Scenes of town and country from a railway carriage…

If you are a fan of textile art, come to an exhibition of work by Margaret Fairhead. She told ART BLOG more about the works currently on display at the RBSA Gallery…

There are 15 pieces depicting scenes from the train on a journey from Birmingham to Tywyn.

I attempt to convey the impact and diversity of the scenery on this journey: starting with industrial Birmingham, moving through peaceful green countryside, alongside rivers, and eventually to the Dovey estuary and the sea.

River Banwy through trees email

River Banwy through trees

sand dunes at Aberdovey email

Sand dunes at Aberdovey

sea waves at Tywyn email

Sea waves at Tywyn

For this series the fabric is first painted and then freely machine stitched all over using techniques developed over many years.

The process involves much trial and error and sampling, including manipulating and building up layers of stitching with a varied range of coloured, and sometimes textured,  threads. The aim is to exploit the textures and colours of the subject for the most appropriate effect.

I have been able to further develop many of the techniques used in the Canal pieces displayed in the RBSA Craft Gallery in 2016.  These were for the exhibition Birmingham Today in celebration of 200 years of the Society.

The section of towpath between Snow Hill Railway station and Symphony Hall, known as the Farmer’s Bridge Flight of canal locks, provided a rich source of imagery.


Steps to Canal Lock 12

This series represented a change in direction from still life subjects to buildings, and the need for careful attention to perspective and details such as lock gates and equipment. One of these pictures is also featured in the current exhibition.

Margaret Fairhead is a Member of the RBSA and a member of Birmingham Arts Circle and Tangent Textiles.

Visit the exhibition before it ends on March 17.

By Margaret Fairhead


Margaret is a freelance textile artist. She specialises in machine embroidered pieces, exploiting the possibilities provided by her sewing machine to develop a variety of textural effects and colour-ways in a painterly manner. Design sources have also included sunsets, flowing water and reflections, floral pieces, and fruits in still life. Workshops and talks can be given to Embroidery and Art groups by arrangement. 

#RBSAgallery #embroidery #textileart #artgalleryinBirmingham #stitching

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