Stitching and Beyond Inc.

exploring textile boundaries

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Member Feature: Jenny Blake

This image shows a piece of Jenny’s work.

When and why did you join Stitching and Beyond?

In around 2005 I attended the “Out of hand Exhibition” at the Long Gallery and was fascinated by the work. As a new Art teacher in Hobart, I realized that joining this group would be a wonderful way of engaging and networking with the art community in Tasmania. The members were generous and full of knowledge in where to source materials and share ideas. My first workshop was dyeing fabric with Mahdi through Adult Ed.

What is your background to becoming a textile and fibre artist?

I am a Zimbabwean and have lived in numerous places in the world. Therefore, my background is quite diverse. My art degree was in printmaking and pottery. However, I have dabbled in many disciplines. My love of textiles was brought about by learning to sew my own clothes, crocheting and embroidering with my grandmother and mother, home crafts, drawing and painting.

Tell us about your work including your inspiration, techniques, materials and what you are currently working on.

My current work incorporates drawing, bookbinding, printmaking and mixed media. I enjoy pushing the boundaries of the media and hoping to create a unique artwork that will express the work in a different way. I aim to create work that is tactile, layered with patterns and always exploring colours.

Where do you create your work?

I am fortunate enough to have my own studio area and it is full of “stuff”. I spend many hours working and exploring in total bliss and time escapes me.

Has membership of Stitching and Beyond had an influence on your practice?  How?

Being a member of Stitching and Beyond has given me the opportunity to meet amazing artists and attend workshops from local, mainland and international artists to learn new techniques and skills. As well as the opportunity to exhibit work every two years. I have made many wonderful life long friends and met amazing people.

Anything else you would like to add?

Art is my passion and I believe that it is a gift I will treasure and always share with others. I believe this quote sums me up!

Deep inside me is the feeling about art, something I was given, I must protect it, shelter it, and keep it alive. But I hate it sometimes, it makes my life hard, possesses me, nothings easy.

By Barbara Hanraham.

View some of Jenny’s work below.