All images: Hand painted clothing or scarves by Carole Waller. Photo credit Egle Vasi
Carole Waller has been making wearable art since 1986. Her work, mainly hand painted silks, is featured in many books on contemporary textiles and can be found in museums including the V&A and Birmingham City Art Gallery. It's also now available to buy through the Waller&Wood online shop, which is hosting a Christmas exhibition, CHRISTMAS PRESENT, featuring a treasure trove of beautiful handmade scarves, cushions, hardbound books, aluminium jewellery and tea bowls made by UK ceramicist Gary Wood. All are available to buy gift wrapped and will arrive in time for Christmas if ordered soon. We asked Carole to tell us a little about her work.
How did you develop your technique?
I have been making painted clothing and scarves for many years - and developed the technique by very simply learning to use the medium of dye - thick and thin - a medium with which to paint in my own way. I wanted to translate paintings in my head into wearable images - colour and narrative wrapped around the body rather than hanging in frames on walls. Textiles were in my blood as my mother taught weaving and my grandmother made soft covers for a furnishing shop in Birmingham all her working life. The language of cloth was an essential part of my ideas as an artist. Narrative sometimes plays an important part in the story of a particular collection - and is introduced by combining placement screen printing with the hand printed brush marks.
What do you enjoy about the process?
I enjoy the total absorption of dye into the woven material - the way the weave sometimes dictates the mark and the game I can play with the fluidity of this way of painting. I enjoy that my clothes and scarves have a strong identity and spirit - and that when worn they take on and collaborate with the character of the wearer to transform into very individual pieces of clothing.
Visit Carole Waller’s Christmas collection at wallerandwood.co.uk
The website is the online version of Carole’s physical gallery in Bath, which sadly closed in July 2020. The site represents Carole and ceramicist Gary Wood whose pots are made in their shared studios just outside Bath in the UK. For more clothing visit carolewaller.co.uk where you can also sign up to receive a newsletter about new work and special events.