Guildford Cathedral

I have worked with wool for many years, spinning, hand felting and then, during my degree, needle-felting on  huge industrial machines, where I created innovative fashion fabrics. This new experimental work led to the  Textile Institute awarding me a full scholarship to further my research. I then worked in the textile industry in Yorkshire.

The landscape inspired the technique I use today, looking at the changing light as it moves over the land. Using hand painted fabrics as a contrast to wool fibres accentuates the relationship between light and the solid surface. My technique is always evolving: more wool less paint, the inclusion of natural materials - wood, rock fragments – and a stitch to define an area.

Over the years I have worked with different types of wool, trying to source wool from the places I depict. I use Shetland and North Ronaldsay wool in my Scottish pieces. A few years ago I travelled to New Zealand and created work inspired by that country’s landscape and culture and incorporating their fine merino wool.

The north coast of Scotland is a constant source of inspiration: the ever-changing light, colours, vast mountain ranges and the narrative of the landscape, ancient and wild.

A Brief Bio

Having gained a degree from Leeds University, Iona was awarded a scholarship by the Textile Institute to study for a further year at Huddersfield Polytechnic. She went on to work in the textile industry before exhibiting her Textile Art throughout the UK and abroad.

Her solo exhibitions have been held at Guildford Cathedral, The Lightbox Gallery (Taste of Art exhibition space), Clandon Park National Trust, the New Zealand High Commission, Guildford House Gallery and, for seven years, she exhibited her work at Art in Action. In 2012 she showed a piece of work at The Wool Reception given by the Lord Mayor of London.

She has also been invited to contribute to many joint exhibitions which have ranged from Yvonne Arnaud Art, Guildford to the Bonhoga Gallery in the Shetland Islands.

As part of the Surrey Artist Open Studios, Iona opens her studio every summer and, since 2013, has been placed in the top three for the Surrey Artist of the Year Award.

Rock fragments