Winchester based artist Lorna Jones has a real flare for textiles. Here she shares her love for her work as Artymess, as well as her love for the city of Winchester.
How did Artymess begin?
I attended Swansea College of Art in the 70’s where I studied Technical graphics and specialised in Botanical illustration. I arrived in Winchester fresh out of Art College and started working as an illustrator for The Rescue Archaeology in St Thomas Street, and later worked for the M3 Rescue Archaeology. I drew finds, plans, sections of digs and mediaeval graves and skeletons found buried around the Cathedral.
Artymess was officially born 4 years ago when I decided to become a full time freelance textile artist. I had been teaching Textiles and Art at a secondary school but an opportunity arose and I decided to take it. I took a studio and started my solo career.
I had achieved a first class Ba Hons in Textiles in 2006, which was the fulfilment of a lifetime dream and it gave me the confidence to take my work to another level. When I work in Textiles I work intuitively and organically, I rarely plan and let the materials dictate the outcome.
We know you run courses … please tell us more!
I run courses and workshops for a variety of groups and individuals. I offer a creative Textiles course through Peter Symonds and run courses and workshops through the Library services and Art centres. I also run workshops from my studio. I go into schools and run workshops and activities days for any age children from yr 1 to ‘A’ Level students and adults of all ages and abilities. I also run workshops at Music Festivals. My courses and venues are many and varied. I have been teaching for over 20 years and I love passing on my skills and experience and inspiring students.
What is your favourite thing to create and why…
My signature pieces are my fabric collages my ‘Stories in Stitch and Time’ I love having a hidden narrative to my work. I put together images and pieces of ordinary people’s history. I could be inspired to start a piece by finding a silver button at a vintage stall on Winchester High Street or a piece of broken china, picked up on a walk by the Itchen river or even a rusty old bottle top. Each piece has a history and I weave a story for them in yarns and thread. I exhibit and sell my work and am happy to take commissions. My aim for 2016 is to exhibit further afield and to work on site specific commissions, who knows perhaps I could be doing a piece to hang in Winchester Cathedral.
What are your top 5 favourite things to do when in Winchester?
Behind the Cathedral you will find a little walled garden that has the most tranquil feel. Just around the corner from the garden is a hidden gem of a second hand bookshop and then of course there’s Wells Bookshop, a step back in time. Walk down to the Water meadows and sit listening to the birds. Walk up to St Catherine’s hill, wind your way round the Mizmaze and enjoy the stunning views of the City.
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