Artists’ Statement

2015-04-25 15.57.31

Artist Statement

The short one! Felt continues to inspire me with its duality, both its simplicity and its complexity. I can’t decide what I admire most; its ability to be Zen or its ability to be complicated. It depends greatly on my mood and personal space as to which element I decide to bring forward in my work. The more I make felt the more I have to think about it and sometimes the less I have to think about it-it all depends on the moment. Felting is full of surprises. It is this amazing alchemical process and is also this beautiful simple combining of material. Felting can take a little effort or a lot of effort. It expresses so much by itself – just by being felt. Biography Wendy Bailye is a full time, Brisbane based, contemporary felt artisan and tutor both locally and internationally. She has been until recently, assistant editor and co-editor of Felt Magazine. She loves the experimental and playful properties of felt and it’s wide ranging practical and aesthetic applications. Her main love is of surface texture and design incorporating different fabrics patterns and fibres to make an interesting whole. She is so grateful to those from whom she has learnt –international and local tutors and students, who continue to inspire her with their work and imagination with a medium that has so much to give. The long one !.... Felt making is my passion. I love it, I dream about felt, I lose myself in it and I find myself in it. For me it is creative, vibrant, fun, and challenging. It is a very simple process, yet its applications can be as complex as I desire. Personally, the most important aspect is the creative process-not necessarily the finished product. Where do I gain my inspiration? I gain inspiration first and foremost from deep within myself –from all of my experiences in life. Inspiration from the beautiful rural setting I live in and the natural world that surrounds me. I love shape and form and texture. The vibrant colours and textures of the fibres and fabrics I use feed my soul. I learn so much about myself making felt. Felt making is an ancient textile art with a long and fascinating history. It is also a fabulous contemporary art form that has many practical and modern applications. Whilst it is quite simple to learn, mastering the medium can become a wonderful journey. I take tufts of pure new wool dyed in a myriad of colours, water, soap and with rolling and rubbing work them into pieces ranging from wearable arts and decorator items to large framed felt artworks. The work is embellished with hand dyed pure silk, fabrics, mohair and exotic threads. It is a simple craft that requires only wool, a little soap and water and lots of enthusiasm and creativity -plus dare I say good biceps and stamina.

I love felt because it is so versatile and the finished product has so many practical applications. I am particularly interested in applying recycled materials in my felt making and I am also exploring more fully the processes of natural dyeing. Felting provides me with a creative outlet that is both unique and challenging. I am continuously refining my skills and learning from many other talented fibre artists who so generously share their wealth of knowledge with me. Felt making has a lovely social dynamic - there is a strong network of  felter’s in Brisbane, the rest of Australia and indeed the whole world over. Each year there are specialist felting courses in Australia and overseas  of which I try to attend.

Felting is very much a craft that is passed on from person to person and this element of felt making is one of its joys. Originally I was taught felt making from a friend and from there many other teachers and friends have added to my knowledge base along the way. It is wonderful to be able to now pass this skill on through my teaching and workshops. I enjoy encouraging others to explore their individual creativity. I am convinced that we all are incredibly artistic and creative-we just need to believe that we are and practice! I also have a special interest in Art Therapy and the therapeutic use of art for healing. I am a registered teacher of Home Economics and Special Education. My teaching background has been a great help to me generally and my studies in textiles have been invaluable. My felted artwork has been purchased by private buyers in Queensland and abroad. Work in private collections in  Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Sydney and Melbourne.

I produce my textile works simply to create something that gives me joy and enables me to express myself on the deepest level I can. I am at my happiest and most content when I am making. All my pieces are unique and I try to represent the beauty I see and feel within me and around me in each piece. I love natural fibres, particularly wool and silk and the interplay of light in the fabrics and textures. My themes and concepts change from day to day-moment to moment and I try to be very flexible in my approach. When I look at others art I admire beauty and colour and I look for work that inspires me, Work that makes me feel. I admire the beauty in any work that someone has put their heart and soul into. I hope you enjoy my work.

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