Patternbank discovered the beautifully delicate and intricately stitched and cut work of Hillary Waters Fayle. We put a few questions to the artist to find out more about her and what inspires her work.
Can you give us a brief introduction about yourself?
I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY USA and I now live in Richmond VA, where I spend time making my own work, in addition to working as an artist assistant, and teaching part-time at Virginia Commonwealth University. I’m a fairly quiet person, and I dislike being the center of attention. It’s really important to me to be the best person I can be for the people and the world around me. I feel the best when I’m being really productive and I’m getting lots done and I’m able to be mentally present and engaged. I love to make lists, run, cook, spend time with people I love, and I love to read -although I don’t read as much as I’d like to. I also love to be outside, especially in the summer- the heat in Virginia is one of my favorite things about living here.

You’re clearly inspired by the natural world so can tell us about your work & processes?
I use a lot of traditional hand craft techniques, such as cutting, stitching and many types of embroidery, in collaboration with found botanical and organic material.  In this way I symbolically bind nature and the human touch. It is my hope to inspire a shifted perspective on the way we view the natural world; to explore and appreciate what is so often overlooked and to realize the potential for existence in balance with nature.
 
Leaves were a simple transition for me from fabric- they have a very strong textile sensibility and the jump from stitching on fabric and paper to stitching on leaves was rather a small leap, once I had the initial idea. I really do love working with the leaves because they are a truly sustainable substrate, and are also an iconic symbol of nature. There is also a real sense of magic in being able to achieve the manipulation of an object that your mind doesn’t believe can be used in such a way.
What else do you use for inspiration?
Nature and the natural world are obviously an important source of inspiration for me, but I love looking at lots of things for inspiration; design blogs, typography, photography, drawings, paper-cutting, textiles and of course, pattern. I remember seeing a William Morris pattern when I was about 12 years old and just falling in love with it- the level of detail and the magic of the complex and intertwined botany. I have collections of lots of strange objects, like sticks and feathers and old skeleton keys and my studio is full of art and books on botanical drawing, symbolism, Japanese block printing and pattern design that I love to look at when I need to refresh my creative self.  I think I always feel most inspired when I’m around creative people who are immersed in what they’re working on- but I do most of my work when I’m alone, which is how I work best.
Hillary’s work is currently on show in various locations in the USA and around the world, for more details and to see more visit her website here.

 

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