Friday, October 23, 2009

FEATURED ARTIST - Jenny Manning - Knitaquilt

How long have you been creating art and how did you get started?For as long as I can remember I have knitted, crocheted, woven, wrapped, drawn and painted. I completed a degree in Sculpture from the Canberra School of art in the 1980s during which time I challenged the orthodoxy by weaving and crocheting with rope rather than welding in steel

What is the main inspiration and influences for your work?I am interested in creating textiles that can be used in a variety of ways. Hand knitted mohair rugs are light and warm and offer me opportunities to explore my interest in pattern and colour while creating a practical object

When and how did you realise, this what you wanted to do with your life?I have always been involved in making things as a counterpoint to an exciting, stimulating but consuming life as an educator at the National Gallery of Australia. I spent 24 years there and have just completed my first year of retirement during which time I have explored my creative potential with great energy

What other areas of life have shaped your work as an artist?Working for so long with a marvelous collection of Australian and International works of art has given me a critical eye for excellence and an interest in creating original and unique works of art

How would you describe the art & design scene in Canberra?Vibrant

What have you learnt most about establishing yourself as an artist?I am still learning and have many fields to explore both for my business KNITAQUILT and for my painting and drawing practice.

Where would you like to take your art in the future?I would like KNITAQUILT to be a successful business. Knitting patchwork quilts is a very satisfying, meditative and soothing activity. I have sold many kits in the past and have run workshops demonstrating techniques. Scores of individuals have made their own rugs from my kits and I hope many more will do so in the future.

What advice do you have for other artists hoping to follow in your footsteps?
Look at a successful traditional technique, learn the basics and then add your own approach keeping in mind both marketability and aesthetic sensibility

URL for knitting kits for artworks

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