Sense of Felt Series

I read and was inspired by a press release, ‘Sarah’s Story’, about a Motor Neurone Disease sufferer. This resulted in my considering how we relate to and understand what life is like for those living with a neurological disorder.

The emphasis of this body of work was on creating texture through the structure and surface of felt work with the intention of introducing able-bodied ‘normal’ people to what life is like for a person with sensory dysfunction. The concept for the work was to produce felt which not only showed a variety of felting techniques and the versatility of fibres, but also to provide the viewer, through interaction, with knowledge and information about life with sensory problems.

Simple designs, which at first belie the complexity of the fibres used, and the technical ability to create a range of textile art pieces, convey a message. Fibres add lustre to enliven the matt wool, and are used to create intricate variations within my felts. Exploring plant and cellulose has added a further range of aesthetically pleasing and eco friendly materials.

Communication is a critical factor for meaningful interaction: the ability to question, reflect and relate to others, the environment, the world around us, and to be aware of our place in the universe. I concentrated my efforts on what happens when the relationship between brain and body is dysfunctional and how this affects understanding and our ability to communicate effectively. Research has highlighted how a wide range of nervous system disorders impact on the individual and the world around them. This is heightened when in all other respects the person looks perfectly healthy.

Encouraging visitors to be tactile enabled them to gain knowledge and understanding of abnormal sensory feedback. By interacting with my work, many visitors were stimulated as a result of their experience.