Artist’s Statement

My work spans several disciplines which is expressed sometimes in paint/print and sometimes though textiles. Colour is key to my work and I enjoy creating a harmonious dialogue between vibrant colour and neutrals. My textile background is evident in my paintings, where I use repetition and pattern. My paintings are abstract or semi-abstract, often influenced by architectural features which I have sketched or photographed. 

In addition to painting, I am a tapestry weaver whose designs are influenced by my painted studies and observational sketches.

Transitional spaces such as staircases, doorways arches and windows have long influenced my work. The peering through these spaces fascinates me, as you catch glimpses of other spaces which might either entice or repel. Repetition of shapes became important to me following my residency at CFT when I was given access to observe the rehearsal process, which is heavy with repetition. Patterns are deeply embedded in me, as a lifelong knitter and textile worker and patterns also depend on repetition. 

I believe that paintings should be uplifting and give joy to the viewer. Harmony is important, but so is the injection of contrast or even random imagery. 

I begin my painted studies or design process with an idea of buildings or shapes that I have seen in architectural features, such as railings, stonework or rooflines. I often produce a large image on paper, from which I then abstract shapes and tonal relationships, often by cutting up the larger image.  At this stage of the work I may abandon the original intention of the work as I set about resolving each of the smaller images. They each need to work independently and maybe only a few are developed fully. 

Paintings on board are worked differently and usually follow a series of painted studies, as above. Gelli printed papers are collaged onto parts of the board as a starting point, usually working from a painted study or a photograph. As the composition develops I may take a card from my (home made) pack of prompts so that I have a new instruction to move the painting on. eg “Add some black” or “create some sharp edges” or “draw on top”. These cards help me to keep the painting lively. I also work on at least two paintings at a time. This allows them to be compatible with one another and gives me the opportunity to see each painting with a fresh eye as I move between them.

Collage is a new addition to my process and I make art journals using my own gelli prints. I cut some of the stencils myself so that I can incorporate my own observed shapes through collage as well as through paint. Printed papers offer huge scope for pattern and repetition and I can see printmaking becoming an integral part of my work and design process.

I work on the south coast of England and am a member of Artel Contemporary Art, a Chichester based group of artists who exhibit together on a regular basis. I am a member of the Wealden Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers, who meet monthly in Thakeham. I also belong to a group of tapestry weavers who meet regularly in Angmering.

My work can be seen on my website and as Sehilac on Instagram