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Marissa Wakefield

Marissa studied woven textiles at Loughborough College of Art & Design. She studied ancient
methods of Ikat dyeing where warped threads are bound and resist the dye, allowing freedom on the loom.

The technique of wrapping and binding has always played a part in Marissa’s work. She is fascinated and inspired by the burial rituals of ancient cultures. Just as ancient cultures placed found items and objects with meaning into their burial chambers, Marissa places such items into her woven cloth.

Marissa’s work was selected to exhibit in Young Contemporaries at the Whitworth Gallery where she won an opportunity to work for American tapestry artist Elda Abramson. Both experiences encouraged her to create fibre art pieces rather than commercial cloth.

Next, Marissa worked for Quarry Bank Mill Textile Museum where she was fortunate to meet some of the great textile pioneers. She then won a Churchill Travel Fellowship to study Textiles in Turkey and met gallery owner Gordon Reece. Gordon offered her a job where she worked as a curator of ethical, tribal jewellery and textiles. Since then Marissa has managed numerous galleries and heritage sites. For the last five years she has been the Centre Director at Cockington Court.

Marissa likes to experiment with handmade paper and embeds items in layers of the paper pulp. She has begun to explore methods to create her fibre creations into 3D sculptures. Her most recent work is inspired by her collection of Tuareg amulets. The amulets contain magical inscriptions and sand for protection, which is also found in North American Indian Nomadic tree burials.