Nicola Henley’s art is a delightful homage to birds and their natural landscapes. “I am continually inspired by the natural world but in particular birds and their movement within the landscape and coastal regions,” she writes on her website. “I love studying how they move across the sky and interact with air currents and wave motion, or their distinctive characteristic movement as they feed along shorelines or flock to feeding grounds.”
“I hope my work helps to draw attention to the delicate balance of nature and the inter-dependence and connectivity between ourselves and our natural environment,” she says. “I hope that the sense of freedom I try to capture will resonate with everyone that sees it.”
But while birds are constant throughout her work, Henley’s toolbox is a mish-mash of sorts – with her artwork a mixture of weave, embroidery, and print. Using machine and hand stitch, Henley applies fragments of Japanese paper, found paper, dyed muslin, and bits of silk. Her pieces are made by a combination of dying, painting with pigments and screen-printing onto cotton calico, and then texturing the surface with various materials.
Large, spacious areas of printed and painted surface contrast with small stitched details, representative of delicate birds in their wild natural environment and the contrast between intricate detail and the vast expanse of surrounding space. The result is a thought-provoking work of art that invites the viewer to question his relationship with the natural world.
Follow her stunning work on Instagram.