Head Hand and Heart

Anna Gravelle

magic and revelation

My eyes are tuned to textural surfaces and patterns usually found, but not exclusively, in nature. I enjoy designing something for a specific space, for a commission, or somewhere that I imagine. I think about the atmosphere and what I want my textile to add to that space. I use images I’ve taken to draw from and the drawings then form the beginning of how I might implement those patterns and textures.

Recently I have been working with imagery from starling murmurations that I observe on the Somerset Levels, but inspiration comes from a combination of many different things to form a final piece. I might fall in love with a specific yarn or a wool fabric, or the matt texture of a rock and all of those things might be thrown into the mix. I lay out photographs and sketches which I then group together creating essentially a mood board.

I start with drawing, before turning these patterns into screenprints and tufted patterns on fabric. My hands become part of the machine of making, guiding the fabric through the tufter or pulling the squeegee over the silk screen. When tufting you work on the reverse of the fabric, so it’s the moment when I flip it over to see all the little tufts proudly standing up that always gives me a flutter. In a nutshell it’s all about conceal and reveal – a moment of magic or revelation, but also other people’s reactions to the work because then I know it is worth it.