A true observer, collector and steward of the natural world, artist Hillary Waters Fayle uses nature and botany as both inspiration and artistic medium. She combines mostly found botanical material with rich traditional handcrafts, such as cutting and embroidery.
Hillary knew from the time she was a child that she wanted to be an artist, but her conviction was shaken when she fell in love with environmental science as a teenager. She describes attending an educational summer camp which focused on natural sciences as a ‘pivotal moment’ in her life; she realized there was something she loved as much as making art.
Only a few years away from heading to college, she felt she had to choose between art and science. There seemed to be no middle-ground.
“Art won because it was always going to win,” she said.
During her time in art school, Hillary explored her love for embroidery. She studied in England, and became enthralled with the process of stitch work and the delicate, lacy patterns she was able to form.
Upon her return to the United States, she held close this love for embroidery, bringing her needle and thread to the very same environmental education summer camp where she now worked.
“I was sitting underneath this tree, and it hit me. I can combine these things.”
This is how the first stitched leaves were brought into the world, and since then, Hillary has been working to bring together her love for nature and her love for making art. In fact, she describes her artwork as a relationship between humanity and nature:
“This intricate stitch work communicates the idea that our relationship with the natural world is both tenuously fragile and infinitely complex.”
By combining these organic objects with traditional craft techniques, Hillary feels as though she is binding nature and the human touch.
For more information about Hillary and her work, visit her website: https://www.hillarywfayle.com/