Fran Reilly was the first textile artist to join Living from Art. She really opened my eyes to the richness of this medium, although we now have more members who also use fabric as part of their mixed media work.
Like so many artists, Fran has a real passion for learning more about her craft and seeing how textiles are made and used in many different countries. Many people would find a trip to Cambodia fascinating anyway, but Fran and her daughter visited the country on a tour organised by the Centre of Textile Research at the University of Copenhagen with a group of textile artists and makers. As well as visiting the most important places in Cambodia they were welcomed to many different community enterprises making silk, weaving textiles, making baskets, and using local plant-based dyes.
They also learnt more about the process and importance of the work of conserving textiles as part of the historical record. They saw the small ‘textile remembrances’ of the patched and repatched children’s clothing at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum as well as the impressive silken royal clothing preserved at the National Museum.
It was a very special trip, and it’s a long blog, but a wonderful read, whether you have a passion for weaving, dying, fabric conservation, the preservation of ancient skills or communities coming together to make a living whilst introducing their country and its history to the world.
Do follow the link here and read it all for yourself.
Here's Fran checking out the indigo fabric dyeing process in Cambodia.
Fran and her daughter already use traditional indigo dyes to make wonderful scarves using the Japanese Shibori stitching method and run workshops where you can learn to make them yourselves - check out dates etc on her website www.franreillytextileartist. com
I am very grateful to Fran for sharing this wonderful blog with us. I really believe that for most people, knowing more about the passions of the artists whose work they are looking at makes a real difference and encourages people to be really supportive of that artist. Many artists are unsure that writing a blog is for them. If the reason is that you don’t think people are interested in what you do, learn, and enjoy as an artist, then do think again.
Anna Poulton Living from Art email@example.com 07747032912