Q&As with Donna Cheshire

Donna Cheshire My Journey with the ArtistWhat’s your background?

Born in Yorkshire, I moved away as a child but returned to study textiles in Huddersfield and, later, at Bretton Hall. I’m now based in Newcastle where I stitch and work as an artist in the community.

Explain what you do in 100 words

I use fabric and thread to capture the beauty and variety of the British landscape – whether it is the coast, the countryside or built environment. I use hand dyed fabrics to convey the colour and texture of scenery that captures my attention on my travels around the country. Working from sketchbook studies I build up fabric collages and add detail with machine and hand embroidery. People are often surprised to discover that my artwork is not painted – I would say that I ‘paint’ with the fabric!

Arran Breeze

Arran Breeze

What five words best describe your work?

Joyful, colourful, personal, engaging, playful.

What are you working on at the moment?

In my own work; a large coastal piece inspired by the rocky shoreline around St Abbs Head and sketch book ideas inspired by the Hoppings Funfair here in Newcastle and Carters Traditional Steam Fair. I am also doing arts in health work and a community project with a primary school; working with the children to create a school banner that reflects the history of their mining community. (I like to keep busy!)

Which three artists most inspire you?

Joan Eardley for texture and subject matter; Sonia Delaunay for combining art and textiles; Marc Chagall for colour and storytelling.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Use your sketchbook every day!

Stonechat Land

Stonechat Land

Favourite or most inspirational place in Yorkshire

I love going to the Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage each September. To be anywhere on the Yorkshire coast is always a joy. Oh, and the landscape at Brimham Rocks is just startling!

Tell us something we don’t know

I have a ‘touring’ caravan called ‘Minnie the Monza’ but she’s not been touring for ages as she’s stuck in my back yard!

www.donnacheshiretextiles.com

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