Beneath The Folds – Religious Icons


3D TEXTILES - RELIGIOUS ICONS
                                                 RELIGIOUS ICONS

Religion has inspired artists throughout time such as Blake, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Rubens. My favourite artwork is ‘The Annunciation’ by Fra Angelica. Capturing light in my textiles is inspired by the fragmented stained glass windows of old churches and candlelight. Creating the patchwork halo in ‘Mother and Child’ and the face of ‘Jesus’ (1 and 2) harks back to Sunday school.

MOTHER AND CHILD

‘Mother and Child’, inspired by Botticelli’s ‘The Madonna’, captures the maternal and everlasting love between a mother and child, expressed through the union of sculpted figures, housed in a halo of patchwork adorned in light reflective sequins.

 

Christine Cunningham - The eternal love of a mother and child
The eternal love of a mother and child

Figures are stuffed and moulded to create a sculpted surface with a depth of  six inches.

Mother and Child is a sculpted abstract image of Mary and baby Jesus adorned in a halo of patchwork and light reflective sequins
Sculpted figures sit before an altar of 3D flowers

JESUS 2

My series of ‘Jesus’ textiles were inspired by a charcoal drawing for my ‘A’ level exam.

CHARCOAL DRAWING OF CHRIST
Charcoal drawing of Christ, inspiring textiles of Jesus 1 and 2

‘Jesus 2’ has been reworked from it’s original condition to create a stained glass window set into the recess of old stone church walls, with stuffed patchwork panels created from vintage fabrics from my childhood.

Christine Cunningham - Jesus 2 - The flat applique face of Jesus is inset by padded panels created from vintage fabrics from my childhood.
The flat applique face of Jesus is inset by padded panels created from vintage fabrics from my childhood.

The flat applique face of Jesus is inspired by fragmented glass of old church windows.

Christine Cunningham - A flat applique face inset by silk and velvet roses
A flat applique face inset by silk and velvet roses

JESUS 1

‘Jesus 1’,  sporting a huge 3D beard created from long layers of hessian strips, wool pompoms, corded  plaits and tassels, beaded lengths and french knitting.

Christine Cunningham - Jesus 1 - The 3D beard was fun to do and the process of layering extremely effective in building volume and density
The 3D beard was fun to do and the process of layering extremely effective in building volume and density

A halo of silk roses replaces the traditional crown of thorns.

Christine Cunningham - A halo of silk roses
A halo of silk roses

THE GATES OF HEAVEN

‘Angel Wings’ celebrates life, a cycle of birth and death, with emotional turbulence captured in an overcast sky (created from a dense carpet of tatty matting scraps) and a peep at the Garden of Eden (a panel of flowered vintage fabric from the halo of ‘Mother and Child’). The gates of Heaven are created from angels wings, padded structures adorned in 3D rose buds. The iridescent fabric was found in a charity shop in Camden, capturing the fleeting nature of time as light passes over the surface.

Christine Cunningham - A peep at The Garden of Eden
A peep at The Garden of Eden

An overbearing thunderous sky captures the emotional turbulence surrounding death, created from fabric scraps collected over a period of time. Our struggles to overcome adversity in life is captured in the delicate leaf detail of embroidered lace.

Christine Cunningham - A dense carpet of fabric scraps
A dense carpet of fabric scraps

Detail of an Angel’s Wing, padded structure adorned in 3D sculpted rose buds and fragile lace leaves.

The Gates of Heaven, created from padded angels wings adorned in 3D rose buds
The Gates of Heaven, created from Angels Wings

I adore the Christmas festivities and hope you have found my work interesting. For more detailed images please visit https://www.ccunningham-textileartist.com/textile-religion-gallery by Christine Cunningham.

Christine Cunningham

Creating art from recycled materials using traditional methods (applique, patchwork, quilting) with a modern exploration into fabric manipulation and padded structure. Unusual materials include hair, plastic, rubber, metal, disintegrating fabrics and found objects. I source my treasures from carboot sales, charity shops and freecycle. Original poetry captures the essence of an experience, an emotional layering to which the viewer can relate on a personal level. I have two bodies of work. The Natural Collection explores abstract flower design and the seasons, religion, visions of India and Buddhism, childhood nostalgia and the seaside. The Womanhood Collection explores natural states of being including breast cancer, sexuality, the ageing process, anatomy, love, fragility and independence. I was inspired by my own experiences of breast cancer, both the physical brutality and fragility of living in the aftermath.

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