From textile taxidermy to entomological millinery, Bridget Bailey’s art works combine intriguing ideas with her very particular making skills. Millinery straw is coaxed into sharp thorns and tiny feathers are layered, making iridescent beetles. Wires are bound with silk threads to make insect legs, or swirled to represent flight-paths.
A childhood fascination with insects was temporarily eclipsed by a millinery career making flowers, but it hatched out again as Bridget began creating them. Insects make up more than half of life on earth, but they’re often too small to observe (even the ones we know about can still feel undiscovered). This leaves room to explore, invent and speculate about how to describe them through making.
Trained in textiles at Farnham College of Art, Bridget formed Bailey Tomlin Millinery in 1989. She now works as an artist, making for exhibitions and commissions, and shares her skills and experience through teaching master-classes. Her work has recently been shown at ‘London Craft Week’ at Fortnum Mason, and ‘Crafted, Makers of the Exceptional’ at the Royal Academy.