CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cheshire Life today CLICK HERE

Cheshire gardens an inspiration for textile designer Rowena Ardern

01:00 18 January 2010

Rowena

Rowena

THE flora and fauna of Cheshire gardens at Arley Hall and Tatton are important inspirations for textile designer Rowena Ardern

THE flora and fauna of Cheshire gardens at Arley Hall and Tatton are important inspirations for textile designer Rowena Ardern.

'The gardens are perfect for making drawings and taking photographs of the plants and flowers, as is walking through the beautiful Cheshire countryside. And I have visited the RHS show at Tatton many times,' says the freelance artist.

Rowena makes gauzy, vibrantly coloured flags and banners which reflect her love of flowers, from the intricate passionflower to the dainty crocus, and she has extended these designs into textile jewellery and hand-dyed silk ties.


Rowena explained: 'I am drawn to the beauty of the natural world. I create images that capture the essence of my subject: the delicate unfurling of a leaf, the shimmer of light on water and the velvet softness of spring blossom.'

A former teacher, Rowena gained a first class honours degree in embroidery at Manchester Metropolitan University and there joined forces with three other students on the same course to form a group called TELA.


'I always wanted to do an arts degree, and I was going to do a textile degree but felt the embroidery gave me more freedom to experiment,' says Rowena, who uses cutwork techniques to combine natural fabrics such as cotton, wool and silk.

She has exhibited in places as diverse as Stockport Art Gallery and Norton Priory in Runcorn and has undertaken work for the Manchester Buddhist Centre, Manchester's City Pride scheme and the National Wildflower Centre near Liverpool.

Her work can currently be seen at the Royal Exchange in Wedding Adornment, an exhibition combining jewellery and textiles with a wedding theme and created by members of the Manchester Jewellers Network and TELA.

'I have been making small flags exploring the symbolism of flowers in wedding ceremonies. Flowers cross all cultures and religions and are often said to hold symbolic meanings: the bridal white rose represents eternal love, larkspur first love, ivy signifies fidelity, while azaleas speak of romance and bluebells an everlasting constancy.'


Her work can also be used for other celebrations, including birthdays and retirement, and will be '21st century heirloom pieces to treasure' says the artist who is based in Chorlton.

Rowena credits her family background with bringing her to where she is now: 'My father was in the textile trade and gave me my love of fabrics and nature; and my mother and grandmothers introduced me to embroidery.'

And her two grown-up sons, Jon and David, are following in their mother's steps by studying art at university.

As for Rowena, now in her 50s, her ambition is to develop her business as a freelance artist and designer working to commission and exhibiting. But she hasn't finished studying yet and would like to do an MA in printed textiles.

To see more of Rowena's work hit www.rowenaardern.com and for details of TELA see www.tela-art.co.uk

Shop with us at Great British Life

More from Style

Against the opulent backdrop of Arley Hall in Northwich, the Kelsall-based Olivia May brand showcases unconventional styles for the woman who wants more than a high street look.

Read more
Thursday, November 24, 2016

The beautiful Nordic-style spa at Fishmore Hall hotel was built off-site and dropped into place by a crane, writes Louise Taylor.

Read more
Spas
Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Two friends have taken the first steps to business success, as Paul Mackenzie reports.

Read more
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A day of fashion and fun was held at Angela Beer in Bramhall at their latest in store event.

Read more
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The faces of Hollywood stars don’t belie their age just because of healthy living…they rely on technology like Harmony ClearLift – and you can find it in Wilmslow, says Kate Houghton

Read more
Thursday, October 13, 2016

The city centre is rapidly gaining a reputation as a centre for cutting edge pampering.

Read more
Spas Luxury Break Manchester
Friday, October 7, 2016

Silk has a long historic connection with Cheshire, writes Peter Harris. He visits the owners of ‘Kashmir and Silk’ in Nantwich adding another strand to the tale.

Read more
Friday, September 16, 2016

Sipping champagne with local fashionistas Caroline Rush and Zoe Vaughan Davies at London Fashion Weekend...well, someone has to do it, writes Style Editor Janet Reeder.

Read more
Monday, September 12, 2016

Dr Maria Balshaw, the high profile director of Manchester’s art galleries, tells Janet Reeder why fashion plays an important role in her life.

Read more
Thursday, September 8, 2016

Just stepping into reception at the QMS Skin Spa at the Lowry Hotel is a tonic, writes Louise Allen-Taylor

Read more
Spas
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Kurtis Paul is a fledgling accessories brand created by brothers from Compstall. It’s going places, says Janet Reeder

Read more
Friday, August 5, 2016

Janet Reeder gets a smoother, plumped-up complexion from a facial at a Chester beauty clinic.

Read more
Spas
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Northern Quarter is Manchester’s coolest area and a fitting location for this month’s shoot which features some directional designerwear

Read more
Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The luxury Italian leather accessories brand, Furla, hosted an ‘invitation only’ lunch at The Chester Grosvenor Hotel.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


Cheshire Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Cheshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search