Once again this year I have decided to open my studio during Warwickshire open studios fortnight. There are 144 venues to visit, some are the workshops of individuals and others are exhibitions of collaborating artists or art groups.
Last year I found this to be a very interesting and rewarding experience. There are so many people out there who love to come along and discover what local artists are up to and watch the process. It would be lovely to see anyone who would like to find out more about the magical process of indigo.
Following on from the open studio event, I will be running indigo dyeing workshops. For more details contact me through the open studios link above.
I saw Chiharu Shiota’s work at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne last year. I read in ‘Embroidery’ magazine that another exhibition of her work is presently on in Walsall. The images below are from ‘Other Side’ at the Towner. Shiota installed five doors which opened into web like tunnels of black woollen threads. The thread shadows outside the installation caught you too.
Our ‘Traces’ exhibition, previously shown in Cirencester, will be in the Society of Designer Craftsmen Gallery in Rivington Street for a week from Monday, 7 April. The gallery is a short walk from Old Street tube station (leave the station by no. 2 exit). Directions and a map are available on the SDC website.
This sample is part of my research into ancient pathways and the layers of history associated with these. “Much has been written about travel, much less of the road. Writers have treated the road as a passing means to an end.” Edward Thomas
How do we work out what is going on inside? How do all of those little thoughts and ideas become a reality? These are two of the challenges I am constantly confronted with. So much is going on inside and my head gets blocked up with it all.
Drawing, covered with scribbled notes, is my way of recording thought. Once recorded my mind is free to roam further ready for the next creative idea to seep in.
Revisiting these simple little ideas can often spark new directions or help to existing work to progress further.
I am taking my work in a new direction – well revisiting an old one really. Sculptural forms using rough yarn and waste fabric strips. I have been experimenting with knitting tubular shapes. A circular needle or 4 needles? Working out which is most successful. Both are very challenging when working with rough yarn or ‘yarn’ cut from fabric strips.
We were very fortunate to to have Liz Harding write the following review of our exhibition shown in Cirencester in October 2013.
The first impression on entering the gallery is of light and space, not easy to achieve in such a low ceilinged room. The group has presented their work in an elegantly simple way which suggests empathy between the exhibitors and this is evident in the sensitivity with which their work has been arranged.
This sensitivity is also apparent in the way the hints of colour and circular forms in Val Cross’s centrally placed ‘Memory Pool’ are thoughtfully placed with the rusty brown metal circle providing a focal point around which the other rings appear to float. ‘Mind Wave I – III’ suggest a development in Val’s thinking. It will be interesting to see how these might develop in form and scale.
‘Gas Works’ simple hand stitched blocks by Caroline Hibbs succeeds as a textural statement. There is a maturity in the way they have been kept simple with subtle partial repetitions and occasional glimpses of red.
Jean Kirk’s subtle ‘Traces in Time’ shows the potential of simple repetitive movement created through stitch when used on a large scale to flow from ceiling and along the floor.
Marilyn Hall’s blue ‘Circles Series’ move in the breeze from the doorway and raw edges and hanging threads add to the light floating effect. Careful examination is rewarded with tiny glimpses of white stitching amongst the blue. Very different in process and mood from Marilyn’s previous work, it will be interesting to see how this more minimal approach will develop.
In ‘Overlook” Denise Jones makes clever use of the gallery space using the narrow shelf of the ducting to make a site specific pieces of work which as it travels around the space quietly encompasses the work of the whole group. ‘Quietly, with every stitch’ is well placed, in keeping with its title not immediately obvious when one enters the gallery. With its beautiful sheen and movement created by subtle use of directional hand stitch the piece speaks loudly of the potential for hand stitch to make a strong statement.
It is to the credit of the whole group that they have not been afraid to make work of sufficient scale to stamp their authority on the space in this their first group exhibition, long may it continue. It will be interesting to follow the progress of the group as they continue to grow in confidence.
I’ve been weaving strips of linen to help explore the relationship between even weave linen and embroidery. I need to re-affirm the reasons why I use linen, so I thought I would go back to making the cloth to see what I find out.
It is fascinating, taking note of the rhythm, and the plucking of the bobbin when it catches the warp-just like a cello or violin.
The tangled threads beautifully ‘become’ the structured grid. I am more appreciative of the threads in the process and the preciousness of cloth, the time it takes to make a small piece by hand.
I’m looking forward to taking it off the loom and to feel how firm it is.