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Preston artist interview – the beauty of nature in decay

Posted on - 7th August, 2021 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Things to Do in and around Preston, UCLan, University campus, What's On in Preston
Two of Heather’s embroidered domed artworks were exhibited at the Harris Open 2021. Pic: @macabrembroideryartist
Two of Heather’s embroidered domed artworks were exhibited at the Harris Open 2021. Pic: @macabrembroideryartist

For anyone interested in art, the degree shows at the University of Central Lancashire offer a great opportunity to get a first look at some of our city’s talented, burgeoning artists’ artwork and this year is no exception.

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Opening with a private view on Friday 27 August will be UCLan’s Master of Arts Degree Show.

We caught up with Heather, a textile artist from Preston, who will be exhibiting her beautifully detailed pieces inspired by the woods that surround her home.

The Woods Pic: @macabrembroideryartist

Heather’s intricate artwork captures nature through her eyes, in various states of decay. The project she will be exhibiting is entitled Specere, which means ‘to look’ in Latin, and captures the drama and colours of nature in darker autumnal months. Her artwork employs a combination of printing methods, embroidery, drawn images, and found objects.

“My pieces can take weeks or even months to complete,” said Heather. “It took a year to complete the panel, as it had many processes, it features drawing by hand, lino print, screenprint, embroidery, and three-dimensional elements.”

Heather’s 3 metre mixed media panel took a year to complete. Pic: @macabrembroideryartist

“I love all media but I have specialised in screen print in the past. I love the technical side of printing, preparing the screens, washing screens, and coating screens. Although I’m not too keen on the clearing up!”

Heather became interested in art at a young age and went on to study a bachelor’s degree in Interior Textiles and Surface Pattern, receiving a First Class Honours. This exhibition is a culmination of her work studying for a Master of Arts in Surface Pattern at UCLan.

Decaying blue tit Pic: @macabrembroideryartist

“I would like to thank my lecturers Bev Lamey, Angie Jones and Julie Mosley, and give a special mention to the fabulous print room technicians, Jane Bennet, Nick Rhodes and Kathyrn Poole for all their help and advice during my time at UCLan,” said Heather.

Oh Deer Pic: @macabrembroideryartist
Oh Deer Pic: @macabrembroideryartist

Heather has exhibited twice at the Harris Open, this year showing her beautiful, decaying domed artwork which took over three weeks to embroider. She also took part in an online exhibition earlier this year, showing a piece of embroidery for her Clan Macpherson at the Clan Macpherson museum in the Highlands. Preparations are going well for Heather’s degree show and following graduation, she would like to exhibit further.

Soft Decay Pic: @macabrembroideryartist

You can catch Heather’s artwork at the Master of Arts Degree Show, Hanover Building, University of Central Lancashire. The show is open to the public from Tuesday 31 August and runs until Tuesday 5 October (weekdays only) between 10am and 5pm.

Read more: First physical exhibition to be held at UCLan since the start of the pandemic led by Preston Threads

The work of around 100 of UCLan’s talented postgraduate students will also be showcased in the exhibition, from the following Master of Arts courses: Animation, Ceramics, Children’s Book Illustration, Design, Fashion and Lifestyle Brand Studies, Fashion and Lifestyle Promotion, Fashion Design, Fine Art, Games Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Photography, Product Design, and Surface Pattern and Textiles.

You can view their work across three buildings on the Preston Campus: Hanover Building – Hanover Project (ground floor), first floor and second floor; Victoria Building – PR1 Gallery (ground floor and mezzanine); Media Factory – Factory Gallery (ground floor).

Check out Heather’s artwork on Instagram @macabrembroideryartist.


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Will you be going to the Master of Arts Degree Show? Let us know in the comments.

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