I am delighted that my artwork Uasal/Noble has been selected for the Ag925 -Au750 / Journeys in silver and gold exhibition at the Craft NI Gallery in Belfast, 2 November - 31 December 2023
This is a juried exhibition where artists and makers were invited to submit work responding to the theme of Silver and Gold.
Uasal/Noble has been created on Irish Linen and combines colour created using Oak Galls and Oak Bark for the purposes of dyeing and printing, alongside Flax fibres for slow stitching. It is an exploration in how natural colour can be adapted and experimented with to create rich colours that are evocative of metallic golds and silvers.
Oak Gall and Oak Bark have been chosen for the natural golden colour they yield, which can be heightened with and enriched the use modifiers- in this case the light gold colour naturally produced by the Oak Gall has been enriched and deepened with the addition of copper to the dye bath. The processes of dip-dyeing and steeping has created the subtle graduation of colour that presents a deepening of the colour across the spectrum of golds.
For the printing ink, Oak Bark has been simmered to release the colour and thickened with Gum. It creates a soft golden ink. In some areas of the print, a wash of iron water has given the naturally golden ink a hint of silver-grey colouration. The use of flax fibres for the slow stitching references the rugged surface texture of Oak bark and also references the celebration of Flax for its golden colour.
The title references the associations of Oak with nobility and knowledge in the Old Irish Tree list and its position as King of the Woodland in Celtic mythology between the Winter and Summer Solstice. And of course, positions and association of royalty are often synonymous with the use of precious metals and use of gold leaf in iconography.
The piece will be exhibited throughout November and December and available to purchase from Craft Northern Ireland.