Guild member Cate Fox has been working part time at a local auction house for a number of years and has found it to be a never ending source of inspiration for her textile and mixed media work.
We asked her to tell us more about it…
“Each month a wonderful mad collection of items arrive to be sorted and sold. A chaotic mix of colour, design, and materials. Everything from antique pieces through to contemporary items. These things are laid out in order of arrival or to fit in the space available so can result in unexpected combinations of pattern, colour and scale which can be very thought provoking design wise.
Over the years I have collected all kinds of items including Mother-of-Pearl counters, pieces of damaged jewellery, vintage buckles, fabrics, and threads. These are often the starting point for a piece of work.
I have also been given a lot of fabric and threads which normally would find their way into landfill. For example I often use lovely linen napkins that have been discarded as there are rips or stains around the edges. Similarly most of the threads I use are salvaged from small collections that are not worth selling. It may be a drop in the ocean but I think it is important to reuse when possible.
Finally one of the things I love about the antiques I see is the depth of texture with the patina of time and ware. I try to recreate this by using the pieces I have described above together with layering and stitching fabric, paper, paint, metals and wire.
My work is a response to the materials I have collected informed by my working environment at the sale room. This can be expressed in quite ordered designs through to more abstract pieces but all have a common starting place.”