Alison Dupernex is currently showing at the Innov8 Craft Fair in Pershore. She gave a talk to the local artis's group WANA yesterday.
Alison gave a lively talk about the origin, development and techniques for knitting her silk and cashmere cardigans and scarves.
She described herself as ‘Painting with yarn’, and said that she was
passionate about colours...they absolutely bounce off each other.... your life gets richer because of what you discover...touching and feeling the fabric nourishes your soul...makes you feel fantastic.
Many artists have influenced her in the twenty five years she has been a professional knitter. She designs in January and February, closing the workroom door and experimenting. During the rest of the year she doesn’t have time to develop ideas, but she does alter her colour choices all the time as she goes along. She always makes her colour choices in daylight. She finds that black and white, which she only started using recently, give space to other colours and allow them to breath. Sometimes she uses colours which you are unlikely to notice in a composition but if they weren’t there you would notice that they weren’t there...somehow they make the garment zing.
Alison trained as an English teacher. In the eighties she had fifteen knitters working for her, and sold in stores around the world such as Liberty's. Knitting and knitted garments then became unfashionable, and it was only a chance discovery of some Italian silk yarn that transformed her work into its current fluid, flexible form. Garments are square cut but draping, gaining their shape from the people who wear them. The light airy stripes of knitted silk are interspersed with slightly felted cashmere to give an intricate and sumptuous texture.