My interview for the Whitley Bay Carnival Lockdown Art Market.
Surging towards a market next Saturday 28th May – Newcastle ArtsFest organised by the Lovely Lesley! My ‘transport co-ordinator’ loves it because he gets to drive up to Gray’s Monument in Newcastle city centre! So, I’m busy finishing some new pieces and planning the set up. It’s always lovely to be in the centre of Toon, lots of people to chat too and lots of lovely artwork to admire – get yourselves there if you’re in the area!
These two are awaiting their frames, the weather has turned a little stormy! I’ve been developing ideas with my hand dyed fabrics, trying to emphasise mood and texture.
Meanwhile, it’s all a bit shipshape at the Arts in Health project I work on too – this time its all about boats. Those owls we made are lovely but maybe a bit Autumnal? So I thought we could all sail away on a seaside theme over Summer, redoing our window display with a new installation.
One relative on the Chemo’ ward kindly donated some old map books, so the pages are going to be repurposed as sails. I have sterilised lots of bits of driftwood and disassembled a roll of willow edging (Poundland !) So this week we’ll be making driftwood boats to sail over the seven seas. Then we’ll add needle-felted lettering across the top of the scene and a silk painted ocean at the bottom. That should keep us all busy for a few weeks!
I’ll post more images as the project develops. (And if you want to know how to sterilise driftwood – you need to boil it in a very big pan for several hours, changing the water a few times too! Steamy!!)
A different sort of project! Working on the theme of insects, the group I work with on Wednesday have been using silk paints to create beautifully coloured insects in circular motifs. Why circles? Well, I’m doing a bit of up-cycling…a certain Swedish store sells a scarf tidy, I found one in a charity shop and disassembled it. This gave me a lot of string and a whole load of plastic rings. Haven’t thought of a use for the string… yet, but the rings are going to be used to frame these insects – are you with me so far?
Remember these guts? The Wise Birds I posted about a little while ago? Well, there’s another window next to them that’s looking a little bare. So the insect display is going to go up there. The idea is that the insects will all be flying around a central panel (see below) showing a Spring time garden. The panel is all ready for the colour to be applied. It’s a relaxing way to pass the time whilst receiving treatment – and as several people can work around the table at once its a good way to encourage peer support.
I’ll post more images when it’s all finished.
It’s been a nice change from stitching for me too! Although, you know what…I am almost ready to get back on the machine – maybe I’ll just keep drawing ’til the sunny spell we’re having here is over though!
Just to show that it hasn’t ALL been about maps lately!
Back at the end of May I did a One day Workshop with a group of Y9 High School students. They had been given the opportunity to exhibit as part of the Alnmouth Arts Festival 2015 in the lovely Aln Gift Shop . So we had the task of making something appropriate in one day.
After discussion with their teacher, I took the group through my ‘Tin Can Metamorphosis’ workshop, where simple mackerel tins are upcycled to become beautiful miniature works of art. The Y9 group used the technique of needle felting to create seaside and holiday scenes that were then housed in the upcycled tins.
(I should point out that the tins were emptied of their fishy contents, washed and dried before they became artworks – and yes, I eat a lot of mackerel!)
As you will see below, the outcomes were stunning, all reflecting the individuality of their makers and showing great skill and creativity.
Big thanks to all the Y9 pupils and Mrs Brown, I really enjoyed working with you all and hope you had a great day as well!
Many thanks to the Aln Gift Shop for taking the time to display the work so beautifully, staging it with similarly themed gifts and artworks from their stock.
And thank you to the Alnmouth Arts Festival for giving me a name check in their programme:)
I love funfairs; the colour,the noise, the excitement. The way an open space gets transformed into a magic environment when the fair moves into town. That’s the mood I’m trying to capture in my Fun Fair pieces. I like the idea of aeroplanes that only fly in circles, of Fun Houses with moving walkways and spinning floors, dodgem cars that spark and zoom. So I want the pieces to be bright and colourful, full of energy and a sense of movement.
Helter Skelter – This is another of my reclaimed tin pieces under construction – I hope to have it completed by the weekend! It’s constructed around a large mackerel tin:)
It started with a little caravan in a tin and since then I’ve been using lots of recycled tins in my work. I like the way the tin can houses the artwork, framing and protecting it. Piercing the tin and adding embellishments breaks the straight lines and creates a sense of liveliness.
There are so many different types of tin, this one used to be filled with mackerel fillets!