Image: Noriko Endo, Birds of a Feather Flock Together, 2015 (detail). Photo Yuji Nomura.
Noriko Endo’s exhibition, Quilting Impressionist Landscapes, was due to be at The Festival of Quilts, NEC Birmingham, from 30 July - 2 August 2020. The Festival has now been postponed until 28 July - 1 August 2021 – up to date information can be found on their website). We asked Noriko about her inspiration and her signature ‘confetti naturescape’ technique.
Image: Noriko Endo, Cherry Blossoms #3, 2004 (detail). Photo Yuji Nomura.
You call your signature technique ‘Confetti Naturescapes’ in which you arrange tiny pieces of fabric under a layer of transparent tulle, how did you develop this technique?
I have three children so when they were young, I made their clothing. I had lots of tiny pieces of fabric left over and also lots of their old clothes but had no way to use them. One day while I was working on a patchwork project, I had an idea to cut them into small, toothpick-like sizes and use them like oil paints. To keep them in place, I tried several methods and black soft tulle worked the best because it ‘disappears’ on the surface of the quilt. I add just a little strong color like yellow, pink, purple, turquoise and black to create an effect akin to pointillism.
Image: Noriko Endo, Lakeside Solace, 2009 (detail). Photo Yuji Nomura.
You’re a keen walker and nature is a major source of inspiration for you. Trees are a recurring theme in your work, why?
I love to walk in the forests. I look for a place chased by the light, where pretty pink flowers are smiling, and wild birds are calling their partners. The changing colors of autumn particularly inspire me. Trees are my recurring theme, especially mature trees. The inspiration evolves when I see, listen, read and feel the energy and passion behind the images. When I began my woods series, I wanted to show the trunks chased by the light. While walking in the World Heritage site, Shirakami Sanchi in Japan, I discovered a place where I felt nature had hidden some of her secrets.