A short interview with Mary-Clare Buckle about textile art, her work as a textile artist and her influences (December 2004)

What is your earliest memory of creating a piece of 'Art'?

My school was decorating the walls for their Christmas Carol Service - my 'Partridge in a Pear Tree' was chosen - the Art teacher took it upon herself to add to it without asking me. I was furious and it bugs me still!

Does nature or man's architecture influence you most and can you say why?

I lean towards the more geometric shapes of man at the moment, I liked the look of Tokyo, all the flashing lights, in the film 'Lost in Translation' but get inspiration from skies and the sea sometimes as well.

Without travel would your work be so vibrant and colourful?

Not sure. I think I have always liked bright colours. I think I might have been attracted to India because of the way they use colour so much.

What stages guide you to the final piece?

I do a lot of thinking - get out books from the library/do internet research if necessary (this is if it is a commission). I have postcards & images of artists whose work I like up in front of me (such as Odilon Redon, Miro, Alexander Calder, Klimpt, Frank Bowling, Gerry Dudgeon, Jim Lambie, David Bachelor, Ian Davenport, Martyn Brewster). I get out all my fibres in the relevant colour, do some dying if necessary. And then I start laying out the piece. The felting process is described in the interview.

Have there been other artists who have inspired you? If so please name one and (if time allows) say why?

I particularly admire Picasso: not really so much his paintings, but the way he was so driven, pro- duced so much work in his lifetime and spanned so many disciplines - I love his ceramics, sculp- tures & his beautifully simple line drawings.

Some artists have a favourite piece - which did you enjoy doing the most?

It changes, but my favourite at the moment is 'Burning his Roses' lit up with the uv lights. I also particularly like ‘Underwater Wedding’.

Is there anything you would like to do in the future that you've never done before?

I'd like to do a public commission and like to do large pieces with lights.

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