Saturdays lecture was by the lovely Kanjana Nicholas - a new member of our branch and a talented artist. Her talk was about her artistic journey and how she came to be doing the intricate felt pictures she does today.
Kanj outlined her degree in Australia and her work as a textile designer in her native Sri Lanka. When she moved to the UK she got a sales job in the pottery industry in Stoke on Trent, which gave her a good understanding of the basics of pottery. She started making pottery for herself but the arrival of her children meant putting her creative talents to one side for over 16 years. In September 2016, feeling a growing desire to find some of "the old Kanj" she bravely made the decision to host an Open House event and made bags and brooches. Following on from this a friend commissioned a felt painting. Kanj had always found West Park inspiring so she used this as a creative base for the painting and the friend was delighted.
She was offered a space at the Asylum Art Gallery for a solo show in September 2016 and accepted the challenge, but as time passed she lost confidence and cancelled the show, only to be encouraged by a friend to finish the work and reinstate the show. The huge amount of work involved took its toll and Kanj was struck by a bad bout of Sciatica, which saw her in hospital and then a long recovery period at home. Despite the pain she kept on felting and on 23rd September the show opened and was a great success.
What next? Well since then she has found that she enjoys being part of Wolverhampton's great community of artists which support and encourage each other, she has had more commissions and her goals for 2017 are to set up an online presence and to start running workshops. Above all else she is going to continue to indulge her love of creative activities and maybe to re-explore painting and ceramics.
It was a fascinating and inspiring talk and we wish her every success for the future