Stella Harding studied basketry at City Lit, London. She was selected by the Crafts Council for their prestigious Hothouse 2010 cohort.
‘In my craft or art I use basketry techniques to weave together multiple story lines. I am interested in dualities and paradoxes and what happens in the spaces where differences coincide. Sometimes there is chaos and sometimes harmony. Almost always there is an element of unpredictability which invites a creative response. One narrative is my fascination with the Turk’s head knot. A paradoxical object: it looks on the surface like a multi-stranded plait but is constructed from a single element that is both warp and weft, alternately active and passive, the weave unending – until the thread runs out.
‘Another paradox: despite being maths phobic I am fascinated by the mathematical structures underlying and revealed by the basketry techniques that I enjoy. Opposites attract. The hand can grasp what the mind lets slip. Echoes of the early universe strike a chord in me – could this be the music of the spheres? A third story is the duality of culture and nature and how they weave together in unexpected ways – each one leaving its mark upon the fabric of the other.
‘There are other strands and many loose ends. My contemporary basketry is part of a process of working out how they might be drawn closer together.’