This weeks lecture was from Hanny Newton, telling us about her journey into being a goldwork textile artist.
one of the aspects of her work that Hanny loves is the fact that she uses heritage techniques keeping history alive today. With no formal art training beyond the basics at school Hanny used to stitch as a means of stress relief from a demanding voluntary job - carrying a metre long piece of embroidery around with her. She loved it so much she packed in the job and went to the Royal School on Needlework for 2 years to do a foundation degree followed by a final year in Falmouth. The work she produces clearly shows a high level of technical skill and a real understanding for how light impacts on metal thread embroidery. (excuse the poor photos - technical issues on the day!)
Hanny appreciates that she needs to take commissions etc to pay the bills. She likes to keep some freedom from payment for her individual work so that it can develop in the way that feels right. Her commissions have been for churches, cathedrals, band merchandise
In the last few years Hanny's opportunities have opened up with teaching at the British Museum (and other less prestige places). She has been designing workshops where members of the public can have a go at goldwork in a very accessible way as well as working with the University of Wolverhampton on ideas around sustainable fashion -looking at how to use stains as a design element and celebrating imperfections.
After a very interesting and enjoyable lecture the key messages to take away were to take risks if you want rewards, and to develop your own original work - that way you can never be wrong.
Thank you Hanny for a great afternoon.