Stroud International Textile Festival

I went to the Stroud Textile Festival on Saturday.  There was some lovely stuff to see, and I was particularly taken by the work of two artists.  The first was Clyde Olliver (see, and  who combines stitching with slate, so embroidery meeting sculpture, really, who made this fantastic piece:

Large slate, Clyde Olliver
Large slate, Clyde Olliver

I ended up in conversation with a complete stranger about how moving it was, which it was.  It has a very spiritual quality about it.  Quite beautiful.  I had seen his work before but the slates had always been much smaller.  This one was monumental.  A real highlight for me.  It made me think of how much I like Matthew Harris’s work, too,  and to wonder if there is some kind of masculine something coming through that I respond to.  A certain toughness in the choice and deployment of materials.

The second was a bit more problematic, but no less beautiful.  Jessica Turrell’s pieces were stunning, but did make me wonder if they were textiles at all (  She describes herself as a jeweller and her work in this show was in enamels.  But they were just plain beautiful:

Jessica Turrell
Jessica Turrell

Part of me wanted to query what they were doing in the show at all, as they aren’t texiles, but the other half was just content to admire them, and wish I were even half capable of producing something so beautiful.

Sometimes I want to go to shows to be inspired, and to get ideas.  But sometimes, as I said to my long-suffering husband, I really want to go and see something I couldn’t make and that stops me in my tracks.  I got that feeling with both of these artists.

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