33,000 Miles artist Helen Bamber

I would like to give you a glimpse of the artwork that some of my colleagues are creating for the exhibition 33,000 Miles.

Work in progress, detail
Work in progress, detail

First a reminder – the exhibition is called 33,000 Miles because that is approximately how many miles of hedgerow there are in Devon! This is more than any other county and we have more ancient hedgerow than anywhere else too.

And 33,000 Miles is an art exhibition with workshops featuring 6 Devon based artists running from 15 – 30th October at RedEarth Galler, Bickliegh. See previous news for details of the other artists.

Helen Bamber was one of the first artists I enlisted to be part of this project to celebrate the importance of our hedgerows. She was already an enthusiast for the theme and having maintained a hedgerow by layering it for 15 years she was able to hit the ground running.

Helen describes her textiles as a metaphor for the diminishing landscape, particularly hedgerows, and a talk and walk by Dr Max Hooper (an renowned hedgerow expert) was inspirational and enhanced her existing interest in lichens which regularly inhabit hedgerows.

“The theme of this exhibition fits my passion perfectly and will allow me to discover new species that thrive in hedges. Palladius Rutilius was an expert on hedgerows  as early as 4 AD. He will be featured in my display”.

Palladius Rutilius plan for textile
Palladius Rutilius plan for textile

So here a quick word about Palladius Rutilius (in case you’ve not heard of him either) – according to Wikipedia Palladius, was a Roman writer of the 4th century AD. He is principally known for his book on agriculture. The work of Palladius was well known in the Middle Ages. A translation into Middle English verse survives from circa 1420 and yes you guessed it in his books he wrote about how to plant and lay a hedge.

At present I can only give you a glimpse of what Helen is doing to bring these influences to life, but hopefully this series of photographs will whet your appetite.

Work in progress for 33,000 Miles
Work in progress for 33,000 Miles

Her innovative technique of machine embroidery reveals translucent layers of fabric and threads. The jewel like quality of “crinkling” forms the ground for  textile pictures which also comprise silk painting and hand stitched technique

Her work on lichens has been exhibited to the British Lichen Society at the Museum of Natural History, London. An article appears in “The World of Embroidery” magazine 1991. She also works to commission and has completed a four year embroidery project for Ottery St Mary Hospital.


Work in progress for 33,000 Miles
Work in progress for 33,000 Miles

The Exhibition is from 15 – 30 October at the RedEarth Gallery, Bickliegh.

Helen will be running two in gallery textile workshops: see below for details.

From the Hedgerow – Textile Workshop with Helen Bamber – Textiles

Wednesday 19th October


Wednesday 26th October

Both 10am – 4pm

£20 each plus materials

07866 94940 to book & for information about what to bring.