Ginny found inspiration from medieval carvings on church pews….

I needed to reinvigorate my work by returning to source and exploring drawing and photography at some of the ancient and not so ancient sacred sites so prolific on the peninsula. The weather was sunny and calm so there was plenty of opportunity to explore locally. I took photographs and made very quick in situ sketches, followed up by developing techniques and colour work in the evenings.

As I visited ancient sites, and churches at Zennor, Sancreed, St Buryan, Treen, and St Just I became very interested in the 15th century carvings on the pews. However the sea was ever present and I found the colours and movement intriguing and wanted to incorporate these elements into my work too.

after pew wood carving 1 (hand needle punched felt)

The technique for this series of work is hand needle punched felt.
Using hand dyed and handmade felt, I tend to chop it up and reassemble it, carefully planning the colours as the work progresses.

after pew wood carving 2 (hand needle punched felt)

The residency gave me time to think about the techniques I am exploring at the moment and how to use dyeing more effectively. As a member of the South West Textile Group I am already working on pieces inspired by the wood carvings for our next exhibition in Totnes. I also work as a teacher for young children and I definitely feel more confident in promoting a creative approach rather than the drudgery of tick boxes!

Ginny Epstein