+21 Aradne

The last exhibition of the year, opens with a vernissage on November 26 from 11am to 3pm. Come by and meet the artist and get a glass of Glögg.

Aradne is a British textile artist. She was born in South Africa and lived on a farm on the outskirts of Johannesburg with her three brothers till she was 8 years old. She now lives in East Sussex on the south coast of England. Aradne worked as a fashion designer after college but did not enjoy the cut throat industry or the long commute to London and gave it up for an office job closer to home. As her regular job paid the bills, Aradne explored different ways of working with textile and art. The name Aradne is a chosen name and a name she loves to associate with her art. She enjoys the privacy and anonymity that the name provides her.

Over time she developed a unique style of using freehand machine embroidery to create images. As she perfected her style, her process grew increasingly intuitive. She often draws inspiration from mythology, art books and natural history to complete her story. Although she can't really say where the images come from, she does feel that her childhood memories from Africa have influenced her textile work. Her early years growing up in a remote area meant that she was always in the company of animals and African workers. This influence is very apparent in her textile drawings that consist of figures, birds, insects, and flowers. Each web-like structure is created on fine muslin, nylon, or dissolvable fabric which she eventually discards to unfold an intricate network of threads that weave a beautiful story.

In 2020 Aradne started to make a drawing of the artwork before transferring the Images to fabric. It saves her making mistakes, which are harder to correct once it’s stitched into the fabric and which also leaves more time to experiment with size and colour combinations. Each figure is made up of more than one thread and can be up to 3 different shades and layers of colour with an outline in a contrasting thread. 

Aradne put a lot of time into getting the colours right and does not feel happy until they seem right.  She feels that it is so Important. She also likes to change pieces adding to them or removing pieces or sometimes over dyeing if she feels the colour needs correcting to a better shade. The way she views her work changes over time, and it’s important to her that they are perfect each time.

Her works evoke the magic and the enchantment of the fairytales and fantasy worlds. Her webbed figures and animals although, almost as if tied with thousands of threads, also showcase a sense of fluidity, freedom, and free thinking along with a certain darkness. The figures tell a story, and they magically appear to come alive and emergefrom the fabric the more you look at them. Her works are best enjoyed in person as you can see the embosses, the texture, the complexity of thread work.