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Wen Redmond: Artistic Journey Unveiled

With her inspiring new online course launched recently, Wen Redmond discussed her excitement about the course with Fibre Arts Take Two.

This Friday Feature Artist Interview can be found at the bottom of this page.

Wen Redmond’s artistry is a unique symphony of fibre, photography, paint and stitch coming together to form truly one-of-a-kind pieces. Her work transcends traditional artistic boundaries, masterfully blending digital processes, surface design, photography, mixed media and collage. This innovative fusion has earned her widespread recognition in books, magazines, quilting, arts, television, and prestigious exhibitions, including the esteemed Marvin Fletcher Quilt National Collection which he donated to the The Marbaum Collection, which is now part of the permanent collection at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles.

At the heart of Wen’s work is her profound connection with nature, which influences her art and invites us to revisit our perceptions of fibre and artistry. 

After nearly a year and a half of dedicated preparation, we were ecstatic to unveil her signature online course with Fibre Arts Take Two in November last year. In this course, Wen skillfully demystifies the integration of digital technology in fibre art, making it accessible and exciting for artists at every level. Her course, Embrace the Journey, aptly reflects her artistic evolution and teaching philosophy. It’s a journey that encourages artists to explore, experiment and be involved, much like one’s own path in the art world.

Art making

Wen says art making is the ultimate expression, “It’s very revealing,” she says, “It’s a very personal expression. And it sometimes takes a bit of courage to put your art out there, especially for beginning artists. But on the other hand, sharing your artwork with others gives everyone permission to shine, like a rising tide, to bring the water level up. We’re all helping each other that way. In other words, if I allow my light to shine, that permits you to let your light shine. The world would be much brighter if we all did that.” 

The way people respond to her art is also valuable to Wen, “I had an open studio one time”, she says, “and a lot of people come in and look at the artwork and then go out again; they either don’t get it or they’re not interested. But this one woman stopped in front of one of my pieces. She stood there for quite some time, and suddenly, she turned around to me and said, ‘Wen, I can feel your positive energy in this piece.’ And I must say that’s one of the kindest things anybody’s ever said to me regarding my work because it is an energy level. In many ways, I have to follow the art’s lead. I used to do a lot more production work, and sometimes I did it, and I felt it was forced, like I was making the art do what I wanted. I learned not to do that because you have to give it space in between. Go out for a walk and so forth, and things happen then because you’re giving it space.”


The Muse

Finding your Muse is an integral part of artistic creativity. Wen sees the creative Muse as something that comes from both within and without, “Defining the Muse is understanding your own artistic voice. That’s the Muse. The Muse can also come from nature. I made a piece called The Trees are Singing one time because that’s how I felt out in the woods. That was translated into a piece almost immediately. When my kids were little, they watched The Little Mermaid, and I made a piece for my husband that evening. When you listen to the music, it’s very energetic. It’s almost like you’ve got ‘go power’. The Muse gives you energy when you might not be feeling it. So I think that’s what the Muse is; it inspires you, which can be multiple things. I can get inspired by a poem; I can get inspired by a conversation.”

Embrace the Journey

Wen says that her collaboration with Fibre Arts Take Two has resulted in a course for people who want to merge their photography with digital processes, fibre, and mixed media. “When I first started and I wrote my first book,” she says, “I was working a lot with flat and white surfaces of commercially available digital fibre that’s put out by Jacquard mainly. Interestingly, the Jacquard fabrics have become less available as I’ve progressed. Hence, it’s timely because if our students want to make their photography on surfaces themselves, they’ll need to learn how to do that, and that’s what I’m going to be teaching.” 

“It’s so much more exciting to print photography that you’ve created,” Wen says, “I’ll give you some tips for that in the course but on your own created surfaces. My whole thing right now is making the surface myself and then putting the photograph that I’ve also made on it. So it’s made inside and out, as it were. Whenever something comes out of the printer that I’ve worked up the substrate for and worked on the photograph for, and it’s there in front of me, it’s the most amazing feeling. Because it’s all of the things, all the inspiration, all of your feelings, your photography, and your art making and mark making all wrapped up into one coming out on that printer, this is a good thing to be able to share at this time in my life.”

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Having fun

A significant factor in the course is that Wen wants it to be fun, “I like to make it fun,” she says, “depending on the workshop, there are some technical aspects to some of it; you have to cut a certain size, etc. But I like to bring humour into it. I like to get the students to relax. There’s no such thing as perfection. None of us are perfect. We’re all okay the way we are. When things are fun, it brings down the tension in the room, and when people are relaxed, they can get into the art more quickly, rather than feeling like they have to please the teacher and follow all these things.”

Showing up

If Wen has one piece of advice for aspiring artists, it’s to show up, “When you show up in your studio,” she says, “that’s when these things happen. That’s the creative inspiration coming through. So if you’re sitting on your hands, or if you don’t feel you can do it or whatever – just do it, it doesn’t matter. You can do it over if it doesn’t come out right the first time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a mistake on a piece of artwork, and I, you know, run around the table like, “Oh, I shouldn’t”, but then I resolve it. The mistakes are retakes. They’re opportunities to think about things in another way.”


About the artist

Known for her unique use of fibre, combining photography, paint and stitch into one-of-a-kind artworks, Wen Redmond is an internationally recognised mixed media and fibre artist.

As an artist whose work embraces several media, including digital processes, surface design, blending of boundaries of photography, mixed media and collage, each work is individual and communicates between her inner imagination and later the viewer. 

Imagine a world where digital photography doesn’t just complement your textile art but becomes an intrinsic part of it. Picture a process where every layer, every texture, and every colour you add tells a part of your story, a reflection of your inner self.

Wen will show you that the journey to authentic artistry isn’t about following strict rules or imitating existing styles. She emphasises the importance of experimentation, embracing the unexpected, and perceiving every ‘mistake’ as a crucial step towards creating something truly original. Under her guidance, you’ll learn that true artistic expression comes from this adventurous and open-minded approach.

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