5 minutes with textile artist Grace Meijer
Grace Meijer is one of the textile artists exhibiting work at the Quilt Festival Noord Groningen next June. As she prepares, we asked her to tell us a bit about her work and why this festival is a must see
ECT: How did you first get started as a textile artist?
GM: It all began with a picture in a magazine in the 1970s. It showed a piece of cloth draped over a chair. I didn’t know who it was by, but the colours really appealed to me so I kept it. A decade later, having moved back to Holland from London, I enrolled on a six-month patchwork course and I took the picture with me. That was it. I was a painter, but I found that I could achieve things with fabric that I never could have achieved with paint.
Wellow Burns by Grace Meijer
ECT: Tell us something about your work
GM: It’s very much colour-driven. I start with an idea, then I use photographs to help me translate the concept I have in my head into fabric. For example, ‘Walk in the Park’, which was my final piece for my City Guild part two exam, is based on Cubism and grew from photographs I had taken of my local park. I selected 19 of the most suitable images, made drawings from them, then enlarged them using squared paper. By placing tracing paper over the, now A3 size drawing, I traced lines and fragmented it into facets of colour. I then traced the lines in mirror images and used it as a foundation for piecing, mostly by machine, some by hand. I used many different fabrics - cotton, linen, silk, it didn’t matter so long as the colour was right. Then, once all the blocs were finished, I moved them around until I was satisfied with the result. The piecing took 285 hours.
Walk in the Park by Grace Meijer
ECT: What will you be showing at Quilt Festival Noord Groningen?
GM: I’m taking, ‘Walk in the Park’, along with my quilt portraits of jazz figures, a quilted map of the church where I’m exhibiting, plus some others that I’ve yet to decide about. I will be showing alongside British quilt artist Susan Chapman and we’re in the process of working out how we are going to share the space.
Pianist, Double Bass, Percussion & Trumpeter by Grace Meijer
ECT: A church is an unusual exhibition space?
GM: Yes, but it’s wonderful. This is such a simple building that the work can really stand out. And it has a very beautiful painted ceiling.
ECT: And what do you love about this quilt festival?
GM: It’s the only annual quilt show in Holland and it takes place in such varied venues – churches, church halls, even a windmill. The visitors are wonderfully varied too. Talking to so many different people about what I do is a real highlight.
Why not come and see for yourself? Find out more here