UNFOLDING STORIES 4
UNFOLDING STORIES 4
art by members of
This catalogue is published by the artists of CQ West
© Copyright the Artists of CQ West, 2020
Published by CQ West
Layout and design: Claire Passmore
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the expressed written permission of the
A personal creative language underpins the ethos of the members of CQ West. This is
a free spirited group who continue to make work informed by subjects which absorb
and interest them, with all members following self-directed themes. It is a belief of the
group that one of its strengths is having a membership with widely ranging skills and
achievements. Individuals within the group generously share knowledge and creative
and artistic insights. This practice informs and strengthens all, and is pivotal to
achieving the diversity of exhibits on display.
Exhibiting every two years with the exhibition title of ‘Unfolding Stories’ and now
reaching Unfolding Stories 4, the group always shows newly made art quilt or textile
art pieces. This catalogue is the second produced by the group and offers an insight
into the techniques and ideas of each of the participating artists.
CQ West artists and makers all reside in the south west of Britain. Many members
exhibit their work nationally, some internationally, and many teach workshops or give
talks. We all strive to develop our work and become more professional in our art
It is our hope that you will find the work on display exciting and engrossing to view.
Hopefully it will also convey that exciting moment when each artist can take a
breath, aware that somehow, for a while, they have stepped onto a creative path of
hand and mind and eye.
To find out more about our members, please visit our website at:
I am a textile artist working within the parameters of art
quilting. My passion is colour, which is complemented by
shape, line and texture. My inspiration is varied: maps,
cosmology, quantum physics, nature, the urban landscape,
climate change. I am interested in science and technology,
and I am very concerned about the climate crisis and the
lack of progress in halting the destruction of our planet.
I work mostly in series, and my map series is probably the best
known. Recently I have been experimenting with new
techniques, and my way of working has changed from
piecing and appliqué to using wholecloth designs I create
with digital tools. Each design is first printed on fabric and then
layered and stitched. The pieces I present in this exhibition are
in this new style of work.
An abstract design is like a
blank canvas - anything
goes. Its meaning is
whatever the maker sees in
it at a given time. This piece
gives me a jumbled urban
feeling - contemporary?
medieval? I don’t know;
anything is possible. It is a
magical kind of Urban
Jungle to me.
Digitally designed, printed
on fabric, layered and
78cm x 118cm (right)
42cm x 42cm x 2cm (opposite)
As a woman of many passions I was delighted to realise I could
bring two very important ones to me together in one creative
and satisfying activity. Like many textile lovers I too was playing
with thread, yarns and fabric from an early age and creating
became a passion that was greatly rewarded and immensely
My profession as a Clinical Psychologist is based on another
passion - a deep fascination with the human condition -
questioning what influences each of us to become the
individuals we are. So, as a creative artist my quest is to combine
the ongoing questioning regarding our human condition with
the luscious, tactile, colourful qualities of thread.
I create for pleasure and I continue to create because the
satisfaction it gives me is addictive. My wish is that you too may
find pleasure in seeing my work.
Consisting of multiple images of
smiling and non-smiling sunflowers this
work is a colourful, fun looking strip, as
if a child’s sampler piece. The
sunshine child is the bright looking,
attentive, caring, considerate and
always smiling child. This behaviour
brings much appreciation and
reinforcement from those surrounding
him / her and can easily become an
unconscious way of being. This piece
is a playful yet serious depiction of
choice: when to smile and when not
to smile. It’s saying ‘I will smile when
it’s true. I will be real with my smile.’
A-mending the script
270cm x 12cm (right)
90cm x 90cm
- ANGELA KNAPP
This work is based on the birds of the Somerset Levels
and aims to illustrate the beauty and fragility of their
world and their battles for survival.
So many birds are under threat due to the
increasing human impact on the planet. I will sadly
never run out of threatened birds to base work on.
I absolutely love the process of creating these
pieces; the story of each bird draws me in and
consumes me for a time. The journey is continuous as
each piece teaches me something new or gives me
inspiration for the next project
I create these pieces after much research, layering
and painting fabrics and then, using a sewing
machine, ‘paint’ the details with thread a technique
called free-motion embroidery.
‘Children of the Sky' is a piece
based on the beautiful poem of
the same name by Mark Britten
a farmer from the Somerset
levels. The poem connects us to
nature and the passing seasons.
Children of the Sky
62cm x 62cm
The Hobby is a summer visitor to
the UK and thriving on the
Somerset Levels. Hobbies are
one of the few birds capable of
catching Swifts and Swallows in
48cm x 48cm
Children of the Sky 44cm x 44cm (opposite)
Circles, whole, sliced, segmented and broken meld with other
shapes and colour dominating my textile art. My designs are
simple, stark and often repetitive. The designs start as
monoprints on paper – a wonderful, messy process. Potential
icons are isolated, traced and scaled up to make paper
patterns. These are cut out in fabric and pieced. Once
layered up, the fabric tops are stitched, usually with simple
parallel lines, either on a domestic machine or my longarm.
My go to preference is abstract design but I also work with
text, drawing and mark making to produce social and
political art quilts. This genre causes much artistic conflict – my
social themes are about the textile industry’s bad practices,
unsafe working conditions and environmental issues created
by fabric and garment production. I love dyeing my own new
cloth which is environmentally unacceptable. A dilemma yet
to be resolved!!
My work reflects my love of colour, shape and printing which often results in a
number of abstract works based on a single design. My Break Down Circles series
was inspired by a single print from a monoprinting session. Circles often feature in my
work and this series combines circle shapes with fabrics which have been
handprinted with breakdown printing techniques. I have explored this technique
with a minimal colour palette – golden yellow and black which has given rise to
various shades of green.
A Textile Artist’s Dilema
125cm x 78cm (opposite)
Breakdown Circles 1 – 6
35.6cm x 35.6cm (above)
I am a curious person; I enjoy exploring and experimenting
with shapes, materials and structures, often with only a theme
in mind, just to discover what might be. I use the walls of my
studio much like the pages in a huge sketchbook and to
some they look chaotic, but to me they are the place my
thoughts evolve and begin to be transformed into a visual
When I create my work I almost always start by hand dying or
altering textiles in some way. I enjoy the processes of cutting,
sometimes melting or burning, stitching, and layering fabrics,
inks, paints, metals, threads and other interesting materials,
allowing the work to evolve and a story to unfold.
Much of the work I make is rooted in social commentary,
things about which I have very strong emotions and feelings. I
hope this is evident in my current work
Location: Cote d’Ivoire & Ghana
Subject: Child workers, human traffic, forced
labour. Smallholder cacao farms in West
Africa produce 70% of the world’s cacao
beans. ‘Middle men’ sell the beans to
companies familiar to us: Nestle, Mars,
Hershey, Ferrero, Godiva……….
Over 2 million children currently work on the
farms. Children as young as 5 are lured with
promises of education, money, bicycles, a
better life… many are trafficked from Mali or
Burkina Faso by smugglers who sell them on.
Outcome: suffering, hunger, beatings, injury
from heavy lifting, accidents whilst using
machetes, contamination from crop
spraying, little or no education.
This is all illegal. These children are the not-so
secret workers, hiding in the undergrowth.
Chocolate companies blame the farms.
Farms blame the low price they are paid for
their beans. 19 years ago the big chocolate
companies signed the Harkin-Engel Protocol
and promised to end the use of child
workers. Their promises have still not been
Dirty Secret 104cm x 90cm (right)
Für Die Kinder 78cm x 68cm (opposite)
I have a need deep within to create...to capture my world
through a personal visual language. With cloth, thread
and paint, I represent the moment, celebrating simplicity
and beauty whilst gaining satisfaction and connection
from the process of making.
Currently my work reflects a creative response to personal
thoughts around fulfilment. The empty vessels have
become part of the narrative. As each piece is produced
it’s with consideration of what contributes towards
fulfilment for me.
A celebration of friendship representing shared journey paths, in their diversity,
opportunities and value. Connection with those who enrich and fulfil that journey.
Connection 30cm x 50cm (above)
Fulfilment from the gift
of the natural world. A
visual feast to delight
in, both internally and
Provision 40cm x 75cm
I’ve stitched since I can remember. I started quilting in the
early ’80s and then only briefly. I really got interested in the
mid 2000s when art quilts caught my attention. I like painting
and printing onto fabric and although I do occasionally use
commercial fabrics these are often over dyed.
My inspiration comes from lots of sources. I take way too
many photographs and enjoy sifting through them and my
collection of postcards, to find a starting point or theme.
Currently I am interested in the way water distorts what is seen
through windows and windscreens.
‘Rainy Day III’ is the continuation
of a theme which started with a
picture of Geneva through a wet
I love the distortion of shapes and
colours. I have attempted to
extract the essence of this idea
through monoprinting and then
There is a considerable degree of
interpretation and abstraction in
terms of the shapes, and a
degree of serendipity in the
printing as I also spray water to
encourage diffusion of colour.
‘Underwater’ uses the same
basic techniques, but with more
control of both the initial
monoprint and subsequent
Rainy Day III 95cm x 50cm (right)
Under Water 88cm x 57cm
I am a professional printmaker who has been working and
exhibiting in the field of art and design for twenty five years.
The thread running through this busy time has been my
interest in mark and texture and because of this I have always
been drawn towards Collagraph printing. I find this expressive
medium is ideal for achieving the surface design I aim for.
Currently I am lucky enough to have the freedom to print
onto both cloth and papers, and the time to experiment with
paints, dyes, traditional printing inks and letterforms.
I like to walk, enjoying the exercise and being outdoors. I
often let the rhythm of the walk become part of a piece of
work I’m making.
This abstract quilt has a basis in landscape. Its main concerns are with colour,
particularly colour glimpsed during a visit to an ancient hay meadow. The meadow on
a June day was in full flower, vibrant and sunny. Other influences are text and walking.
The lettering plus the physical action of walking make up the movement in the work.
The printed surface of the work is important. I made Collagraph plates from recycled
materials, utilising discarded packaging, hand-made papers, scraps of scrim and found
botanicals. Also a sprinkling of carborundum grit for shadow and texture. Once the
plates had dried they were inked and printed onto fabrics and papers, I chose not to
seal the plates so they could breakdown quickly and so that each print varies slightly
and the expressive mark making is increased. The print run for this work has been
achieved with either, linseed oil relief printing inks or textile acrylic paint. Hand cut
lettering has been printed in the same way. The work is hand stitched with pre-owned
or vintage threads.
Wild Flower Meadow 162cm x 36cm
(above and opposite)
I have been quilt making for more than 30 years, and started
by making quite traditional quilts, but have gradually moved
towards making art pieces.
Archaeology inspires me, and the traces left behind by
history. The area where archaeology and myth meet is a rich
source of ideas. I keep notebooks of drawings, made on
location and in museums, and use my sketches as sources for
my textiles. Some of my work is also influenced by the vivid
colours and patterns of folk arts.
I have belonged to two exhibiting groups, and have shown
my work in quilt shows, museums and art galleries both in the
UK and abroad. I have work in a national collection and in
private collections. I give talks, and teach workshops
occasionally, and like all of us, I am constantly beguiled by
fabric and stitch.
An exploration of the patterns and marks of ancient pottery. Similar shapes and
decorations occur in most cultures and clearly create a universal and shared visual
language. I am fascinated by these remnants of everyday life, which have moved
from simple domestic item to museum object. This piece can be displayed as a series
of wave-folds or closed up like a book or scroll.
Treasures From the Earth I
22cm x 124.5cm x 10cm
Treasures From the Earth 3
59cm x 52.5cm
Themes of loss, threat and displacement recur in
my work. Billybanks 9 is about a derelict housing
estate. Too Late to Leave documents
encroaching bushfires on a recent stay with my
daughter in Sydney. Text, stories and the black
and red colourway hark back to a newspaper
40cm x 40cm
Too Late to Leave
92cm x 46cm (opposite)
My work is mainly intuitive, drawing from my experiences in
Nature. My passion lies in taking the time to notice the story
In my studio, I depict a chosen moment and convey the feeling
of place, an animal's character and my relationship to the
experience. I aim for simplicity in life, whilst recognising that life
and relationships are multi-faceted. This is reflected in my art by
collaging textiles and mixed media, 'painted' with thread. I
prefer the pace, flow and effect of hand stitching, I tend to
produce three pieces at a time, as I find this process allows my
work to evolve in a natural way.
A vintage Ox-eyed Daisy curtain was the
starting point for this summer meadow
scene. The shy fawn is painted with
threads using a mixture of crewel wools
and embroidery silks over toning
collaged fabrics. Beading highlights the
Hogweed in flower, while a mix of felted
and small printed fabrics are dotted with
flora (taken from old table linen) and
hand-stitched together to create the
foreground of this meadow land. In this
piece, I hope to have captured the sunwarmed
sense of a summer scene.
Four Seasons: Essence of Summer
52 cm x 77cm (top left)
It is a rare, clear blue sky day, where
the Sun touches the snow and ice
sparkles in the pale light. Shadows pull
out hues of violet and grey, while three
deer forage for food. Here there is
stillness, the land is slumbering. Vintage
silks, lace and painted recycled fabrics
are collaged together with plastic
found on a beach, over-laid with
Four Seasons: Winter Bared
52 cm x 77cm (right)
Four Seasons: Spring, Blue and Brock
77cm x 52cm (opposite)
I love textiles - handling them, decorating, cutting, rearranging
and stitching them to make something that pleases the eye as
well as the hand. My work is ever-changing and continues to
develop as I discover and explore new ideas and techniques.
I print or dye most of my own fabrics using both natural and
synthetic dyes. I often use recycled cotton bed sheets but also
enjoy experimenting with novel materials, paper and mixed
Inspiration may come from anywhere: a beautiful piece of
fabric, a stunning view or something I’ve read or heard – the
words triggering visual associations in my mind.
Most of the pieces I make are quilted wall hangings ranging in
size from the smallest, at 8 inches square to up to 60 inches tall. I
have also made king-size bed quilts, lots of baby quilts and
everything in between.
My garden is on a riverbank and is under
water for part of every year. It is always green
but has fewer flowers than a garden which is
not liable to flooding! On a sunny day the
green of the grass and trees is enhanced by
the blue sky and golden sun. I wanted to
reflect the cheeriness of the bright light and
vibrant colours in my work. Sunny Day is
made from fabrics coloured with just blue
and yellow dyes. Some new and some
recycled, I prepared the fabrics using several
different techniques: some dyed in buckets
using different proportions of blue and yellow
dye, some dyed in trays with yellow, blue and
a mixed green dye poured over them, some
were printed with rollers and the most
complex were screen-printed using a
technique known as breakdown printing. By
cutting narrow strips of fabric of differing
widths and joining them together, I aimed to
create movement like the ripples on the
water. This movement is emphasised by the
fluid quilting used to hold the layers of the
work together. I hope that Sunny Day raises
the viewer’s spirits as much as it raises mine.
Sunny Day 105cm x 45cm
(above and opposite)
My work is all about place. I use walking/running and my art
as a means to understand the place I am in, be that a
location or perhaps a point in time.
I have a natural instinct to observe, map, collect and analyse
data when I am exploring and navigating ‘places’, through
maps, geology, flora, fauna, weather, people and cultures.
My textiles and artworks are a distillation of my experiences
outdoors and are created in the studio. Like the walking, the
‘making’ is also a slow meditative process, often taking 2-3
years to resolve a series/avenue of ideas.
In this series I am continuing with the abstraction of
found objects as symbols of ‘place’ and combined
them with my figure/life drawings to infer the links
between who we are and our attachment to
particular places. In this particular series I am also
exploring bringing together textile mediums of
dye/batik with traditional drawing/painting mediums;
including clear gesso and pastels/pens to depict my
image as I try to move towards a more painterly form
of expressing myself.
Pebble and Life Drawing
50cm x 20cm (above)
110cm x 110cm (right)
The Last Time
150cm x 150cm (opposite)
I have worked as a textiles teacher for many years in secondary
education. My recent move to Somerset has allowed me to
further develop my own creative journey – it is my ‘Unfolding
I take inspiration from the natural world around me and like to
work in series. My current textile pieces are inspired by
seascapes of the Greek Islands. I use photographs which have
been taken by my husband on our coastal walks. The shades of
aquamarine and turquoise are recreated through hand dyeing
a range of natural fabrics and I enjoy the therapeutic nature of
hand stitching to create pattern and texture in my pieces.
I love to share ideas, teach and help people on their creative
journeys and have developed a range of courses for adults,
which I hope will help to keep the traditional and contemporary
skills of patchwork and quilting alive.
Creating texture in a textiles
piece is an ideal way to add
depth and dimension – this
piece was designed after
taking inspiration from a
photograph taken by my
Selections of natural and manmade
fabrics with interesting
textures were hand-dyed in
ever deepening shades of
turquoise. It has been
embellished with hand
stitching, shells and seed
Summer Sea in Samos
90cm x 22cm (right)
Textures in the Sea
40cm x 30cm (opposite)
My style is pictorial. I am inspired by travelling, walking my
dog, or the world around me and its quirks. Mainly, though,
my ideas are fantasy, although some pieces might contain a
message or, hopefully, some humour. I am also interested in
perspective and the effects of light.
I mostly draw on whole cloth then paint with fabric paints,
often adding appliqué. I then free machine stitch in quite a
lot of detail. I am a great believer in artistic license.
Leaving IV 51cm x 51cm
This series is a reaction to the death of my husband a year ago. Designing the work was
a great help and, as I went on, I decided I wanted each piece to convey any kind of
feeling of ‘leaving’ that might suggest itself to the viewer. It doesn’t necessarily have to
be a feeling of sadness and loss. Bewilderment was one of the emotions I felt at the time
and, for some reason, I kept imagining John disappearing into a vortex, or perhaps a
maelstrom of my confusion and I was compelled to make this piece.
I start with a drawing which I then size up using an app on my computer. Using a light
box I trace some basic lines onto white cotton and add further detail in pencil
afterwards. I paint with fabric paints and sometimes add appliqued pieces, which I paint
separately, to give depth and weight to the work. Each piece is then heavily free-motion
stitched using a lot of different colours and threads.
Leaving II 51cm x 51cm (opposite)
I am a stitcher; I just love to stitch, it is in my DNA, passed down
from my great grandmother, my grandmother and my mother.
I am happy to machine stitch but my favourite technique is
hand sewing, slow but meaningful. I use mostly recycled fabrics -
old sheets and tablecloths which are indigo dyed. I love the
rippling texture created by the stitches as well as the meditative
nature of the stitching.
My inspiration is very eclectic and can strike at any time. It might
be nature-based, architecture, a song lyric or a challenge
theme I take a fancy to. My trouble is too many ideas and not
enough time: I always have several pieces on the go at once
and frequently have to force myself to finish a piece before
starting another - deadlines are good.
Every day I stitched this piece,
I got up, made a cup of
coffee, then set the timer on
my phone for 15 minutes and
stitched away: a perfect start
to the day.
I used small scraps from my
stash, laid onto a heavy
weave African roll and hand
stitched them down in
Japanese boro style. I love the
undulating texture of the
completed diary which is
rolled onto a vintage bobbin
from one of the many Stroud
valleys’ woollen mills. This is my
fourth SlowStitch diary and
number five is already
growing. Happy stitching.
2019 Slow Stitch Diary
600cm x 15cm
(right and opposite)
I have always been interested in textiles in various
forms, which over the years has developed more
into quilting, initially traditional but now into more
Living in Wiltshire, taking landscape photographs
and volunteering at the local archaeological
museum has caused the nearby landscape and the
artefacts buried within it to have a great influence
on my work. I use both commercial and hand-dyed
fabric and now I am also eco printing with leaves
and natural plant dyes.
Working with textiles I am conscious of the fragility of
fabrics compared to the durability of metal, pottery,
flints etc. Traces of fabric are rarely found so I have
been conducting experiments to compare the rates
of decay of fabric between the various elements of
air, water and the earth.
This new work follows on from a previous
piece which dealt with the ancient feet that
walked along a track.
‘Traces of the Past’ looks at the field patterns
shown on old maps and seen from the air. It
also looks at the language used for the
names of the old roads and trackways,
words that are becoming lost, words that
give meanings to the purpose of these
tracks: Packhorse way, Pilgrims path, Drove
roads and Corpse roads.
The trackway is hand stitched with linen
thread, with words of the names of old paths
and tracks machine stitched along it. Field
Boundaries are also machine stitched.
‘Sands of Time’ is inspired by fossil footprints
found in Norfolk which were washed away in
a storm. Rusted fabric overprinted with soles
of boots. Overlay of organdie with stencilled
Sands of Time 69cm x 29cm x 7cm
Traces of the Past 3 (detail)
125cm x 25cm (opposite)
Unfolding Stories 4 Exhibitions
Due to the global pandemic caused by the Covid-19 Coronavirus at
the end of 2019 and throughout 2020, almost all global events where
people gather were cancelled.
Unfolding Stories 4 was scheduled to hang at the Lansdown Gallery
in Stroud, Gloucestershire in May 2020 and the West Country Quilt &
Textiles Show in Bristol in August 2020. Unfortunately neither of these
exhibitions were able to go ahead.
This catalogue is a record of the artwork that was created by many
of the artists of CQ West for this exhibition.
The Unfolding Stories 4 Artists
All artwork featured in this catalogue are copyright of the makers’ ©2020
*Special note: Members Helen Grist, Jan Hassard and Lisa deBoer
were unable to make work for this exhibition for personal reasons.
CQ West 2020