Sian Fenwick a mixed media textile and community artist was born in Bromley in Kent but now lives and works from her home studio in Bushey, a pretty corner of Hertfordshire with her husband Melvyn and their Patterdale Terrier Archie. Sian is interested in how tiny fragments, a button or fabric scrap can create memories associated with these now often discarded items
’I am inspired by vintage suitcases overflowing with memories, keepsakes and heirlooms. Sewing boxes filled to the brim with old haberdashery treasures, family albums of sepia photographs and a nostalgic childhood of nursey rhymes and story books’
Sian was stitching and creating from a very young age and was encouraged by her parents, especially by her textile teacher mother, she also has happy memories of learning to knit with her grandmother when visiting her during the holidays in South Wales.
‘My mother and grandmother were both skilled in all aspects of textiles and passed down their knowledge to me. I really believe that it is important that sewing and embroidery techniques are passed down through the generations, otherwise a traditional and creative art will be lost‘.
In 2004 Sian began her creative journey gaining a degree in Applied and Media Arts at the University of Hertfordshire. Sian now shares her skills by teaching creative workshops working closely with local schools, charities and community groups including Artist Residencies. Sian’s aim is to set an example of good art practice and to increase her students’ development of skills by inspiring and enabling them to produce art with confidence. Sian draws on her own school experience and can empathise deeply with the students who are afraid of art.
‘As a shy child a creative path is a great way of expressing yourself and before you know it the shyness fades and you have embarked on the most wonderful creative adventure through life, it touches and connects with everything and everyone and at happy times and sad times it is your best friend’
Sian has facilitated and set up the award winning 'Sew Inspired' a creative enterprise for ASCEND Charity. The members design create and sell their craft products raising funds for the charity. Sian has worked on commissions and workshops for MENCAP, was selected to work with the recycled Olympic 2012 banners, she tutors for Three Rivers District Council and has represented Watford at an art festival in Mainz, Germany. She has tutored community groups through the Threads of Time a Hertfordshire Archives project and the Hidden Heroines of Hertfordshire through Trestle Arts.
As a tutor, the student’s eagerness and the joy of achieving something for the first time is not only very rewarding for Sian but truly inspires her in her own work as a practising textile artist.
Sian as well as teaching and exhibiting for other organisations now runs workshops from her home studio where she mixes media with stitches, collages and journals sharing these creative skills as once they were shared with her