A tutor at Art School, where I studied Fine Art, often said that ‘It always comes back to the landscape”, and I have found this to be so true. Nature of course has all the answers, if only we would stop to look and listen. If in need of that all too elusive bolt of inspiration I only have to change my immediate environment, take myself for a walk, people watch outside a café, visit a gallery or market, stare at the sea or get lost in the nearest green space, and I can feel re-charged. Sometimes it is just important to get out of your own head and be reminded of the bigger picture. Landscape, whether purposefully sought or intuitively gathered, provides a constant source of inspiration for me.
The moorland of “God’s Own County” provided a natural starting point for the colour palette of Wool Local, which is all made within 15 miles in Yorkshire. Heathered neutrals and pinkish hues on reflection of an early morning stomp across the dried bracken and rain soaked millstone grit of Ilkley Moor. Sometimes it is just about a literal translation of what is in front of you, and learning to trust your eye.
The 15% nettle content of Wild Wool got me reminiscing of childhood freedom, messing about outside, building forts, falling into beds of stinging nettles and searching for dock leaves nearby, nature’s own remedy. An English country walk, be it with the dog, to the end of the garden, or to the nearest village pub is rarely without a sighting of nettles in the hedgerows or overgrown verges of the road. And there are so many ways to walk through the urban, suburban or country landscapes. The colour names of Wild Wool you will notice then are all taken from walking terms – ways of moving through the landscape, which are themselves evocative of moods and personalities. Of course ‘Swagger’ is a bold orange colour – confident and energetic. Wassily Kandinsky, the Russian abstract artist, wrote that ‘Orange is like a man convinced of his own powers’. Whereas ‘Meander’ is a gentle and serene pale blue with tones of grey and black, not quite one thing or the other. My designs knitted in Wild Wool are consequently named after places that I enjoy mooching, dawdling and ambling, places so familiar to me and yet where there is still so much ground to cover.