Orla Stevens

“I use making as a form of story telling, and seek to explore the relationship that lies between landscapes, their historical narratives and our present experience through sense of place.”

“Working between textiles design and fine art, my work is always initially led by drawing. I approach drawing in a very broad way.”

Orla Stevens

Printed, Embroidered and Dyed Textiles, Fine art painting

BA (Hons) Textile Design

Edinburgh College of Art

Statement

“My works in both design and art disciplines are influenced by Scottish landscape and the cultural traditions with ties to rural locations. I am inspired by the history, music and stories found within traditional Scottish culture. My work aims to bring the emotive narrative of these mediums into visual form; combining the abstracted natural environment through colour, symbolism, and texture.


Working between textile design and fine art, my work is always initially led by drawing. I approach drawing in a very broad way: looking to treat my movements through mark-making as a form of expression, I aim to encapsulate moments and connection to place within my work thus conveying the emotional qualities of place that are evoked on location. With a love for mixed media, I use photography and drawing mediums to explore ideas before translating into final mixed media paintings or printed and embroidered textile designs.

I use making as a form of storytelling, and seek to explore the relationship that lies between landscapes, their historical narratives and our present experience through sense of place.

First hand research is integral to my making practice – having a genuine connection to the people, stories and an immersion in the places that inspire helps ground my making in something that I aim to be visually enjoyable, culturally relevant and hold a level of conceptual substance. I love sharing ideas with other people; collaborative practice, especially in the research stages of a project help to broaden ways of thinking, and see new connections between gathered research and making stages.”

Materials and Techniques

Screen printing using a direct painted screen as well as stencil screen with pigments, various dyes, endalca and opaque binders.

In addition she adorns her prints with hand painting, embroidery, hand stitching and applique. Some of the work is then hand dyed using dye baths, dip dyed and colour blending techniques, as well as digitally manipulated in Photoshop.

Her drawings are produced using mixed media such as acrylic, oils, chalk, pastel, ink, graphite, photography, plaster, board, canvas, paper.


Awards, Exhibitions and News

Based between her painting studio in Callander, and Glasgow, where she screen prints in a studio in the Southside.

Working as a self employed artist and designer: painting on commission, and freelance designing and runs mark making and drawing workshops.

Awarded a Colour Award from the Worshipful Company of Dyers


Exhibited at New Designers, London. As well as at Colony of Artists 2018 exhibition, Edinburgh and as part of the ‘Aural Textiles’ year long collective project and residency in Forres exploring data driven design and collaborative cross-disciplinary design practice. Orla’s work can also be viewed at Perthshire open studios in Callander in September displaying a range of textiles and painting. 

Interned for ‘CIRKEL Home’ bedding company where she collaborated with a product designer to design and produce pet beds using 100% recycled / re-purposed bedding waste. Covering everything from material sourcing, to product production, to textile / product design, following the companies circular economy model. The textile designs were a fusion of my collaborative design partner and myself’s painterly approach and aesthetic, created with hand painted textile techniques.

Currently developing a new range of interior textiles, in response to a recent body of paintings that discuss emotional and physical experience of the Scottish landscape. Exploring the crossovers between conceptual art, craft and design, a discussion between the visual language of place, and making processes.