of surface pattern and colour.
I like to break my working day with short walks from home and the seasonal changes in the Birch and Bluebell woods, the hedgerows and skyline are both a source of pleasure and inspiration.

All the images displayed on this site are of original artwork by Barbara Weeks (unless otherwise stated). If used elsewhere she should be credited and would appreciate being informed!