Helen Layfield

Helen Layfield - #stitchyourstory
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Location: Wellington, Somerset

Featured Places: Wellington, Somerset

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A Sense of Place

A sense of place and the narrative around place that forms our identity, is an integral part of my working process.

Place is so much more than where we come from, the connection to place spans generations and the threads are brought together in the way I work today.

I have developed a process that incorporates repurposed textiles and hand stitching. 

I work in pieces, vignettes, capturing moments and snippets of narrative. These pieces are patched together to create quilts in a Kwandi technique, intuitively and randomly piecing from the outside to the centre. Hand stitching is slow, rhyming and allows for contemplation. Edges of the textiles are left raw, knots or tails, are visible. The edge of the quilt is unbound. The freedom from rules and dogmatic quilting methodologies allows the narrative to flow. 

I use the Kwandi process as a loose starting point because, I to am of African decent, I use African fabrics because it is where I was born, it is my heritage. I use quilting because my Mother quilted. I use repurposed fabrics because they are beautiful, deserve a new life and are layered with narrative. 

I also use these pieces in figurative soft sculpture. 

This piece has the bird, one of my repeat symbols, again freedom. The fabric is African, the stitch is contemporary European, the two places that root me in my identity.