Who ART You? 13
I’ve followed Edge of the Meadow for a long time and always loved her art and creativity, but now that she has shared her story, I’m even more impressed with the woman behind the brand.
Anjali Walton, Edge Of The Meadow
Who ART You?
How did you grow up?
My parents moved from India to the UK in the 1960’s. My father worked as a civil engineer and I spent the early years of my life in the North of England. Five years later, we moved to Hong Kong. It was a fantastic city to grow up to in. Being part of the ex pat community meant I met people from so many different countries. There were 29 different nationalities in my class alone at school!
I became an artist because……
It provided me with a focus. I always feel complete and grounded when I’m drawing or painting. I love the joy it brings to others too!
What brought you to art?
I used to love watching people draw or paint. At pre school I remember seeing a huge box of coloured pencils (in perfect rainbow order) on a desk and couldn’t resist having a go! Art was always my favourite subject at school. I went on to do a degree in fashion and textile design.
Describe your favorite art piece that you had trouble letting go.
Egon Schiele’s “The Kiss” Initially I loved the decorative patterns, the ovals and linear shapes. Art historians say the bright gold around the figures has a likeness to the gold used in medieval icons. The deeper gold in the background relates to the cosmos and suggests that the couple are suspended in the moment. Being a pattern addict I am still drawn to the random placement of the shapes and colour. The motifs are influenced by traditional Egyptian, Byzantine and Greek art but used in a contemporary style in this painting, mixing traditional figurative drawing with abstract pattern.
If you could come back and live as any artist, (alive or dead) who would it be & why?
The textile designer Lucienne Day. She developed a new style of abstract pattern making in Britain during the 1950’s and 60’s, when modern print design was popular. This must have been an exciting time to be a textile designer. She also created rugs, ceramics, wallpaper and large scale silk mosaics. Her career lasted six decades!
Who, what influences your art?
I think people who have a style that is completely unique to them inspires me to create a style that is completely unique to me. I love Orla Kiely’s use of colour and the way she updates vintage style. I grew up in a multicultural, cosmopolitan environment, So I am influenced by colour and pattern from other cultures and genres. I like to explore what happens when these colours and genres are mixed up. For example my main collections use motifs and images from nature in the English countryside, mixed with vibrant colours from India, which I believe is what makes them unique!
What has art taught you?
Art is a response to what is happening around us. It communicates our ideas in an imaginative way. There is no right or wrong but you have to be utterly true to yourself to get the essence of you message across.
Favorite/best resources as an artist?
My DSLR camera? Life is busy and I like to capture fleeting glimpses of moments that are easily missed!
What becomes a magical instrument in your hands?
A fine black sketching pen. When I sit down to sketch a still life, there comes a moment when I stop thinking about what I’m drawing on the paper, and focus solely on the subject matter. That’s when the magic happens, and I create autonomous abstract lines that capture the essence of the subject.
What medium do you use? Why?
Coloured ink and pen. I love adding different coloured droplets to water colour paper and seeing the texture and colours that calmly emerge. The unpredictability of this process is exciting, I’m easily pleased!
What is your favorite subject matter?
Nature and the elements! As a print and pattern designer, images of nature provides endless inspiration for shapes, colour and texture.
What are you still hoping to learn?
I use colour instinctively when I create surface pattern designs. I’d love to learn more about colour theory, and colour trend predictions in the home and fashion industry. The socio political climate can influence colours. In 2017 Pantone’s colour of the year was green, conveying the message to take action with climate change and save our planet. It also resonates with a desire to connect with nature. There is a growing trend to fill our homes and workplace with plants and foliage. Pantone have recently introduced a vibrant coral colour for 2019 to reflect health, vitality and well being. I think this is a fascinating area in design and I’d love to know more about how it works.
When I think of art, I .......
am overwhelmed at how much there is to explore in this subject! However creating and appreciating art is an utterly fulfilling experience.
How do life, business, creativity and art intersect?
I think juggling business, creativity and family life is an art in itself! Finding the perfect balance is an ongoing process. A lot of my inspiration comes when I am out walking the dogs or even doing household chores. I created a print motif for a silk scarf inspired from the shadow patterns I noticed on a washing basket. Cooking and preparing food opens up a wealth of design ideas. A red cabbage chopped in half is a pattern lovers dream. The logo ( and name ) for my business came from a meadow I used to walk around with my children when they were toddlers! I make time for creativity to flow when the children are at school and the house is quiet. I find that if all is well with family life the rest falls into place.
A defining moment in my life was when………..
I became a mother!
Best advice I ever got about art or being an artist was……..
Let go of your inhibitions.
Do you have a ritual or practice any creative activities before you make art? If so, what is it?
I do 20 minutes of power yoga or walk the dogs after the school run. Before I sit down to design I clear my space of clutter and make sure there is lots of natural light streaming through. I gather all my inspiration boards and pin them up on the wall. Then I can begin.
Is there a quote that inspires you or that you try to live your life by?
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has it’s own reason for existing” Albert Einstein
Is there anything new you are planning to introduce in the future?
I’ll be launching a brand new collection of colourful, printed fabrics & kitchen textiles in the Spring.
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