On the run-up to Chelsea Flower Show 2019, we will be shining a light on each of the artisans chosen to exhibit in the Artisan Area. This week we were delighted to catch up with textile artist, Natasha Hulse.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE AN ARTIST?
Yes. Without a doubt I have always wanted to work within the creative industry. When I was very young I would draw colourful clothing on stick figures, collect and press flowers, appliqué artworks onto handbags. I was always drawing and making designs with fabric and fabric paint. Being a colour and texture magnet, I love exploring the way different colour combinations can be harmonised together to make an exciting visual story and create a feeling or emotion.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK?
I think my work shows elements of different influences from 18th century crewel work to a newness within botanical interpretation through appliqué. I love heavy Indian patterns which comes through in the detail of my work.
My work showcases sophisticated elements within the techniques I use, paired with a modern twist through my interpretations of flora found in the world. My work is made through appliquéing different fabric combinations together, hand painted elements, beading and embellishment techniques to add depth. My flowers have a quirky charm and a personality of their own. Each one is hand made, bespoke and one of a kind.
WHERE DO YOU WORK AND HOW DOES THIS SPACE FEED INTO YOUR WORK?
I work in the countryside a lot. I am very lucky to have a studio near the New Forest. Often I paint from the garden and go for walks in Breamore Woods to hunt for flowers and foliage. I gather my seasonal findings and press them. My studio is full of piles of books and paper with pressed flowers. I am heavily influenced by flowers and the movement of nature.
Observing nature is really freeing. It’s that moment when you look at your everyday surroundings and really scrutinise it finding something new every time. I’m always in such awe that we live in such a beautiful world full of vibrant colour, texture and smell.
Mother Nature is a glorious phenomenon that we often take for granted.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGN?
Nature is the foundation of my inspiration. I am also inspired by painters, native tribal art and pattern. I am always seeking new ways to interoperate my work. Being able to push my own boundaries helps me unlock new avenues of exploration allowing myself to go deeper into my practice. For instance, making a design which is more three dimensional then I have done previously, or a colour palette that is more sophisticated or different to my normal.
WHAT PIECE HAS BEEN THE MOST FUN TO CREATE SO FAR?
I think the most fun to create would have to be the window display I made for Lulu Lytle- Soane . I love working on a larger scale and this really allowed me to do that and find different elements within my own design and creativity. It coincided with Belgravia in Bloom and Chelsea Flower Show. Over this time London is full of creativity and showcases great talent.
Lulu Lytle’s fabrics are also very beautiful. I used her “Botanic Garden” fabric and made three dimensional interpretations found within the print. The outcomes are endless working with this fabric, as it has so much to give. Herself and her employees are lovely to work with and she is an inspiration that shows how a company can be run successfully and with interfaith within the U.K. Lulu celebrates British craft and gives makers a platform.
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO BEING CHOSEN TO EXHIBIT AT CHELSEA THIS YEAR?
My initial reaction was I really feel so grateful and lucky to be chosen. Chelsea Flower Show for me is something I look forward to all year round. I feel very privileged to be able to exhibit at the show and to have the show in London.
It is an incredible, international event that show cases the most incredible flowers from all around the world. I remember visiting the Artist Studio at the Show and always wanted to exhibit, so I am over joyed to have the honour and opportunity to exhibit my botanical, applique craft amongst some of the best gardens and flowers.