As a New Licentiate Member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen, I have been helping, in a very small way, with setting up this year’s exhibition at the Mall Gallery. Having the word ‘New’ on my name badge felt rather like wearing an ‘L’ plate.
It was fascinating to see how a gallery full of packages, bubble wrap, step ladders and pots of paint is turned into a vibrant exhibition, and a priviledge to meet and talk to some very talented people.
I’m here!! Not doing too well with uploading photos of my work but I will gloss over that fact. Following on from our graduation show in July 2012 I am continuing with the theme of protection. There is building going on in my house at the moment which along with protecting us from the cold, will also to provide me with a lovely warm studio in which to work – this is definitely inspiring therefore watch this space there will be images!!
I could call this blog revisiting…
I finished this work a month ago after finishing the degree. I began making it a few years ago when my very dear father died. I hope there is a sense of time and moving forward in the piece. I found it interesting that I chose to revisit this piece of work in particular after the course had ended. I called it ‘Reclaiming Myself’. Looking at the piece now, I’m seeing time bending back on itself rather than a regular linear progression. I’m asking myself is that like time and memory bending back and then mapping a path forward?
I’ve been working on several pieces of work simultaneously. These are also revisited samples that I have now embroidered. This might become a long thin horizontal work. I might call the work ‘Between Print and Ink’ but it is still evolving.
I read something written by Anne Morrell yesterday. She says,
“Knowing what to leave out is as important as knowing what to put in. I cannot see how one can separate an idea from the making, and the journey. That is the idea and how you decide to say it. Embroidery, or the part that interests me, is a language as far as I’m concerned.’ (Excerpt from ‘Madras to Manchester’, to accompany her solo exhibition in Lodz, Poland 2001.)
In the meantime I went to an Art History open day and spoke to another student about embroidered textiles. The student responded, “I’m here about the ART’. I thought what a great title for some work.
I made these two small pieces as my ‘Reply’.
A second student said to me that his mum, ‘…did that sewing stuff’. So that’s why I made 2 replies.
Finally, I’m beginning to work towards a single cloth. The stitches are highly visible when stitched on the cloth in white bamboo and silk thread and then are secreted into the background linen when I paint them with dye. Through that process I am playing with the idea of visibility and invisibility.
Here are some images showing progress from last time. I thought some more about the photograph of the sealed envelopes in an empty shop space.
A friend, Ruth Collins from Wey Valley Workshop recommended the calligraphy book by Denise Lachs. It is fantastic and one of the images from my first blog came from this book. I am also reading about Virginia Woolf again and back on the trail of Marian Stoll.
It all seems to feed into my work.
I have completed the samples for the next large work and have been using new silk thread from Habu. It irons like a dream and makes the cloth feel and sound like handmade paper. It is so crisp and reminds me of documents.
My next task is to make the 4 cloths.
Dawn Rudman and Gareth Bates did an amazing job coordinating the World of Threads Festival. Their website http://www.worldofthreadsfestival.com gives full coverage of all the exhibitions and access to a fascinating archive of Fibre Artist Interviews that they have been compiling for nearly two years.
Besides our degree show of course, my favourite exhibition from the World of Threads Festival was the Quiet Zone at the Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre in Oakville. Catherine Dormer and Judy Martin both had work in this show.
I was also very taken with the figure seen in a gallery of Inuit art known as Inukshuk. This means ‘in the likeness of a human’ in the Inuit language and has the traditional meaning ‘Someone was here’ or ‘You are on the right path’.
We made it!! An exhibition in a public building in Oakville Toronto. What an achievement.
I have found the entire experience extremely worthwhile. So much to learn about staging exhibitions. It was a remarkable feeling to put your treasured pieces on display in a public building and walk away and leave them. It takes the work out of our private space and gives it to the public.