Sense of place reflect in bold patterns of Diss exhibition
PUBLISHED: 13:32 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:45 22 May 2019
Artist Caroline Somerville works from her studio and workshop overlooking fields of sheep and a small orchard in Rickinghall on the Norfolk/Suffolk border.
Now her mesmerising designs partly inspired by the flowers and foliage on her doorstep feature in her debut exhibition at the Corn Hall in nearby Diss.
A Life Through Flowers and Foliage is awash with the bold patterns she designs and produces for her unique ranges textiles, wallpapers and products for the home.
Caroline has been surrounded by colour and patterns from an early age. Her parents sold handmade lampshades, so her formative years were filled with colour and patterns, samples of which Caroline still has, hoarded in drawers and folders, and providing inspiration for her own work.
She said: "All my designs have a story, which perhaps reflect the fact that I'm older. Modernism has always interested me and my work does have an intrinsic retro feel."
Caroline taught textile design to A-level in local schools for over 20 years before taking the plunge to leave teaching and pursue her own career as a designer/maker, using samples from her parent's work, as well as drawing inspiration from both home and abroad.
After gaining an MA at Norwich University of the Arts, she completed a course in digital printing at Chelsea School of Art, travelling from her home in Suffolk.
"Many of the adolescents I taught at A level were fascinated by Surrealism and those ideas have found their way to my 'Trompe L'oeil' designs, which re-invent knitting, crochet, tapestry and embroidery," she said.
It is a surprise she is only now making her Diss Corn Hall debut, but fittingly the exhibition displays works inspired by her home on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. Renowned for her bold tulip patterns, vibrant primroses, and love of modernist design, her striking repeat patterns give a real sense of the places that inspired them.
She said: "My designs mirror places I live in and visit - such as the trees and countryside surrounding our barn on the Norfolk/Suffolk border.
"We have a holiday home on the North Devon coast that has inspired my Coastal collection and a visit to friends in California inspired the 'Palm Springs' collection."
- Caroline Somerville: A Life Through Flowers and Foliage runs at Diss Corn Hall until July 6.
- She will be holding a masterclass workshop offering the opportunity to learn how to make your own repeat pattern for use in textiles or wallpaper on June 29.