Danish born textile artist Kirsten T Webb has been producing ecclesiastical embroidery since 1989 after moving to England and working as a potter in the 1960s. Since completing a City and Guilds course in Embroidery and Design, she has taken an unusual route in her craft by creating a steady stream of altar frontals and church vestments. However, it is not the ecclesiastical embroideries for which she is renowned that are the feature of her upcoming exhibition, From Purbeck To Scotland. Kirsten has been inspired by a series of landscapes from the very familiar Dorset featured in the autumnal Hartland Moor, to a series inspired by Flow Country in the very north of Scotland.
Kirsten views her work not as embroidery but as something more similar to painting. Building up layers of shade, colour and depth, she creates a careful image of the landscape that inspires her. Layers are created by using a variety of materials, and Kirsten is most interested in the texture she creates rather than the origin of the substances she uses, leading to collaborations between lichen and dyed threads as well as silk paints or supermarket bags.
Her new exhibition also features work based on Viking designs, which link Kirsten to her Norse heritage whilst still exploring her over arching love of nature. ‘A lot of the Viking designs were taken from sword hilts and tableware,’ she explains, ‘everyday objects that the Vikings decorated with the things they saw all around them – so there are often ducklings, plants and fantastic beasts from Viking myths and stories to be found in the work.’
Kirsten T Webb: From Purbeck to Scotland, 24 September – 13 October 2017
St Andrew’s Church, East Lulworth, Dorset, BH205QQ