Last year I was asked to participate in a 2019 exhibition of work by local artists called “21 Years of an Angel”, celebrating the 21st birthday of the Angel of the North and Winter Angel is the result.
The Angel of the North sculpture, created by artist Antony Gormley, stands at 20 metres tall with wings measuring 54 metres across, and can be seen from miles around its home in Gateshead, which overlooks the A1 and A167 roads and the East Coast Main Line..
As I had already created two pictures of the Angel prior to this (shown above), I wanted to try and do something a bit different this time.
To me the Angel of the North stands as a guardian of the North East and also as a welcome marker that I am back home when driving back to Northumberland. I wanted to try and depict the majesty and celestial nature of the Angel as a guardian. In order to do this I decided that the focus of attention should be looking upwards at the Angel against an almost monochrome pale landscape and dramatic sky.
For the first time ever I used a piece of Harris Tweed cut on the bias as the background to the piece, in order to suggest the clouds and sky soaring ever upwards into the heavens. I was a bit worried about doing this, as fabric cut on the bias is quite unstable and I wasn’t sure how it would stand up to being felted. But fortunately there were no problems and it didn’t distort too much during the process of making.
Normally I just use the technique of needle felting to create my work. But this time I decided to enhance the clouds with a bit of free style embroidery using unpicked threads/yarn from several Harris Tweeds. I’m pretty pleased with the results and with myself for trying something new, as it’s SO easy to get stuck in a rut with technique.
The exhibition of unique works of art will include paintings, drawings, Chinese art, embroidery, textile art and photographs; all created by local artists and portraying the Angel in a variety of different ways. It also marks the end of the Angel20 programme, a year-long celebration running from the sculpture’s 20th anniversary in February 2018 to the Angel’s 21st birthday celebration in February 2019.
21 Years of an Angel is being held at The Gallery at Gateshead Library from Thursday 31st January to Saturday 30th March 2019. The image is currently available as a print in 2 sizes and will soon be available as a greetings card from my online shop.
I am a Northumberland based textile artist and I create needle felted paintings with Harris Tweed and wool yarns.