Thursday, 4 February 2016

Marks on the Medway

I spent a morning revisiting my old stomping ground. I worked in the Medway towns as a Community Artist with Spiral Arts from the early eighties and this long association continues I have always drawn to the wide reaches of the river as the Medway  broadens on its way to sea. The mood of the river went from a deeply grey morning to sunshine in a space of a few minutes taking these images. The  tide, debris and birds making their own marks in the riverbed

These edges of the river where Nature and the Urban working life of the river meets have always held a strange fascination not surprising given the rain we have had and I was drawn to make a few marks when I returned home.
 Artist Stephen Turner equally shares a long fascination  for the Medway. I remember his working on canvases painted with Medway mud (way back) when we worked together in Gillingham and it still seems he making marks as reported in the Mudlark Magazine..the extract appears i' s Naturegirl blog. Stephen also spent a year in the guise of 'The Beaulieu Beadle', on the Exbury Egg working on, in and around the Egg for twelve months
addressing the meaning of place at a time of great environmental change.
I also had time to take in the wonderful work of Shelly Goldsmith, 'Drawn to Ohio' exhibition at Rochester Art Gallery & Craft Case (until 13th Feb). The marks in cloth mark the fragility of our interaction with the world around us through the clothing we wear and the weathering of marks on cloth are reminiscent of the scratches in the mud I had seen earlier.. It also marks the emotional distance between the area of North Kent and Thanet where the artist lives and her connection to family in Ohio.

 'Queen of Clouds' - reclaimed 1950's women's jacket with woven text tape above left and above-detail of  'Inner Storm' - reclaimed wedding dress with woven text tape 

More of my Medway inspired works/details
Medway Marshes Sketch
Blue Grass detail
Detail of Shorelines (this piece appears in Stitch Stories) (The book is currently being reprinted, the reprint is due at the end of February and will be available again, thereafter from all good bookshops and online retailers)