Having sourced some wonderful artisans here in the Cotswolds, Coln Valley Cushions, Woolsoft, Felt Special and more all working with British Wool and some of which having a farming background, I was also delighted and fortunate to meet Julia de Gruchy East, who is a new resident to Winchcombe and oringally from Jersey.
A few weeks back Julie and her husband Andrew walked into the gallery clutching her artwork. Once I was able to view Julie's work, not only were they perfect for the wool themed exhibition in that her canvases where made up of vintage British wook blankets but I loved the story behind her unique style of work. Working with an old sewing machine with no fancy settings, just backwards and forward movements, Julia's worked portraiture of local butchers into the blankets, the loopy stitches created from the tempremental machine, made the effect all the more interesting.
Her focus was centered around the local tradesmen particularly that of the butchers, respecting the work they do in a particularly physical demanding profession.
Julie says "Winchcombe is just lovely with its historic buildings and beautiful surrounding countryside, it is impossible not to be inspired. By linking traditional vintage blankets with unusual working methods, I aim to represent aspects of the area in a different light, the people who make up the town, the individuality of the tradesmen who make it so unique, the rolling hills and the incredable wool trade heritage".
On my part its a reminder of the importance of supporting local independant business and the pride they take in their professions.
Julie's work will be shown throughout the three week selling exhbition at the gallery.