I have taken a bit of a break part of which has been spent in Cambodia. I thoroughly recommend it as a destination, the people are lovely and very laid back in spite of a very tragic history. Inevitably went to Angkor Wat and took some probably very cliched pics.
These of of the area known as Ta Promh and the only bit now with the trees growing through. The rest of the site is vast and I took loads of inspirational pics
We also went to Pnomh Penh, Kampot and an island, Koh Rong Samoleon which was relaxing and totally off grid
On our return I went to Birmingham to the Embroiderers Guild AGM to report on my year as one of their scholars. It feels like the end of an era especially as I am considering moving on from the ways in which I have been working for the past 3 or 4 years. It will still have an ethical basis but I would like to explore alternative ways of mark making.
However I have not quite finished yet. At the moment I am working on a very large piece that is to go into Romsey Abbey. It will go into a large arch and is double sided and will consist of 5 separate ‘banners’. Since it is time consuming I am hoping that the elements both together and apart will have various different guises over the coming months and over time will be altered in some way, hence title of Metamorphosis.
This is how far I have got.
I will document here the nature of the changes as and when they happen so watch this space!
Last night saw the opening of a new exhibition of which ‘A Common Thread’ is a part. It comprises some of the work which was displayed at the Knitting and Stitching Shows plus a load of extras that did not make the final cut.
I loved the window display and my pieces blend really well with Frances Marrs beautiful ceramics.
I am particularly indebted to Ian and Nichole Wall for their efforts in providing the lovely recycled wood frames. Link here to their website.
The exhibition is open until March 14th and well worth a visit if you are in the area especially with the added incentive if the cafe with its delicious fare
I confess I have found it rather difficult to get going after the break but here I am at last. Last year was a busy year particularly being Embroiderers Guild Scholar but as that is now coming to an end, I can look forward to another year which promises to be quite busy.
The first event is my exhibition at Rums Eg, Romsey, Hants. which contains quite a bit of the work (and some extras) that I did as Scholar. This runs from 21st January to 14th March.
There is then a bit of a lull for which I am grateful and then I am doing a 2 day workshop at ArtVanGo at the beginning of June. Hard after that is Tea with Rozanne Hawksley hosted by Room 6. This is on 13th June which is a Saturday from 2pm onwards at Lower Upham Village Hall. More about both of these later
I will be part of an exhibition At Eastleigh College at the beginning of July and then as a guest artist with Zeronine textile artists at Hilliers Arboretum from the end of July and all of August.
At the moment I am planning to do Festival of Quilts and The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace with my trusty sidekick Alison Hulme and Bell, Hulme and Moore will be present at The Big Textile Show in Leicester again.
In October also, I am hoping to be part of an exhibition entitled ‘Stitched’ at Romsey Abbey.
In the meantime work will no doubt gather apace on From The Earth for June 2016. For anyone interested the call for Artists will open at the end of the month, giving people about a year to come up with something good.
I am now somewhat exhausted after the knitting and Stitching Shows virtually back to back. I have enjoyed the process immensely having met some lovely lovely people who were extremely kind about my work. I was also lucky enough to be exhibiting alongside a fab bunch of graduates and my fellow Guild Scholar. Here is a bit of a plug for each:
Harriet Stiles also an Embroiderers Guild Scholar with her hand embroidered Jewellery – more info here
Hanny Newton with her goldwork rocks. She also makes the most fabulous bow ties she can also be found here
Maria Boyle who won the Textile Study Group graduate of the year award. Fabulous textures. Her website can be found here
Chris Woodcock with these wonderful forms. More info here
Georgina Bellamy, probably the fastest emboiderer in the west with her stunning jacket. Link to her website
Olly Mason with her stitch and concrete. Her website may be found here
Last but not least we have Helen Sill fellow Eastleigh alumni and Room 6 member. She will not thank me for this photo. Website is here
It’s now onwards and upwards – lots in the pipeline. The next event for me is an exhibition at Rums Eg, Romsey in the new year – more of this when the publicity comes out
A great weekend at the Big Textile Show in Leicester. This is a new show only in its second year and I am sure that it will only get better and better. One of the biggest thrills for me was the acquisition of these wonderful vintage threads
I am now looking forward to The Knitting and Stitching Show. So little time and so much to do. I am still in the process of crossing the is and dotting the ts on my Scholarship work and crossing my fingers that it will look well in the allotted space. I am also busy packing and labelling for my stand , which I am again sharing with Alison Hulme who is minding the shop and also selling her hugely popular pinnies. We have done a bit of a collaboration and alongside her own designs there are a limited number of eco printed pinnies available. The stand number is TGB13.
Also on the Embroiderers Guild stand with me is fellow Eastleigh luminary, Helen Sill. She is one of the very few lucky ones to have secured a spot in The Graduate Showcase this year. We are both to be found at TGJ14
My good friend Lindsay Taylor has a large exhibition this year and this should be stunning. I am also looking forward to seeing the work of her fellow Isle of Wighter Mary Flynn whose work is constructed from finds from the beaches of the Island.
Lastly but no means least I was thrilled to discover that another good friend Cath Von Isenburg has a stand. Her work is exquisite and it will be lovely to see her again after such a long time. Her stand is TGE14
In spite of so much to do my mind is drifting towards the future. There are lots of exciting things happening for me in the pipeline not only next year but also in 2016. More about these later…. first things first
I have been experimenting with my jar dyed fabrics. I wanted to do something loosely based on the flaky scots pine bark that I have been playing with from the Common.
These are a couple of samples. In the interests of testing whether the dyes are at all colourfast and to distress the pieces, i threw them in the washing machine. Apart from a slight colour shift the dyes held well including the elderberry.
I then went onto working on a much larger scale
I am not sure this will make it into the exhibition since it is radically different to all the other work I have completed
I returned from my holiday and checked on the jars that have been stewing gently on my conservatory windowsill. Since it has been very hot I decided that it was unlikely they would go any further – the liquid in the jars were all clear. I also want to try some more plants etc and there is a limit to the number of jars I have
As is soften the case with natural dyes some of the promise of depth of colour was lost when they were opened
This one is oak bark on alum mordanted cotton. It was originally very much like the birch bark from my previous experiments so I added some rusty nails. It has come out a pale mottled grey with some quite lovely marks including some tannish areas
This is the willow leaf and twig cloth I chucked in some copper staples which has definitely had some interesting effects
This one is the Forsythia mordanted with alum. This has come out a yellowy green – I was expecting more green than I achieved
This one is the cherry bark I was hoping for more pinkish tones but the mistake is mine. I added some vinegar when I should have added some alkali. I am going to repeat this experiment. I am still pleased with the results
Lastly and most interestingly I froze some elderberries last year. I kind of expected purplish colours and in the jar the fabric appeared black. I was surprised therefore with this result.
a beautiful shade of teal. I am well aware of the notorious fugitive reputation that elderberries have. I am interested to see whether the act of freezing has any effect on this. I am going to have another go with this years elderberries too without freezing.
I am working very much on the principle of the need to work with nature and not try to influence it too much. I am going to use what I achieve with no preconceptions and let it inform me of the next step. Thus if the fabric fades so be it I shall still use it.
I still have 2 jars of St Johns Wort, one jar of honesty flowers and a jar of birch bark which has yet to exhaust.
In the meantime I need to start thinking about how I am to work with my fabrics