A few months ago I was drawn to a very small image in a magazine of a lotus flower on a bright yellow background. I loved the elegant simplicity of this work. I went home and immediately painted my own version of this, using acrylic paint on watercolour paper. I had never painted like this before.
On my first visit to the V & A, to research work for 'Inspired By', I noticed the print of this work for sale in the shop, then discovered that the original was in the collection, in the prints, drawings and paintings collection.
I wanted to take the work further, and set out to create a piece that had some of that vibrant yellow in it, the cup shape and delicacy of the lotus flower, and the slender stems.
I wanted to combine textiles and painting, I find it's important for me to get really close to the work, to hold and manipulate it, in this case, to pierce the work, and to see close up how the paint has reacted with the fabric - in some areas it's saturated it, in others, it sits of the surface, and cracks a bit, and shows the textural qualities of the fabric beneath.
The finished piece is a painting on a coarse textile backing. The stitching came afterwards, I wanted to emphasise the painted lines, and stitched through the still damp painted surface with black wool. It wasn't until I was adding the stitching that the piece came alive for me.
Some Japanese Flowers
V&A collection reference number(s):