Art Matters and the Materials Workshop
Irene Waller could always draw and baffled her mother by drawing fashion designs, complete with the model, from the feet up! It must have been due to a life-long fascination with shoes. Having written several ‘how-to’ books on various aspects of textile design and production, in this her eighth book, Irene has confronted the subject of why we do it all, the business of creativity—the big subject! Combining elements of autobiography, art history, tutorial, and philosophy, Irene describes the vicissitudes, progress, and setbacks of her career in the art world, and in the realm of textiles in particular. In her own work her main concern has been to explore the ever-growing freedoms found through the medium of hand woven textiles to produce abstract forms and concepts. Fully illustrated throughout, this fascinating book provides an insight into the creative process of an internationally renowned fibre artist and is an informative account of what it was like to have been a working designer and artist in the later half of the twentieth century. Irene Waller was formerly based in Birmingham, England, but now lives amidst the tranquillity and beauty of the Malvern countryside. She has been a designer of woven and printed textile yardage, an interior designer, and head of the Constructed Textiles department at Birmingham College of Art. She became a freelance fibre artist, textile adviser and examiner, is the author of several books on textile matters and a speaker and workshop tutor in Britain, the United States, Canada, and Australia. Irene has also worked as a presenter on several television shows on textiles. The front cover of this book shows her five metre by two metre bas-relief textile sculpture mural Antarctica, which was exhibited at the Lausanne Biennale. Her later work progressed towards sculpture and graphic imagery. In her teaching and writing she has endeavoured to promulgate these possibilities to others.