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

Friday, 15 April 2016

South West Wandering, California Dreaming

As I come to my last few days in California preparing to return home I am equally saddened to wave goodbye to good friends. I complete my trip with an exhibition 'Stitch Stories at Visions Art Museum.( Sneak image preview below.
I spent some time in San Diego taking in local culture. Loved the Do Ho Suh exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Equally I enjoyed the bamboo in the botanical gardens. Beautiful views through to the green and light. I love art inspired by nature, This new E Book by pat of a series being produced by  Textile Artist should prove mouth watering:'Textile Art Inspired by Nature' E-Book 

And the patterns in the sand and the majestic trees at Torrey Pines....inspiration for artists everywhere.

The Canyons in the city are full of wildflowers and wild habitats. I enjoyed walking through these overlooked spaces with Maureen of Studio Maureen and the Next Door Gallery (housing an eclectic mix of vintage finds and fine local artists work.
Good to revisit the Mingei Museum and look at some stunning Ai-Zome stencil Kimono with text by the great Soetsu Yanagi who was one of Japan"s Living National Treasures, a master  potter and founder of the Mingei, Japanese  Folk Arts Movement. Beautiful indigo and white stencils.

 All to soon I will be leaving on one of these planes flying over Little Italy. An airport really in the heart of Downtown.Thankyou, Visions Art Museum, Sedona Arts Center and many more who have made this trip such an enjoyable and richly rewarding experience.