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Lesley Kaye is a textile artist who studied her Interdisciplinary Art and Design Degree at Huddersfield University, where she gained a 2.1 with Honours.
Growing up in a small village surrounded with countryside made me more appreciative of nature and the ever changing seasons. I was also lucky enough to be brought up with dressmakers and artists in the family and learnt the basics of knitting, crochet, embroidery and other crafts at a very early age.However I did not envisage that later on in my life that this would eventually shape my career.
I decided to go to university as a mature student having done an array of jobs, which included dressmaker, nursing, flower arranging, craft shop owner and tutor. I loved all of my jobs but I felt that something was missing. I decided that I wanted to further myself so I enrolled on a BA Hons Interdisciplinary Art and Design course. I felt that this would cover all aspects of art. I realised in my second year that I had reawakened my love for textiles and I had inadvertently come full circle.
Throughout my studies and research into different aspects of art I found myself inspired by Japanese art and culture. I have always appreciated the beauty of Japanese screen paintings especially the ones that depict nature and the changing seasons. I am also passionate about using natural products within my work such as merino wool, silk, cotton, and occasionally wood because of its relationship to nature. Through my research I happened across the Japanese textile artist Itchiko Kabota, whose landscaped kimonos awakened my passion for wearable art. The artist Peter Doig also inspired me with the unpredictable manner in which he paints his landscapes and I admire the way he uses colour and texture within his creations.
Linking these inspirations together formed the foundation for my own work. I decided to make four landscaped kimonos that depict the seasons but not in a traditional way. I wanted to create very distinctive pieces by using different methods of felting; I used colour and manipulation of the felt to represent each season but kept the background more abstract. As a contrast to this I wanted the 3D elements to look quite realistic. This idea came from Peter Doig's landscapes and the way he uses different genres in the creation of his paintings.
Studying the different seasons in depth for the design of the kimonos has made me truly appreciate our beautiful and natural world. I would like to take what I learnt into further developing my work ethics and maybe go into theatre or fashion design.
Contact me through my website www.lesleykaye.co.uk.