Colourful hares abound in new exhibition by textile goddess

A spectacular celebration of colour, art and creativity is on at the Borders Textile Towerhouse, Hawick, when Northumbrian textile artist, Helen Cowans' exhibition, 'Bounding and Moon Gazing: Hares in Contemporary Textiles.
A spectacular celebration of colour, art and creativity is on at the Borders Textile Towerhouse, Hawick, when Northumbrian textile artist, Helen Cowans' exhibition, 'Bounding and Moon Gazing: Hares in Contemporary Textiles.

A spectacular celebration of colour, art and creativity is on show at Borders Textile Towerhouse, Hawick, with textile artist, Helen Cowans’ exhibition, Bounding and Moon Gazing: Hares in Contemporary Textiles.

Of her dreamlike, colourful creations, the Northumbrian artist says, “I love drawing with a needle and thread. I use traditional and contemporary embroidery – both hand and machine – combined with hand-dyed, weathered and painted fabrics. My recent work has been based on hares: I admire their form, movement and character.”

Helen continues, “In a past life, I worked in a laboratory as a molecular biologist. I prefer stitching and reading history.” One look at her work, so filled with love and joy, and it is easy to see why.

A qualified tutor and professional lecturer who has taught City & Guilds embroidery courses, Helen now works freelance in a studio in her garden amidst the wild, windswept hills of north Northumberland, where she creates textile works for the wall, as well as costumes and 3D sculptures.

Helen’s practise explores several techniques of mark making on cloth, from stitch to natural weathering. She utilises several types of fabrics including felts and wools and uses both hand and machine stitching.

The exhibition features textile wall-art: images of hares created in an imaginative and whimsical way, conveying their character and energy.

An example of Helen’s hare-themed dresses will also be on display.

Following the successful joint exhibition ‘Two Artists’, with Emma Jolly, at Hawick Museum, Helen Cowans’ solo exhibition will be displayed in the Exhibition Room at Borders Textile Towerhouse.

There is the chance to see Helen demonstrating her work there on Sunday, June 23, 12 noon - 3pm.

Zilla Oddy, Museum and Gallery Assistant at Live Borders says, “This exhibition gives the public the chance to see textiles, craft and art combined in a skilful and imaginative way. We are delighted to bring the exhibition to Hawick, as encouraging creativity is one of Live Borders’ aims as a charity.”

The exhibition at the Borders Textile Towerhouse runs until June 23. Admission is free.

For more information about Helen’s work visit www.textilegoddessblog.wordpress.com.