Valérie Wartelle’s art is rooted in the traditional craft of wet felting and manipulation of textiles as an expressive art form, drawing on the colour, texture and form of rural environments.
Valérie says, “Great crafts are where process, materials and sensory connections have a fascinating conversation which you really want to join. Forever curious about materials, making allows me to tap into a personal and internal language I would otherwise not know how to express.”
Process is central to Valérie’s practice; through ongoing exploration of material behaviour, she creates contemplative and evocative artworks, applying her chosen fibres in a painterly way. Wet felting traditionally uses water, soapsuds and friction to bind fibres together into stable nonwoven textiles. Valérie’s compositions are built in layers, hinting at what may lie beneath, and use translucency and light to create absorbing moods. These are highly textured pieces in which cloth is embedded, prints disguised, threads unravelled and details finely made, as a painter with her brush. The analogy with painting is significant throughout, making the viewing intriguing and inquisitive.
Recently Valérie has become more explorative, taking risks and refining new techniques, opening up an array of exciting possibilities. These large works create an experience: deployment of colour, light and texture continue to evoke our natural environment.