Every artist, no matter what their style or medium is in some way influenced by other forces in their life, whether that is music, lifestyle, architecture or indeed other artists. The Arts & Crafts movement is one which has certainly had a truly positive impact on my art over the years and continues to inspire and make me happy.
The late C19th saw the beginning of a big change in society with the Arts & Crafts movement developing and completely reforming design and manufacturing from art and jewellery to architecture and furniture. Ruskin and William Morris were leaders of this style. Willilam Morris believed ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.’
This is such a beautiful idea, a little difficult for us to always maintain but the general thought is there and one which I love. Several of my vibrant designs, which started life as intricate hand painted batiks on cotton, have since been transferred to my table lamp and lampshade range. After learning how to manipulate my designs to fit a longer thinner shape I have them printed and make up each one by hand. I love how these pieces bring my artworks to life and I hope Morris would have approved!
No doubt Morris was way ahead of his time with his massive appreciation of nature and desire to return to simpler, better past models of living and production with small scale workshops and a return to basics, being aware of the environment.
The first eco-warrior of design with ideals that many have appreciated over the years and continue to respect.
Edward Burne-Jones, perhaps the last of the Pre-Raphaelites, is another artist whose romantic works also inspire me. Having met Morris in Oxford, both Burne-Jones and Morris shared a life of art and poetry and Burne-Jones become one of the major figures in the Arts & Crafts movement, setting up the textiles company with Morris which still exists today. This beautiful style, inspired by nature is as popular today as it ever was and the fashion for these Arts & Crafts designs are seeing a massive resurgence now with boho furnishings and clothes with their timeless appeal and I love them too.
My art is inspired by nature, so of course the works of artists like Morris and Burne-Jones also ignite my artistic mind. The joy of working with the beauty and fluidity of nature and then also taking this to furnishings in the home is something I love to do. So I am always inspired and happy when looking at this movement, its artists and learning as much as I can about their ideals and dreams and hoping in some small way I can continue in their creative footsteps with my art, celebrating the beauty of nature.