Talented textile designer Gloria Armstrong, from Haydon Wick will be one of only four West Country artists whose work will be featured at the Royal West of England’s 2010 Exhibition which runs from 3 July to 1 August at the RWA’s New Gallery in Clifton, Bristol.
Gloria, whose work is unique and almost unknown, recreates reliquaries – receptacles to hold sacred objects and ecclesiastical relics, inspired by spiritual artefacts from the ancient world, particularly the Byzantine era.
Her boxes, bags and wall hangings display a combination of exquisite craft bordering on fine art, giving the spirit of these ancient objects a 21st Century twist, full of modern symbolism, figures and whimsy.
“I’ve always embroidered but my ideas started to flow after seeing the reliquary in Hereford Cathedral,” said Gloria. “Apart from a basic shape I have no idea how each piece will turn out. The design just develops and I include elements as they come into my head.
“The primary aim is to make something that other people will take pleasure in. All my grandchildren have little boxes, but the ones for display and the wall hangings can be much larger.”
Gloria added that the invitation by Royal West of England had come out of the blue. “I had a small piece on display two years ago, but to be asked to show more items was a lovely surprise.”