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Els van Baarle worked for many years as an art-teacher in various schools, and in adult education. During this time she began to develop her own work in textiles, having a fascination for the interaction of wax, cloth and dye. Since 1990 she has been exhibiting her batiks internationally and has won numerous awards. Her work has been published in books such as “Dutch Quilts” by Ria van Els (2007) and the US publication, “The Art Quilt Collection” in 2010.
Her inspiration comes from ancient times, remains of structures ravaged by wind and weather that reveal fascinating surfaces with an array of textures, colours and marks. She translates this inspiration into fabric and paper. Subtle colours and textures are obtained by layering wax and dye processes together with paper and threads – in the way an old wall reveals details and nuances when observed up close. After more than 40 years of work on her art, she has become an internationally renowned tutor and artist. She has taught in South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, U.S.A, France, Switzerland, Germany England and Belgium. She exhibits regularly at home and abroad.