Monday, 20 March 2017

Common Land, Common Spaces

I am delighted to be exhibiting Common Land, Common Spaces at the Farnham Pottery with a new installation ‘Trees’ and pieces from 40 yards, an ongoing modular work. The term 'Common' in English means to 'belong equally to' or 'shared equally and  is also used to denote areas of land used by all, historically for grazing, catching wild game and gathering plants

Trees installation and link to video here.

The pottery is a beautifully restored building and an inspirational place to visit with a fabulous tea-room. The exhibition is the first in a series 'Powered by Touch' with a focus on the intimacy of the hand-made. Exhibitors included Richard Box, Christine Green and the next is basketmaker and willow worker  Dominic Parrette. The venue is also the host of intimate performances, the next being 'Dr. Jeckyll and Mr...'by the talented David Keller.

I just loved the little details of the pottery which is worth a visit by itself.

The exhibition is open Tues – Sat 10am - 4pm with free entry. The show closes on 8 April when I will also be running a second workshop following demand on the opening weekend and we will use the pottery as stimulus and starting point for a folding bookform or modular piece.

Here are some images from my one day workshop 'Small Objects of Desire' held at the beginning of the exhibition.

New Quilting at Rheged Arts Centre continues until to Sunday 23 April and Stuff for Thought a shared project of textile artist Heidi Drahota and the Human Rights Office of the City of Nuremberg is touring to the Prague Patchwork Meeting from 31st March to the 2nd April. You can read about the project on my blog post back in July 2016. Amazed to find I am a Kent Creative Awards finalist.

Finally, but not least. I am delighted to be a feature artist with in Somerset Studio magazine. An interview by the talented Rice Freeman-Zachery.Sneak peak below of some of the pages from an eight page spread

Saturday, 28 January 2017

To be an Explorer...Gathered Thoughts

I had a rare day out last week in London with an old friend.  It started as a trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum to see the wonderful Opus Anglicanum exhibition (finishes on the 5 February) and on a whim and ended up in the London Docklands as the sun was going down.

Detail of the Butler-Bowden Cope

It was a bright, cold day and I remembered an old friend of mine (from Community Arts days in the Medway) had a show in the Docklands at Trinity Buoy Wharf  'Everything Comes from The Egg'. The 'Exbury Egg' Turner has lived on for over a year has been brought indoors in order to exhibit many of the pieces that it helped to create as part of his understanding of the environment and the river it is named after, the River Exbury in Hampshire

Above are pictures of the exhibition, the artist's working and living space inside the egg and collected plant materials in jars. ‘I call them all ghosts because it’s a way of remembering what was there,’ he says. ‘But it’s not perfect – like memories, they carry on changing.’Sharing things related to water I have been invited to take part in New Quilting and exhibition of work by international and Cumbrian makers which have been selected for the Arts Council England supported exhibition, New Quilting at Rheged Arts Centre from Friday 3 March to Sunday 23 April.  LV21 shown on board the lightship of the same name,  is one of three pieces I will be exhibiting in the show.
 It has been a cold start to the year. I visited family in Norfolk and used the opportunity to make some sketches and photos of the bleak landscape. I have also had my head down to plan for workshops and exhibitions coming up returning to Norfolk in early February a couple of workshops at Eaubrink studios and I have just booked my ticket for the French Alps with the Alpine Experience in August. All other workshops including a return to summer school at West Dean are detailed on this blog. Have a good 2017.

Friday, 30 December 2016

It has not been 'a Walk in The Park' .

As we reflect on 2016 we can truly say, for most, it has not been 'a Walk in the Park'. A year of extremes to say the least. It has been a fulfilling year full of friendship which has countered some difficult things on both a personal and global level. So let me begin by wishing you all the best for 2017 for all..we could do with it. 

I ended the year, as I started with drawing which has continued to be a focus this year. Thankyou to Helen Frost for supplying this lovely image of my hands hard at work at West Dean College.  where I was teaching earlier this month.
I heavy cold meant hearth and home over the Christmas season. By boxing day I was itching to get out and well wrapped up went for a walk in my local park.

I was thrilled to start the year as the cover girl for Cloth Paper Scissors before my guest exhibition at Visions Art Museum in San Diego.
This was followed by exhibitions with Art Textiles Made in Britain at the Festival of Quilts and a project Stuff For Thought a shared project of textile artist Heidi Drahota and the Human Rights Office of the City of Nuremberg.

As the Autumn turned to winter I exhibited locally in Kent and London.  While exhibiting with Books Pavilion  I was informed that all of my publications were going into reprint again at the same time. Loved the installation  of Tea Flora Tales from 'In the Pilgrim's Footsteps 'exhibition  (seen here with my Red Trees) at St Mary's Church Burham,  organised by textile artist Rosie James  

Detail of Tea Flora Tales. Thankyou to the individuals,  groups and Embroiderer's Guild members who have continued to  create pieces to support this project.

I gave short courses from as far afield as San Diego, France and Ireland as well as locally and nationally, including conservation linked projects with the Kent Wildlife Trust. As we move into 2017 workshops and exhibitions remain the core of my work.
I continue to enjoy the challenges these set for me and the opportunity to meet with new ideas, people and makers as well as re-affirm existing professional friendships. Thankyou to all who continue to support my work and bless you all with as many  new and exciting projects you wish for and the health of your family and friends.
Time for a cuppa.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Coming Home

This is the time of year when coming home to a warm house and comfort is welcome after a walk or cycle in the cold. For many today, this is also a time when the hard weather bites deeper and harder when they have no home or for whom home feels far away. Maidstone Museum in their exhibition Coming Home, Conflict and Care reflects the First World War with an array of items, sounds and images based on two paintings in the museum’s collections by the artist Frank Hyde.

The ‘Arrival of a Convoy of Wounded Soldiers at Maidstone East’ (above) tells the story of the home front. Images and objects such as prosthetic limbs, medical uniforms and equipment, and even a wedding dress reveal the lives of the injured returning home and of the people who remained at home. I am delighted to have 'Rouge Remembrance' included in this exhibition.
As we mark the last month of the Battle of the Somme, standing Sentinal, this piece marks the friendship hard won between European Nations and our nearest neighbour France. People re-tell their own stories in small cards clipped above a hospital bed.
Nurses uniforms and embroidered handkerchiefs reminds us of the individual and personal cost of conflict and no less so today when millions are still seeking to cross borders to escape than it was 100 years ago. Will we ever learn?

I promised this would not be a 'preachy' blog. I know only to well I can 'bang-on' about the things I care about. I leave that to a soldier serving on the front line whose words have startling resonance today.
The second painting by Frank Hyde, ‘Trones Wood’ is accompanied by an array of items, sounds and images from the conflict. Uniform and military equipment used by the soldiers are shown, including a Lewis gun (which enabled the 7th Queen’s Own to hold Trones Wood). The exhibition continues until 7th January 2017 and is well worth a visit.
Thankyou to all the visitors who came to see my exhibition at Tyland Barn and who contributed to Tea Flora Tales.  Delighted that several small pieces sold including Canterbury Bells featured above.

I am planning projects, workshops and events well into 2018 and will update as they progress.  (please note, my course in December at West Dean is full. Another is scheduled for February.)
Meanwhile you can see further information on the exhibitions and workshops section of this blog including a return to Norfolk, Wales and the Netherlands,  as well as workshops in France and Switzerland in late summer.

Friday, 16 September 2016

A Growing Concern..Textiles and Community

In common with many artists I enjoy the challenge of creating pieces with relevance to given situations, audiences and locations and an association of over thirty five years with community and public arts keep me motivated and interested in the exchange and learning with others as part of this process.
Leaf Sculpture, Broad Oak Nature Reserve.

Much of my early work was in the Medway Towns and Kent working as a Community Artist with organisations such as Spiral Arts and Shape on projects with hospitals, in education and even with the prison service.  This interaction taught me to explore all kinds of materials from bamboo, willow and cloth used in the making of giant puppets to projects and installations with natural materials and found resources reflecting nature and the world around us. This featured article by Textileartist gives you more detail of this work and some handy hints if you want to engage with other people and work outdoors as part of the process.

Makes a human and emotional connection between environment and landscape through stitch is the domain of many artists who work in textile and the pieces of Australian artists Glenys Mann  featured below) and Holly Story as well as British artist Rosalind Davis also feature in the article talking about the fragility of this relationship.

Glenys Mann, Waiting #16 Bundled
This connection to people and place is marked in exhibitions I am currently featuring in, Stuff for Thought (see previous blog) with its focus on Human Rights and the textile trade.  'Madder' (detail featured below), has been accepted for an exhibition Norwich Shawls: Past Glory, Present Inspiration,in the City famous for its cloth industry (my family home). Madder marks the importance of the dye in Norwich Red and at the same time, taken as adjective, Madder comments on the hard work and often poorly paid employment in the textile industry using fragments gathered in India and Pakistan. The exhibition is on from 1st to 15th October 2016. and is chance to see rarely-seen Norwich Shawls held in private collections alongside contemporary responses in the fine Hostry at Norwich Cathedral. This event is organised by the Costume and Textile Association of the Norfolk Museums Service.
Closer to home I will have a piece on loan to Maidstone Museum in the exhibition Coming Home, Conflict and Care. This includes pieces from the collection based on two paintings in the museum’s collections by artist Frank Hyde

Arrival of a Convoy of Wounded Soldiers at Maidstone Station, Kent, 1916
In October my one person show at Kent Wildlife, Tyland Barn opens and I will also be at the Pavilion Bookshop in Covent Garden from the 5th with a book signing on the 22nd October from 2-4. Please pop in if you can.
Finally I am delighted to be included in short article by  Down Under Textiles Magazine 
with some pieces marking my strong connection with the small things of daily life I love about that Big Country. All updates on exhibitions and workshops can be seen in the drop down pages on my blogsite.