With brisk air blowing through paintings and hand-stitched stones, Orla Stevens’ work is not tied to one medium but linked by the hills, rivers and lochs that she wanders. Orla Stevens is a Scottish Contemporary Landscape Artist and Textile Designer, influenced by instinctive mixed media processes, wild landscape, and the cultural traditions and narratives tied to rural locations. We had the joy of Orla leading our Small Actions workshop in Selkirk, she’s warm and full of spirit just like her artwork, so it is with great pleasure to share some of her recent work.
Qualities of Place – Misty Senses | Acrylic and Chalk on Paper | A4
Her textiles are inspired by history, music and stories found within traditional Scottish culture. Orla combines the emotive narrative of these mediums into visual and tactile form, as art blankets for the home. Using making as a method of story telling, Orla seeks to explore the relationship that lies between landscape, its historical narrative and our present emotional experience of place.
While her painting focuses on capturing emotive qualities of place, through colour and form. As an outdoor enthusiast herself, Orla believes in the importance of connection with nature. She explores the physical and emotional links that we form with rural places; an interconnected relationship of mind, body and environment. Through painting, she hopes to build on the bond between people and places, to highlight the importance of connecting to, respecting and preserving our wild landscapes, heritage and ecology.
Designed in response to a local traditional Scottish story, this blanket tells the tale of Killin’s ancient healing stones blessed by St Fillan. When touched, these stones are said to heal any ailment the person may have. This blanket explores the power of touch and connection, considering the deliverance of this tactile folk narrative through embroidery. Its colours and textures relate to the healing stones and the River Dochart, which runs through the Trossachs National Park.