Railings & Weaves by Karen Alderson

As part of my “zooming in” process I go back to the railings on Brow Lane. On closer inspection the impact had been such it had knocked one of the the railing panels about a metre back into the grass. As a quick way of securing the boundary the landowner had used garden wire to weave across the space. I took photographs of the weaving, drew it and made a print block from the pattern. I used images of the railings & the weave in the next process of batik & printing.


I hand dyed some cloth to replicate the grey and rust of the railings and then used batik to draw railing shapes.

Using a home made jelly plate (which was a tedious yet rewarding process in itself) I made the following prints.

I took the batik prints, backed them with batting and begun to hand quilt in between the batiked lines, I wanted to bring the railing shapes forward and as I stitched the cloth began to rouche distorting the fabric and which led to a sense of corporeality. I looked at the weaving with garden wire & I saw that it resembled a corset where the wire was like the chords used to tighten it. These two thoughts lead me to investigate corset making and see the railings as distorted ribs emphasising the body metaphor, as if the impact of a car crash distorts the self whether through physical injury or shock and trauma. I begin to plan making a distorted corset as a final piece.







2 thoughts on “Railings & Weaves by Karen Alderson

  1. Being inspired by natural forms has obviously driven the creative process for as long as humans have been creating images. More commonly the artist has striven to exclude any imperfections or ‘unnatural’ intrusions from their work. So I find it very exciting that Karen has ‘zoomed in’ on the broken fence and the purely pragmatic intervention of the repair to discover the most beautiful patterns and shapes brought to a new life in her latest work.

    Karen’s descriptions of the process are as intriguing as the finished work. She brings you right into both her thought chain as well as the actual practical work, so you feel you’re almost alongside her. It’s very exciting. I think this is quite inspiring multi media work, even down to the jelly plate! For me it has the feel of a sketch book on a large scale, and within the sketched ideas are some real gems of images. The transition from photo to batik to roucheing is great, and the accompanying metaphor between railings and fence is almost obvious, but only through Karen’s reflective eyes, and hands.

    So all in all yet another exciting development. I think this whole body of work is wonderful.

    SentΩ from my iPad



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