JENNIFER WILSON was born in London in 1950 but has lived in Scotland since 1971. She has been exhibiting widely since 1982 and is a Professional Member of Applied Arts Scotland and a member of the International Feltmakers Association. She was first drawn to textiles as a medium for her art through their particularly sensuous qualities. The depth and range of colour, the textures and the possibility of constructing a work as in sculpture offered a freedom that was not possible in paint.
Early in her career, she developed a technique of using machine embroidery on a painted background. This allowed a richness of texture and colour combined with the possibility of detail and breadth of technique in stitching. On discovering felt making, however, she realised that there was a possibility of greater harmony between the base and the stitching, which allowed much more freedom of expression and technique. This has broadened the scope of her work and opened up her colour sense. The design is no longer imposed upon a base, but the work is built up from the basic white fleece through dying, design and felting then detail added by appliqué or stitching so that the whole is a cohesive structure.
Felt is now the basic medium of all her work, from miniatures only a few centimetres across to hangings two metres square. It is an extremely versatile material, since designs can be worked directly into it as it is made; it can be cut up and combined, by refelting, into other work; stitched upon by hand or machine and even built up into three dimensions.
Although working in felt, embroidery is still of equal importance as is shown by the inclusion of Jennifer's work in the embroidery books of Thomasina Beck, most recently in The Embroiderer's Story, a history of the art in Britain since the sixteenth century.
The inspiration for her work is drawn from landscape and botanical themes, exploring the historical link between textiles and gardens, but with a personal view that is imaginative, innovative and sometimes humorous.
Commissioned by the Highland and Islands Enterprise to produce illustrations for their annual report and for the cover of Moray, Badenoch and Strathspey Enterprise annual report.
'Felt Directions', Collins Gallery, Strathclyde University.
'Feltworks in Scotland', Chambers Institute, Peebles.
'Felt - Head to Toe, Wall to Floor', Inverness Art Gallery.
'Embroidery for Gardeners', Ramster, Surrey.
'Raw Materials', Scottish Touring Exhibitions Consortium.
'Value Added', A.A.A. Exhibition, Aberdeen Art Gallery.
'Embroidery', Rufford Craft Centre, Nottingham.
Spring Exhibition, Tolquhon Gallery.
'Embroidery', Ramster, Surrey.
Crawford Art Centre, University of St Andrews.
Woodhorn Church Museum, Ashington, Northumberland.
'Connections', Atheneum, La Jolla, San Diego, U.S.A.
'Centre of Attention', British Council, Edinburgh.
Work purchased for Otay Mesa Hospital, San Diego.
Scottish Arts Council award for travel to California.
'Gardens & Flowers in Embroidery', British Embassy, Tokyo.
'Embroidery', Ramster, Surrey.
'Connections II', Collins Art Centre, Strathclyde University.
'New Directions', Kendal.
'New Directions', Twickenham.
Scottish Feltmakers at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh.
Awarded Moray Arts Club 50th Anniversary Commission.
Filmed by Channel 4 for Collector`s Lot
'New Directions', Group Exhibition, Walsall Museum and Art Gallery.
'New Directions', Bankfield Museum, Halifax
The Coach House Gallery, Guernsey
Tolquhon Gallery, Summer Exhibition
Work in the collections of Aberdeen Art Gallery and The Moray Council.
Work included in The New Machine Embroidery by Joy Clucas, and in The Embroiderer’s Garden, The Embroiderer’s Flowers, The Embroiderer’s Story, and Gardening with Silk and Gold by Thomasina Beck.
Jennifer has led workshops with the Embroiderer's Guild, The Highland Textile Guild, Moray College, and the Feltmaker's Association in Scotland and California.