The inspiration for the title of the show came about at a retreat on Mt Washington where the group gathered to explore natural dyeing techniques and eco printing. One of the members presented the group with a challenge to create something with an indigo dyed square of cotton that she provided. The idea was to work spontaneously with rusted metal, then add embroidery and other embellishments to create an individual but connected piece.
After seeing the results from an Irit Dulman workshop, we decided we wanted to experiment with printing leaves using natural dyes at our 5 day ITA retreat. After all, dyeing is best done when many can take advantage of the measuring, mixing and cooking. We included rusting and an indigo vat just to cover all the bases.
The Panel Project was a year in the making. In the summer of 2014 we drafted out the landscape of the Fulford Harbour, then split this drawing into 9 sections. We spent a sunny summer day dying cotton and silk fibres so there was a consistent use of colour and value to the panels. Each month we met as a group to share the progress. Key elements such as trees, hills and the shoreline were checked to ensure each panel flowed seamlessly into the next.
“During the month of August there will be an exciting new show by the Island Textile Artist’s group. These individuals are interested in exploring the many aspects of textiles, art and design to express their own diversity and to push their own limits of working with fabrics. Many members started with the sewing and quilting craft but have experimented with new techniques, products and processes that have moved art to a different level. Their new show titled “If Once You Have Slept on an Island” shows the great diversity of the group. There are many individual “pieces” and an inspiring group rendering of Fulford Harbour that shows how inspiration, passion for the medium and a fearless breaking of the rules can create truly wonderful art.