resources for the textile arts community
Wai-Yuk Kennedy studied painting for her fine art degree but gradually moved back to working with textiles, which was always her first love. While she produces textile pieces of all sizes, she is best known for her colourful and very intricate textile jewellery.
I was born in Hong Kong and began working with textiles at an early age. After leaving school I trained in graphic design and pattern making; then I worked as a glove designer before coming to England in 1978 to study Fine Art. My degree was in painting and I concentrated on making paintings for several years after, but I steadily drifted back to working with stitching and fabrics, realising that that was where my heart lay. After many years of raising a family and assisting my husband with his craft business, I now get to spend most of my time creating my textile art.
The influences on my work are as diverse as my background. My love of old Chinese stories and legends collides with my day to day experience of the Cornish landscape. My Fine Art training interacts with my fascination for the practical aspects of sewing and pattern making. I am a keen photographer and the things I see and photograph also feed into my work, be they the plants and rivers of Hong Kong, the rugged North Cornwall coastline, or the patterns and colours of India.
I regularly revisit all kinds of textile techniques, searching for interesting new combinations and approaches but the core of most work I produce today is in machine embroidery.
Much of my current work is on a small, jewellery-sized scale but my ambition is always to make each one stand up as a work of art in its own right, as well as being an exciting, wearable fashion accessory.