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Jilly Edwards: Wanderlust
- 24 September 2014
Jilly Edwards is an artist who has chosen the medium of woven yarn. Over the course of her 40 year career she has exhibited internationally in countries such as Japan and Poland as well as around the UK. Her tapestries are part of public and private collections in the UK, USA and Japan.
Weaving has been Edwards' first love since the age of five when she taught herself to make carpets for her doll's house on a scaled-down loom she was given for her birthday. "What I like about weaving is that there is nothing there to start with so, rather like sculpture, you have to actually construct something." The warp (the vertical threads) has to be set up on the loom to start with before the weft (the horizontal threads) can start to be woven through and the piece begins to slowly develop.
While Edwards was at Edinburgh School of Art in the early 1980s she was encouraged to put words, objects and drawings together as the basis for her tapestries. This way of working has continued ever since and Edwards carries a sketchbook with her in which she sketches in watercolour paint.
Edwards creates her work from a personal response to the places she visits and the journeys she takes which are captured in her painted sketches. She takes inspiration from her travels whether around the world or to her favourite beach, hillside or just a walk to the corner shop and her response to the feelings and memories these places evoke is translated into the final tapestry, rather than it being a literal representation of a specific place.
The tapestries in this exhibition explore Edwards' journeys through different landscapes, including new works in a vivid yellow colour palette, a new departure for Edwards. These began on two long train journeys where she passed fields of oilseed rape in the East Anglia countryside. The bright yellow colour of the crops brought Edwards a sense of renewed happiness which she went on to capture in thread.
Wanderlust opens on Saturday 26 September and runs until Saturday 22 November 2014 and is part of Touchstones Rochdale's Contemporary Forward programme supported by Arts Council England.
Join us on Saturday 11 October - 2.30pm-4pm, where Jilly Edwards will lead a tour of Wanderlust and talk about her work. There will be a chance to handle samples and look at sketchbooks with a focus on how Jilly translates her initial ideas into completed tapestries, particularly aimed at textile enthusiasts. The event is suitable for ages 16+, FREE entry but pre-booking is required by ringing 01706 924492.
Touchstones Rochdale is located in Rochdale town centre five minutes from the bus and metro stations by foot. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm, admission is free and facilities include a café and shop. Details of current exhibitions and events are available online at www.link4life.org/whats-on/touchstones-rochdale.