Cheryl Smith has been in love with textiles for as long as she can remember. Originally from Dundonald in Co. Down, she moved to the Scottish Borders eight years ago to begin her career and study textile design at Heriot Watt University.
‘Using textiles in my work comes very naturally to me,’ she explains. ‘I like to think of the unusual combination of wood, fabric and yarn as my signature style, making my sculptures very unique. I take my inspiration from my local surroundings in the Scottish Borders, with each of my sculptures displaying quirky rural scenes such as fields and hills with hand stitched sheep, tweed roofed houses, bikes, tree houses and textile topped oversized trees.
‘My materials are all locally sourced and reclaimed. I work with recycled world renowned Scottish tweeds and my wood ranges from driftwood to one hundred year old floor boards, unwanted furniture and fallen trees, anything interesting I can get my hands on really. I like to make my work authentic to my surroundings and environmentally friendly.’
Cheryl’s sculptures not only display a range of materials, but she also uses many different techniques in the making process, such as wood work embroidery, painting and drawing. She also enjoys working with a variety of colour combinations and countryside compositions within the pieces. More importantly though is the fact that Cheryl designs her pieces to be humorous as she explains, ‘I have had a lot of people saying to me that on a gloomy day my sculptures always cheer them up and make them smile. I love the idea that people enjoy looking at my sculptures as much as I enjoy making them.’