Focus: Lena Archbold | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
I am Lena Archbold.  Born in Ukraine, I have been living in Gateshead for over 15 years.  North East has been my home for the best part of my life and I have a studio in Sunderland. 

What is it you do?
I am an artist/maker and create felted wearable and interior felt while running online school Felt With Lena.   My journey to creativity began as a way to cope with life’s extreme challenge that was thrown at me when I was 39.   I was working for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP when I got diagnosed with cancer. I began knitting and crocheting as a way to cope with the situation, but once I got introduced to felting, it was like magic and I found my way into the world of ‘making’, which also gave me a sense of purpose. Through my craft, I have connected with people around the world who have shared their love of felting with me and have supported me throughout. I suppose that is my reward. 

How long have you been doing it?
 I have been teaching feltmaking and textile workshops since 2015 and set up an online school ‘Felt with Lena’ in 2018. I started learning and experimenting with wet felting techniques in 2011 while recovering from leukaemia. This led to the creation of my brand, Lena Archbold – Textile Art & Design. I was designing and selling nuno-felted and felted scarves, shawls, and accessories in galleries. 

What inspires you?
I am inspired by Mother Nature, vibrant fabrics, magnificent architecture, and other fine artists. I carry a camera and a sketchbook to gather ideas for my next project. 

Tell us about your work.
I am deeply interested in designing and creating various styles of wearables. Equally, I also love sharing my knowledge with others through teaching, guiding and advising.  I love textures and colours which I like to bring into my work. Colours are important for me as I find working with colours helps me feel a great sense of inner happiness. 

For my current exhibition, Felting Connections, I have been exploring the themes of cancer and depression. The recent political situation in Ukraine has forced me to look into my own childhood memories in Ukraine and have made some work in response to that. This is included in my current exhibition and I am planning to expand on this further. 

What have you got coming up in the future?
The current exhibition has been a great project to work on. It has helped me learn so much about myself, think about new ways to present my narrative, and explore new places to take my work to. I will continue developing new work based on this experience while venturing into interior felt, creating large felted wall panels and art pieces. Meanwhile, I will continue working on wearable art and teaching my students online.

Where can people find out more about you?
People can learn more about me, my work and what I offer from my website:

And visiting my online school:

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