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Heather Belcher

Heather Belcher

Profile

Heather’s work explores hand made felting processes incorporating techniques that include hand knitting, printing and also drawing directly with loose wool fibres to create images of domestic objects and clothing which become integrated in the structure of the cloth.

Heather was trained at Goldsmiths College, graduating with a BA in Textiles in 1983 and then an MA in Textiles in 1995. Her work explores hand made felting processes incorporating techniques that include hand knitting, printing and also drawing directly with loose wool fibres to create images in the fabric. She is interested in the materiality of felt. Its physical texture is important, reminiscent of leather or parchment it could perhaps be regarded as a metaphor for skin or paper. Traditionally it has connections to early body coverings which Heather draws upon in her images of clothing to explore issues of concealment, identity and the duality of absence and presence.

The most recent work marks a return in interest to the traditions of Still Life painting. As with clothing, familiar household objects and treasured possessions can remind us of the proximity of the human figure, but also remind us of a sense of loss or dislocation. In 2008 she was invited by the British Council to visit Kazakhstan to present a lecture on contemporary British felt artists as part of their New Silk Road cultural exchange project.

In 2003 she was awarded an Arts Council Research and Development Grant to travel to Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia to study traditional felting processes. In 2005 the Contemporary Arts Society commissioned her to make a major new piece of work for the Contemporary Textile Collection at Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery. Heather is on the Crafts Councils Selected Index of Makers and has work in their Public Collection. She is a member of the Contemporary Applied Arts Gallery in London and is currently a visiting lecturer at a number of universities and teaches short courses at the City Lit in Covent Garden and at West Dean College in West Sussex.

London, England
Greater London
2002

Workshops: Yes
Talks: Yes
Commissions: Yes