High Summer on the Common

Took a walk n the Common today without my faithful friend. Since he has become epileptic I find that he needs my full attention, so I reserve my walks with him merely for observation and a little light gathering. It is a very hot sultry day and I could hear the hum of the insects
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One of my aims was to fine some suitable flora to refill some of my now empty jars. The above is a potential candidate. I also gathered some dock seeds and some blackberries.
They are now all sitting in jars of water. I am going to see what happens to the water before filling them with fabric. I suspect I need more of all.

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Lots of flowers in bloom still to be spotted
However it is clear that seed and berry season will soon be upon us.

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Another aim was to take some of my finished cloths and photograph them in situ as it were
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Flowers in the Rain

Am somewhat preoccupied at present but wanted to share the variety of flora to be found on the common at the moment

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Colour from the Common

One of my aims in my study of the Common this year is to discover the range of colours that can be achieved from plants/tress/berries etc from the Common. Working with colour is not my usual remit so it should be an interesting experiment.

My first attempt was with the birch bark which was very successful and I have since repeated it. I then discovered a whole plantation of Forsythia on the northern boundariesImage

This became number 2

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Following on from this I have added oak bark, cherry bark and honesty flowers. I am using the slow technique of leaving the fabric with the plant material in Kilner jars in the hope of getting as strong colours as possible. I am also hoping for some interesting marks. The jars will sit on my conservatory window ledge for most of the summer. 

Following on from my success of printing with willow and in pursuit of a darker green, I thought I would try this

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The jars of fabric and plant material are processed in exactly the same way as one would bottle fruit. This is in order to seal the jar and prevent mould from forming. Time will tell whether some of indeed any have been successful.

Thinking ahead I have been wondering what I should do with these fabrics. Musing about the Common and what images immediately come to mind I think it is almost always the row of beautiful Scots Pines by the underpass on the Avenue that were planted in commemoration of the First World War. 

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In particular I find the bark of these trees very beautiful

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Today I found some pieces that had fallen off so I took them home

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Not sure where I am going with this yet but food for thought

 

 

 


Quiet

I have been somewhat quiet of late. Definitely a case of the winter blues and also waiting for things to happen. It is interesting how much my work is dictated and defined by the seasons. I have decided that there is still a great deal of mileage in terms of inspiration from the Common, more about that when I have decided on a direction. In the meantime some recent imagesImage

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All Done!

Autumn seems to have come early this year, Lots of leaves are on the turn.

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This awareness has been instrumental to my dyeing like a madwoman over the last couple of weeks. I do not wish to be in the position that I was in with my final body of work with a ton of inspiration but nothing to work with. In the end this lack was quite serendipitous and determined the final outcome in an extremely positive way. However I have lots of things in the pipeline over the next few months so I need materials on hand to follow through. I have now finally hung up my dyepots for the forseeable future. My hands are a seemingly fetching shade of grey and the conservatory looks like hell.
I am in need of some more tissue pieces. Unfortunately. although interestingly the prints on the paper I used at the beginning of the year were rubbish so I had to use a thicker paper which seemed to come out ok

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I only hope I will be able to use them in the same way as the finer tissue
By the time I had finished with all the paper the water in my pot was as black as ink so I put in some final pieces of fabric with dramatic effect.IMG_0354

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I have now got my needle and thread out with the aim of stitching all winterIMG_0356-001

These are just little bits of nonsense – samples to work out where I am going.


Uncommon Ground

I have been looking forward to going to this Exhibition at Southampton City Art Gallery with much anticipation and it did not disappoint. Its full title in ‘Uncommon Ground, Land Art is Britain 1966-1979’ and it gave a real flavour of what was happening in the the Land Art movement during this period.
Some highlights were –942564_533936399989903_1319876772_n Top; Forked twigs in Water 1979   – Andy Goldsworthy
FULTON,_Hamish_AC_200067 Middle; Seven Days Alberta 1978 – Hamish Fulton
AC_1211613 Bottom;Stone Circle 1972 – Richard Long

I think one of the things that struck me most about the whole exhibition was the importance of photography in this early work – something that has been mirrored in what I am doing at present. It is a fabulous exhibition and well worth a visit and the bonus is that it is free. Also there is an additional exhibition at the John Hansard Gallery examining the work of Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson.


Green at last!

P1010678 The Common is finally green at last and the trees all have their new sets of leaves. The vivid limes we have at present will gradually tone down. It is lovely to see how things change on a daily basis, particularly after such a long and protracted period of hibernationP1010683