Kerri Hollingsworth from An.ti.quate creates masterpieces with old chairs and fabric remnants. She has recently stepped into the unknown, trialling natural elements within her Upholstery Art. Using barks, vines, native grasses, beautiful gum leaves and dried flowers, she creates exquisite, rescued, upcycled upholstery art pieces, with old chairs.
‘It’s very much an experimental phase, but I absolutely adore the idea of people living amongst nature. You can not get the same warmth in a home from stock items,’ she says. Her work is very much about, ‘out with mass produced items, filled with toxic chemicals, and in with the elements that bring us closer to earth – grounding, healing, and surrounding ourselves, with the energy that is going to have us living happier lives.’
Why am I so drawn to fabric remnants?
I have been surrounded by fabric my whole life. My mum is an amazing seamstress, and taught me to sew when I was very young. I have always been drawn to fabric. I love seeing different textures throughout a perceived ‘plain’ fabric. I love the feel different fibres have, the structure they can create, the variety of patterns – this is all the interesting makeup of a fabric before we even get into colours and designs.
When I started my upholstery business, fabric had become an even bigger part of my life. I was surrounded by it, and it was then that I got a first hand view of how much is discarded in the upholstery business (meaning ‘unusable’ off cuts), let alone around the world across all textile industries.
The thing that I love so much about taking odds and ends and weaving them, is the story it creates. One or two small off-cuts of a particular fabric, may seem useless to some, but when you marry them together with other ‘misfits’ they tell a greater story.
Every day I’m surprised abput which remnants work together so perfectly, that I couldn’t have (or wouldn’t have) chosen that combination, if they were all brand new. There is something magical about working with odds and end, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to explain it. It’s like their energy takes on a whole new feeling as they become seen as unique and beautiful. It could be the fact that you need an open mind when working with remnants, so interesting ideas and combinations find their way to the surface. I also love playing around with strong contrasts between textiles – hardy ropes/twines/leathers with soft wool/silks/yarns. You can create a seemingly endless amount of designs from the same colour palette just by working with texture alone. It’s quite fascinating once you start playing!
Rescuing things from landfill
There is SO much beauty in things that are discarded each and every day. I feel like many people want ‘the trend’ and what society tells them looks good, instead of taking the time to find out what makes them happy. The statistics of landfill are really quite scary, and I think we all need to be held accountable for the waste we produce in our everyday lives. When a big truck comes weekly to make your rubbish ‘disappear’ it’s easy to have an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality.
To stop and consider other options every time you ‘need’ something, is a really important step in rescuing things from landfill. If you can reuse something for another purpose it not only saves you money and keeps that old item out of landfill, but it helps fire your brain up into a creative thinking pattern. There you go I said it, rescuing from landfill keeps you healthy, haha! (I’m not a doctor).
Also, the character of older things can not be reproduced in mass production, it just can’t. It’s like looking at a small tree that is 2 ft tall, compared to a giant tree in the forest – which one are you in awe of? Which one carries so much energy and magnificence that you feel drawn to touch or photograph it?Just because furniture doesn’t ‘grow’ over time, doesn’t mean it has any less magic about it when it has lived a long life. I wish chairs could talk – I have so many questions to ask!
As soon as you open yourself up to thinking more creatively about rescuing items from landfill, you will be surprised at how much inspiration is around you each and every day.
Upcoming Workshop -Upholstery Art Masterclass
Want to have a go at creating your own masterpiece? You can join Kerri and learn the importance of slowing down and allowing yourself to be creative.
- How to reuse/recycle everyday objects into creative fun art
- Using sentimental items in art, so they are displayed instead of hiding away in a cupboard
- Talk about different fibres – what you can weave (practically anything!) and how to do it
- Different weave techniques for the style you are after
- Get your own custom-made ottoman, ready for weaving
- Lunch, snacks and drinks supplied both days
Head here to book