Sarah D.

I was born into a very supportive family from whom I have inherited my love of textiles, travelling, my free spirit and creativity. Art and design was my favourite subject at school and I knew from an early age that this was my path. I realised my love for textiles whilst working on a Saturday for an Interior Designers when I was 18. I went onto completing a degree in Textile Design at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, where I specialised in weaving and printing. After college I stayed in London and worked in the textiles industry for ten years, which included owning a textiles business with a partner. We produced innovative woven and printed commissioned fabrics for interiors and fashion and enjoyed a lot of success. My love of pushing boundaries in my work and taking risks led us inventing a woven fibre optic fabric that was patented. Travelling is another major theme in my life. I visited a lot of places growing up with my family and in my 20s. Due to circumstances the business discontinued and I went on a world trip. On returning I moved to Hove in East Sussex and completed my teacher training in Secondary Art Education. I have been teaching ever since. It has enabled me to work abroad in Shanghai for a couple of years and travel in my holidays. After Shanghai I moved back to Hove and a year later I met my husband on holiday in Tunisia. I have recorded these places through photography and painting.

I love to take photographs. I then use these as inspiration for my paintings and textile work. I use computer programs to edit the photos and make repeat patterns and collages, which I then print onto fabric. I also use them to create collages which also become further inspiration for my textiles. I enjoy experimenting and finding new ways to work, such as combining contrasting techniques and materials. I also print on my woven textiles. I would like to combine photography with textiles and painting, to find a simpler way to weave and to start introducing embroidery techniques to embellish.

The places I have lived, where I have family and spent a lot of time are very special to me and are inspiration for my work. I am fascinated by the juxtaposition of the contrasting detail, colour, pattern and surfaces within these environments. I look for compositions with a combination of these elements to take photos of and then use these are starting points for my work. I also find inspiring the lighting and how it changes the shapes, colour and mood of these environments.