Textile artist Kathryn Coulter is inspired by the nature and flowers of her home county of Fermanagh.

Working with fresh flowers, Kathryn incorporates them into her textile pieces using embroidery, preserving their beauty.

Here she talks to The Impartial Reporter about her artistic background, her most ambitious piece, to date, and what her art means to her.

What is your artistic background? Are you self-taught or did you go to art school or do courses?

MY ARTIST background started from GCSEs, which followed onto A-Level Art and then a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at the South West College.

It was here that I realised I wanted to study Textile Art. I then went on to do a Bachelor of Honours Degree in Textile Art, Design and Fashion at the Ulster University in Belfast, where I graduated with a 2.1 in 2017.

What inspires your art?

THROUGHOUT my final year at university, my work was based on places in Fermanagh, nature and flowers.

It was at university I started working with fresh flowers and preserving them into my embroidery and textile work.

This was the beginning of working with fresh flowers and learning techniques. Since leaving university, preserving flowers is my biggest inspiration, and I mainly work with bridal bouquets.

Who or what are your biggest influences?

MY WORK is mainly influenced around Fermanagh, and the different seasons, nature and flowers.

I mainly work with sheer fabric then I build up layers of surfaces with pressed flowers, petals and leaves, and then I finish each piece with hand embroidery.

I love to add bright colours of threads to my work, which heighten the colours of the flowers.

Is there a specific place that you do your work? Do you have a studio?

AT THE moment I just create at home in the spare room as my pieces of art are freelance and mainly a hobby, so I don’t particularly need a studio.

What has been your most ambitious piece, to date?

MY MOST ambitious piece, to date, would definitely be my final piece at university. It is by far the largest piece I have created, with the most hand embroidery.

It was approximately six feet in length and four feet wide. It was displayed as three separate pieces, creating one wall hanging.

It was created on sheer fabric so the flowers, embroidery and textures almost floated and shadows appeared behind the piece.

This piece was entitled, ‘Place of Escape’, and my inspiration came from Castle Archdale.

What different artistic media do you use and which is your favourite?

I HAVE used a lot of media throughout the years but once I fell in love with textile art, that was it was from then on.

I mainly work with fabric, machine embroidery and my favourite, which is hand embroidery and embellishment.

However, I do push myself to learn more within textiles and learning new techniques, so recently I’ve been working with new media that I haven’t used before, one of which includes resin.

What are you currently working on?

AT THE moment my art work comes and goes as it's freelance and mainly a passionate hobby.

I’m currently not working on anything, but seeing as we are now into mid November I might start making some handmade Christmas gifts.

I love to make gifts for people which include ‘pebble’ frames, tree ornaments, shadow box frames, and embroidery hoops.

Do you exhibit your work anywhere?

IN 2017 I exhibited my work for New Designers in London for ‘New Emerging Artists’.

I also exhibited my work for the Embroiderers’ Guild throughout three locations in 2017/18 for the ‘Knitting & Stitching Show’, which included Alexandra Palace in London, Harrogate and Dublin.

It was an amazing experience to exhibit my work in so many places, and to have been selected out of hundreds of other designers to exhibit as an Embroiderers’ Guild Graduate.

Any new artistic ventures planned for the rest of 2021?

AS WE are near the end of 2021 I don’t have a particular venture planned.

I’ll spend the next month working on some Christmas ideas as I like to make bespoke gifts, so each piece is different, and each year I’m trying new ideas.

What has been your favourite project, to date?

I CAN honestly say each project I work on becomes my ‘new’ favourite. Because each project turns out differently than the one before, each piece is bespoke.

Working with fresh flowers can turn out completely different to what I imagine, once heat-pressed. It’s amazing to create a surface from flowers and create art from something as special as a bride’s bouquet.

What are you up to when you aren’t creating art?

MY SCHEDULE is quite busy as I work full time. I’m only recently back to work from maternity leave as I have a beautiful baby girl who is 10 months old.

I still love to create art and it’s become more of a hobby than anything else as life is so busy.

Art is something I enjoy doing and will always be my passion. I’m looking forward to teaching my daughter and making art projects together.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I WOULD describe my art as unique and bespoke, I am a bit of a perfectionist, especially when it comes to hand embroidery, which I would describe as very delicate, but I also love the free-flow of drawing my ideas on paper and then seeing them become a reality.

What does your art mean to you?

ART IS my greatest passion, it’s something that I’ve always loved and means so much to me and who I am.