Alison Spaven – textile artist exhibition

Alison Spaven

Textile Artist, needlefelting

My love of working with wool came about completely by chance, when a planned printing workshop was cancelled, and felting took its place. I had never even heard of it – the closest I’d previously come to working with wool was knitting – quite badly! But here was a way I could combine my love of texture and colour with an eco-friendly material. I’ve never looked back.

I began by creating free-standing animal and bird forms but have come to prefer to create pictures that have a sculptural quality, very often they are quite literally bursting out of the mount framing them. I feel that the organic nature of the material helps the vitality of the subject to shine through. The first of these, “Night Watch” won the Chairman’s Choice Award at the Association of Animal Artists exhibition in 2018 and I have finally released the original for sale this year.

My inspiration mainly comes from the wildlife I see in the fields and woods surrounding my home, however a recent commission has awakened a previously unimagined passion for cows and I am slowly working my way through a variety of breeds!

After eight years, it still feels a little like magic when I stand back and see what can be created with a single felting needle and a bit of fleece and look forward to sharing the results of my latest endeavours this Autumn. I am a founder member of York Textile Artists, exhibiting in collaboration with them locally and with other organisations across the country. Most of my work is in private ownership with collectors nationally and internationally.