Article by Vanessa Scott-Hayward
Dance Upon the Mountains like a Flame is a textile and felt mixed media artwork created in response to the WB Yeats play ‘The Lands of Hearts Desire’
This piece was created as part of a project that each member of ‘element15‘ was a part of. Each one of us created a work as part of our Connections theme in 2015.
We were all given material from another member and that would be the starting point for our artwork. It was quite an unusual way to work, and very different from where an artwork normally starts for me.
My starting materials were Wensleydale wool which had been hand dyed at a previous natural dying workshop that the group had done. The natural curls of the wool were still present, bringing to mind the wilds of Connemara and all that roam the hills there.
At the same time I had been looking at WB Yeats and his works as part of a new product range I was designing. I had just read an excerpt from one of Yeats’ plays ‘The Lands of Hearts Desire’.
“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.”
I was captured by the imagery this brought to mind. Flames dancing in the mountains. The way the light hits the land. The colours that you see in the mountains of Ireland, the very things that I so miss any time I am away from this land and that which I most look forward to seeing when I return.
As with all my artwork I consider the frame, that which holds and presents the art to be an integral part of the work. Drawing from the Connections theme I took a framed artwork that I had found in a flea market and built my artwork up on top of the original piece. The original still remaining, but made invisible by the newer. The next generation.
I used a combination of wet felting techniques and needle felting on the piece for the finer details. I used a method of felting layers of wool in different colour tones and then cutting back into them to create the layered feel to the ‘mountains’.
On the mount itself is the wording from the WB Yeats quote that inspired it. Hand cut from a vintage dictionary. Again the old influencing the new.
Nearly all the art that I create is inspired by the world around me, by the small things that I collect on walks or on my travels. I hope that you enjoyed reading the process of how I create and if you have any questions just leave them in the comments