Friday, 26 August 2016

A Walk Around the Neighbourhood

A simple walk around the neighbourhood can provide endless inspiration. On these last few hot days of August, sitting and drawing has reminded me how the places where one things meets the other have become an important reference:
Footpaths and weeds where they meet walls and fences. 

The edges of buildings, rooftops and features of the landscape against the skyline.

and even a spiders web which blocks your way down the garden in the early morning sunshine
 or simply take over the space as Louise Bourgeois’s late works at the Tate modern illustrate as well as the most wonderful skyline of London from the top of the new Tate Modern extension.

It is these influences that have come to play in more recent work which was recently on show for Concealed with Art Textiles Made in Britain at the Festival of Quilts.(the link show works by all members)
Unfolding Landscapes, Cas Holmes looking at what is revealed and concealed at the edges of our paths and roadways throughout the seasons. This work was shown alongside Rosie James pieces in simple stark contrast looks at Pylons at the power behind our industry in cloth.
Rosie James Pylon Series and Unfolding Landscape
 As Autumn enters I am developing new pieces for exhibition in Europe next year. These continue the look at where private and public spaces meets. More about this later meanwhile, you can check out current exhibitions on my blog including exhibitions in October in Kent at the Kent Wildlife Trust, Tyland Barn, a small exhibition and book signing with Batsford in their London bookshop and work at the Knitting and Stitching Shows with the Embroiderer's Guild Capability Brown exhibition.
Withdrawing into the shade and view the neighbourhood through the shadows they cast on our windows

Finally but not least, this blog is named after after a chapter in my first book, The Found Object in Textile Art 2010. It is being reprinted for the fourth time as we speak.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Making a Point:Needle Museum Redditch

A brief visit to the Forge Mill Needle Museum in Redditch reveals a fascinating history behind the one thing many of us who sew do not take for granted..yet many not have realized just how amazing needles are. The rich heritage of the needle and how Redditch once produced 90% of the world's needles.
Surgical Needles

Needle Cases
Fishing Hooks..just beautiful
Small Sewing Machine..I have one just like makes a chain stitch.
Machine Needles..some are huge.
Beautiful displayed hand embroidery needles
Loved the green space outside
 Art Textiles:Made in Britain will be holding its exhibition Concealed, at the Museum from September 9th to October 23rd 2016. Some of my work represented in 'Identity' two years ago, features in an article by Textile Curator reflecting on my career and practice: 
While interviewing Cas Holmes this month she gave some useful advice to approach things differently. "Before they even start I encourage students to think about the material they are starting with. Mess up the fabric or look beyond the sanctity of edges,' she explains

 Shorelines, Cas Holmes (3 of 6 panels) Photography credit Art Van Go
 I also had the opportunity to take in the Mac and the amazing work of Barbara Walker, 
well very nearly. It was a Monday, the Mac was open, the gallery closed and I felt like a child looking through the sweetie shop window!
On the closing day of the exhibition, 3rd July,  join Barbara Walker as she removes this and other drawings from the walls:  washing away the charcoal and exploring further the notions of visibility and erasure in the work.

 Acknowledging an absence of representation over the past 100 years, Walker’s exhibition concentrates upon the contribution of Black servicemen and women to the British Armed Forces and war efforts from 1914 to the present day. It reflects upon contemporary British conflict alongside historical events of warfare involving Britain and the colonised nations of the British Empire. As the world commemorates the centenary of World War I, this remarkable body of work addresses the stories that remain largely untold.

I also discovered the community project Connecting Spaces still on (advertised to finish in April). Connecting Spaces is borne out of a passion to engage residents from the Hall Green district (encompassing Sparkbrook, Springfield, Moseley and Kings Heath, and Hall Green) in arts activities locally and at mac.  
(With thanks to the Mac for the text references.)

My grandmother, a Romany would have been familiar with the pegs and peg dolls. Love the diversity reflecting the the communities and cultures who dressed their dolls for a 'Cinderella Day'

 And finally, but not least, I was in Birmingham catching up with friends, listtend to a fascinating insight to the work of the Embroiderer's Guild by Terry Murphy,  and give a talk for the Birmingham Embroiderer's Guild Regional Day. Lots of lovely cake, great fun to be there and managed to get away without doing the washing up!

Saturday, 28 May 2016

The Nature of Image and 7th Quilt Festival Luxembourg

Early in May I was in Luxembourg where I was guest artist at the 7 International Quilt Festival (more on this later). I stayed in Clervaux‬ which had an annual exhibition of photographs ‪‎. Clervaux - cité de l' image 
Sonja Braas You are Here
Tine Poppe Where Gods Reside, (Clervaux Castle in the background)

We sometimes take image for granted. It is so easy just to take a 'snap' in these digital days. This stunning exhibition set beautifully in the landscape of the small town demanded attention raising the questions on how we record the world around us, the 'nature' of that world and our place in it.
The view of Clervaux Castle has been a constant companion.I slept at night with it as my nightlight through the window. This is where the Battle of the Bulge was fought 16 Dec 1944. The castle has been rebuilt after the town was reduced to rubble
The festival itself took place over several villages in the region. Details of some of the works in Centre Communal, Wilwerwiltz, taken at end of set up.Works below by by fellow artists sharing the space.
Julliette Eckel‬ 
Di Ford Hall‬
Photographer in among Tea Flora Tales with the work of Jacqueline de Jonge in the background‬.....and a few more images of my work installed in a lovely space

 And there is always time to draw among the visitors
I had little time to see other works here a few of works further afield.I managed a brief walk to the neighbouring village Enshaerange and caught these pieces in the local fire station by the Norwegian group 'Sting'.
Inger-Ann Olsen
Bente Andersen Sundlo
 and Grenzenlo(o)s Dutch German collaboration in the historic flour mill:
Group project, Ladies with Bags
Installation shot
Johanna Mench
Hilde Kamps
I had time on my last morning to take a walk in the woods and footpaths around the Clervaux village:

All for now, I am taking time to work on new pieces for 'Concealed' the forthcoming exhibition with Art Textiles Made in Britain at Festival of Quilts this Summer.I also have work in the 6th European Quilt Triennial at the show.

Also see Visions blog