Allanbank Mill, Allanton, Scotland
Materials: Fine cotton fabrics including lawn and plain woven cotton, cotton organdie,
silk organza, needle-punched cotton wadding, cotton threads, hand and machine thread.
Techniques: Collage including hand and machine stitching, mono printing, fabric painting,
drawing onto cloth, fabric rubbings (as in brass rubbings), Cyanotype (sun blueprint) printing.
164 x 133 cm. (h x w) =Approximately 64.56 x 52.36 inches
Honesty (Lunaria annua) is an old-fashioned plant best known for its translucent seed pods, which are used in dried flower arrangements. The pods are preceded by lovely light purple or white flowers. The name "Honesty," which dates to the sixteenth century, is apparently a reference to the plant's open, unconcealed presentation of its seeds. The plant is known as Money Plant or Silver Dollar in the Untied States because of the seed pods resemblance to coins, while its scientific name, Lunaria, comes from their resemblance to a full moon. Pauline's earlier Honesty Quilt was also inspired by the plant's ditinctive seed pods.
Pauline Burbidge says of her latest Quiltscapes
I consider these quilts to be Textile Landscapes; they are what I call my Quiltscapes, fabric collages especially made for the wall. The imagery has developed from observing and absorbing the rural landscape immediately surrounding my home in the Scottish Borders. The land is used for arable farming, and in the distance we can see hill ranges. Rows of plant growth are a common sight, as are ploughed stripes in the fields, big open skies and misty horizons; the changing seasons of the trees, plants and grasses, all have an influence on my work. I am inspired by the natural world, layers of mist, layers of time, cloth, printing and drawing.
The materials that I have chosen to work with are (as always) natural fibres, fabrics made from fine cottons and silks. Silk organza and cotton organdie have a transparent quality that reminds me of the layers of mist in the landscape; I collage and stitch these layers in place to make up my images. Somehow the layered studies seem to portray a feeling of the plant life coming and going; changing as it does in nature.
I have chosen to explore some techniques that are new to me. I find them very exciting and stimulating, and feel that the processes link well with the heart of my studio practice.
For example, I have used Cyanotype printing (blueprints), for the first time. This is an old photographic method, originally discovered in 1842 by Sir John Herschel, and used by the botanist Anna Atkins, to illustrate her work of British algae in 1843. I love the fact that you use the suns rays to expose the print, and it makes the most wonderful blueprint, similar to the colour of indigo.
I have also been developing and using more Mono printing in these works. I love to try and keep these images simple, often using black and white only. I draw into the paint applied to a sheet of glass or plastic – then take a print from this, directly onto the fabric.
More quilts by Pauline Burbidge
Quilt photos by Phil Dickson, PSD Photography 2015