Wendy Hermelin – textile artist & dance teacher

Wendy Hermelin – textile artist & dance teacher

Wendy’s talk this week entitled “Dancing into Textiles” was very different to ones we have had in the past as there was a lot of audience participation.

Wendy started by explaining that, as a child she loved to play her mother’s Russian ballet LPs, and music and movement on the radio became very important to her at Primary School.  Later a PE teacher had introduced her to Rudolf Laban and this master of movement became an important part of her life.  In addition to her love of dance Wendy was taught many skills by her mother and enjoyed embroidery, knitting, crochet and dress making and she went on to follow a City & Guilds course in Creative Embroidery.

Wendy was fortunate enough to get funding from the South West Arts Council for a year’s project entitled Threads of Memory, Footprints of Time.  Children and adults were invited to dance and react to their surroundings and interpret their findings in stitch.  For example a gorse bush was spiky and sea was calm and sparkly.  Wendy showed us a finished piece which showed the interpretation.

Wendy Hermelin

Much to our surprise we were then asked to pair up with our neighbour and get involved with movement.  We had to make hand movements to show the petals of a flower and then move as if we were running stitches and twist like we were forming a French knot.  This caused a lot of laughter and many of us were out of our comfort zone!

During the Covid lockdown Wendy made a wonderful variety of cloth books which she had on display.  One was called “Seasons” and another had weather isobars stitched on it using twin needles.   Each book had a piece of drift wood attached. 

In addition to nature, Wendy gets inspiration from text and she read an extract from “The God Beneath the Sea” which is a children’s novel based on Greek mythology.  

I particularly enjoyed seeing Wendy’s collage pictures which she had turned into stitch.

In conclusion Wendy showed us four embroideries which had all been inspired by the full moon.  She has also experimented with tryptic landscapes and these have been very successful and sold well at exhibitions. 

Tomorrow Wendy is going to lead a workshop entitled “Fabulous Fish”.

Thank you Wendy for a fun afternoon.

Report & photos by Ros


Wendy Hermelin: https://www.wendyhermelin.co.uk/

Rudolph Laban: – https://labaneffortsinaction.com/labans-efforts


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