Venice Collection ss18

CAROLE WALLER INTRODUCES: ‘VENICE’ : A SPRING COLLECTION

The sensory feast of the city of Venice has inspired Carole Waller’s latest collection of hand painted clothing which, like the Venice itself, is full of colour, bold reflections and fluidity of movement.

“Visiting Venice once again last spring I was completely captivated and transported back to magical childhood visits, “ Carole explained. “I have taken images of archways stretching over the canals, reflections of boats and the beautiful grilles at the windows of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. These repeating patterns create screens through which colour seeps through – the shadowy greys, silvers and sludgy greens of the canals and the bright reds and blues reflected on the water and pale whites and greys and soft pastels of the lagoon as the sun sets”. This colour palate forms the basis of the collection with surprising splashes of bright red in a nod to “Don’t Look Now”. “The colourful red awnings along the canals serve as a counterpoint to the subdued and sludgy colours of the canals and bright reflections of the buildings which change minute by minute as the light shifts” says Carole.

Carole pays homage to her mother who, as a young artist alone in Italy, was equally enchanted by Venice which she painted in a series of watercolours “beautifully capturing the buildings with her sensibility to colour and atmosphere”. Another element that appears throughout the collection is taken from an iconic print from a drawing of the Ca D’Oro Palace on the Grand Canal. Carole went to seek out the block printers of which only a handful remain. “ I have dedicated my collection to them and their beautiful, simple renditions of the decorative and spiritual uplifting buildings of Venice.

Making an investment in a piece by Carole Waller ensures that you will always be the centre of attention. They are indeed unique, whether you are drawn to a tie wasted shirt or a neat dress or a flowing scarf that in itself will be a talking point. And for special occasions, Carole is always happy to create a one-off, bespoke outfit; please contact Carole Waller for a one-to-one appointment: 07803033629.

Nicky Hancock March 2018

 

photos Jesse Wild , thanks to Milsom Place Bath, Styling Abigail Constanza and Sarah Baker, make up Sarah Smerdon , Model Nadia Achha

West Dean College – teaching and learning

Whilst Bath is most definitely my home and provides much of the inspiration for my silk painted work I also regularly travel east to teach at West Dean College near Chichester.

I have been teaching there for several years and even after all this time and a lengthy commute I still find it a sanctuary for my own spirit every time I arrive off the M27 and drive through its gates. There is very little Wifi or phone reception and no noise. A world away from bustling Bath.

 

West Dean College specialises in short courses in a wide range of specialist arts subjects. It was originally owned by Edward James, friend to Salvador Dali, and patron of the Surrealists. James’ spirit of the eccentric still exudes from the walls and corridors – and again from its passionate and expert tutors.

 

My courses are all about making image, mark and message in cloth – using dyes and pigments as media.

Students come from all walks of life and enjoy each other’s company as much as their studies and so we begin any course with a discussion about the student’s backgrounds and their personal aims for the week of their study with me. it’s not all one way; I share images of my practice as a painter and textile artist.

I tell the students of my own background, in painting, that led me to want to transfer my ideas to unprimed cloth – to make paintings which move – and which only come to life when someone owns, and wears them. Therefore I needed to make paintings which could be washed – but when I looked into this I found complex recipes and off-putting technical data in the only text books available to me then. At this time I could not even afford to buy weighing scales for dyes and I had to find simple ways of achieving my aims.

It took a while….

A ‘few’ years later and I now have some sort of reputation for colour – and for working in a very ‘free’ way on cloth .

However, I do not teach how to ‘paint the Carole Waller way’ although this has been an expectation of some students over the years.

Instead I teach how to work in a very uncomplicated way with dyes and pigments. I share my knowledge of how I approach the very specific mark making vocabulary of screen-printing and painting onto silk and cotton, wool and linen.

I get very excited about the differences between a silk crepe and a silk georgette – I look for the thinnest possible membrane on which to paint and I spend hours washing tables, paintbrushes and ironing lengths of damp silk. I try to share this passion with my students too.

 

My practice evolved out of painting and the making of collaborative work with other artists. I was always interested in the way in which art and ‘life’ collide – and as a young student at Canterbury – questioned the notion of the ‘frame’ as a physical and actual construct in the relationship between artwork and viewer. I wanted to make things which were affected by their environment – and which were not self sufficient – things which had a life span and which would disappear in time.

I eventually worked out what this could be in 1986 – and made a painting onto the back of a medical labcoat. Its now 2017 and I have still not even touched the surface of what could be possible.

 

So it seems, whilst I feel I have a great deal to offer my wonderful students who sign up in numbers for my courses. I still have an appetite to keep exploring my much loved subject and both my Bath and Chichester residences allow me to keep finding a balance to facilitate this.

So these images show some of the beautiful marks and initiatives made by 9 fantastic women who joined me in May 2017 at West Dean to see what might be possible.

print 5 web print 7 webprint 8 web print 9 webprint6 web print 10 web print 11 web print 12 wbe print 13 web print 14 web print 15 web print 16 web print 17 web print 2 web

Edward James liked to ‘put things out of place’ – he gave away West Dean in 1964 and created the Edward James Foundation for the preservation of ancient crafts. He had married a dancer , Tilly Losch – and her footprints are found in the carpet here. Ancient crafts are still preserved but so much more is invented and refound at West Dean with its current study options. These run from ‘creative short courses and professional development through to Foundation, Diploma and Masters degrees. Students achieve ground-breaking work in visual arts or deploy their skills in the conservation of our national and international cultural heritage.’

 

ed james cecil beatonweb

Edward James by Cecil Beaton

 

‘ The College is set in West Dean House in Sussex, former home of Edward James, poet, artist, designer and patron of the Surrealist Movement. It offers an inspirational setting for focused study, creativity and innovation. The Edward James Foundation is the registered charity behind the College, also our Gardens and West Dean Tapestry Studio.’

My next course there will be 21 -25 February 2018 – not yet on their website but telephone the college or watch this space https://www.westdean.org.uk/study