A world away from the masks I have been making, these colourful experiments represent the freedom to create without any purpose other than creating.
They allow me to work spontaneously and freely, reacting to the composition of pre-felts, colour combinations and textural contrasts without too much concern for the outcome. Essentially it is play, and we all know play is good for the soul.
A period of unbridled creativity and experimentation such as this, however brief, is absolutely essential in the quest to remain motivated and inspired in my work, and helps to alleviate some of the tension between a desire for personal creative growth and an economic necessity to accept commissions.
An added benefit is that flat felt is much less physical and labour intensive to make than most 3-dimensional work, so I quite literally enjoy a feeling of lightness when playing this way.
In recent times I have gravitated towards working with white or natural coloured fleeces, so it has been fun to reach for the colours to see how they react to each other when blended or overlaid with other colours. There is a kind of spontaneity in this that I really enjoy. Part of the attraction of feltmaking for me lies in its unpredictable nature. However much one understands and masters the technicalities of the process, the material often throws up little surprises such as textural contrasts or unexpected blending. These can’t be planned but can be really exciting, and they often happen on the margins, where attention or an effort to control has slipped.
So this play is a way of opening the mind to possibility. One thing informs another, and to me it is the only way to grow in my creative work and to continue to develop a visual language and style of my own.