I'm doing a series of blogs with a little bit of background information about some of the Harris Tweed "paintings" in my exhibition. at the Bakehouse Gallery in Alnwick this summer.
We are lucky enough to live four miles away from the gorgeous beach at Embleton Bay in Northumberland and this is the view of Dunstanburgh Castle at the far south end of the bay.
When I was little my Dad used to take me and my brother to visit Dunstanburgh Castle via a rather torturous journey on public transport. Incredibly we used to walk 15 minutes to the station, catch a train to Newcastle and another to Alnwick, catch a bus to Craster and then walk to the castle. The castle wasn't enclosed then and we never saw another soul while we were there. I have always loved it here and that's why this is my fourth picture of the castle. The reason this is titled "Dunstanburgh Castle III" is because the second picture is called "Dunstanburgh Castle Gatehouse".
My line drawing for the picture coloured in with my ancient childhood Derwent pencils. This drawing was then cut up and used as pattern to cut out all of the pieces of Harris Tweed for the picture.
Needle felting the details in wool yarn. Two of the tweeds I used (sea - left & sky right)
The two tweeds pictured were bought specially for this piece and they were woven by Annie Mackay of Crotal Harris Tweed. Annie is one of a growing number of women weaving Harris Tweed, which was traditionally woven by men.
Crotal is the name for lichen when it is used to dye tweed. Once when I was demonstrating how I made my pictures at an art gallery a gentleman came up to me and asked me in all seriousness if they still used "scrotal" dyes in Harris Tweed. I somehow managed to keep a straight face and replied "I don't think they that do anymore".
"Dunstanburgh Castle III" has now sold but the image is still available as a greetings card or a giclee print in 2 sizes (£25 & £75) from the Bakehouse Gallery or our online shop.
I am a Northumberland based textile artist and I create needle felted paintings with Harris Tweed and wool yarns.