My interview for the Whitley Bay Carnival Lockdown Art Market.
New work is my focus, I’m applying for several, larger shows so I’ll need work to display (& sell!) I’ll let you know which shows if I get accepte!
I would like to make larger pieces but these are obviously time consuming, and more difficult to transport. So, I’ve decided to focus on 40×40 landscapes for a while- my plan is to get 4 done in the next 6 weeks 😱 that’ll keep me out of mischief (but p’raps not too busy for school and national politics 😉)
Our family week in Wales was fantastic- why did none of you tell me sooner how gorgeous West Wales is??
In between sea swimming and ice creams there were cliff walks on the beautiful Pembroke Coastal Path and visits to Tenby and St David’s. My sketchbook didn’t get quite as much use as I’d hoped but my mind is full of experiences and my photo album is full to bursting.
So this week I’m sketching out the four images that I’m hoping to develop. I’m drawing them to the chosen scale and taking a quick tracing of the main composition to help with building up the appliqué.
Then I get the paints out. I’m using watercolour, water based dyes, inktense and some acrylic. When I paint, it is never the final stage- it is very definitely part of my process; painting allows me to assess how I am going to construct a piece. I can think about colour, texture and composition.
When I’m mark making with brush or pencil I’m thinking about how to transfer it to cloth and stitch. When I apply colour I’m thinking about what fabric and threads I’ll need (thanks Oliver Twists for the threads 😉) The process of painting and drawing helps me to develop my composition ideas into textiles and work through any issues.
I’m pleased with the two images I’ve developed so far, now I’m deciding whether to crack on with these in fabric, or to focus on getting the other two designs developed to paint stage. I’m tempted to start the textiles but I think it would be interesting to get the 4 designs done and then work on the four pieces.
What would you do?
21 years of an Angel Exhibition
Thursday 31 January – Saturday 30 March 2019
The Gallery, Gateshead Central Library
This week sees the opening of the 21 Years of an Angel Exhibition. The show marks the end of Angel20, a yearlong programme of activities in Gateshead which began on the Angel of the North’s 20th anniversary in February.
I delivered a one-day workshop as part of the programme. We made needle felted replica angels. During the workshop, participants learned how to create and felt over, a wire armature.
The basic armature is covered with polyfill – this can be needle felted to build the form, saving the need to use wool fibres at this stage.
The shaping of the Angel was entertaining 😊
It’s important to keep things simple at this stage though as greater definition can be shaped once the wool fibres are added.
We used rust coloured merino tops to match the Angel’s construction materials- it’s made of weather resistant Cor-ten steel, containing a small amount of copper, which forms a patina on the surface that mellows with age.
Details were added with a deeper brown fibre.
Then thread was used to add finer details.
Each angel is mounted on a ‘landscape’ created from a fish tin and fabric
The last few days have been taken up with setting up and previewing the Fusion Textile Artists Network exhibition at Gallery45 in Felton.
The first of almost monthly events I’m involved in this year, the Fusion show is called Connections. Ten artists are exhibiting new textile artwork developed in response to that one word title.
As with any exhibition, there are little hiccoughs…getting everyone and everything to the gallery on the right day and at the same time, working out the hanging system, finding all the labels and stock sheets…if you’ve ever had to do it you’ll know what I mean!
Unwrapping and sorting the work is always pleasing, seeing what my talented colleagues have created. Underneath the protective layers of cloth and bubble wrap lie examples of hand and machine stitch, beading, dyeing and more.
With only a few hours to get the job done, we clear the space and put the work out around the room.
Then it’s time for the serious step work out – up and down the step ladders hanging and adjusting pieces, using the spirit level to check things are straight and grouping by ‘eye’. Up the ladder, adjust, down the ladder, step back and review…back up the ladder- no wonder my legs feel like they’ve climbed a mountain!
I headed off to do school run duties and print out the labels on card, leaving the others to do final tweaks. I think, we were all pretty pleased with the end result.
The opening event was on Saturday, we got there early to put up the labels and sort out last minute bits and pieces. Then it was time to celebrate with tea and cake 😊. It was lovely to meet and greet people and share the ideas behind the work.
The exhibition shows great variety, demonstrating the versatility of textile media. Fabric, thread and mixed media are used to create abstract, representational, 2D and 3D pieces.
‘Connections’ is on until the 5th May. If you get to see it please leave a comment in the visitors book- we look forward to reading your views!
Gallery 45 is a gorgeous venue in Felton, Northumberland. From Saturday, the gallery will be holding the latest exhibition of Textile Art made by members of the Fusion Textile Artists Network. The exhibition is called ‘Connections’. The theme has been freely interpreted by the members of the network, so there will be a wide range of subject matter and textile processes to view.
We spent a weekend working with Textile Artist Shelley Rhodes in the Long Room at the gallery last Autumn. Some of the pieces in this new exhibition have developed from that workshop.
The work will be exhibited in the main gallery and in the Long Room and will be on display from March 4th until May 5th. There will be an opening event where you will be able to meet some of the artists this Saturday, 4th March, from 11am – 1pm – refreshments will be available!
The gallery itself is open from 10 – 5 Tuesday to Saturday and 11-4 on Sunday.
For my part, I’ve been exploring the connection one feels with the landscape; how that natural space can be healing and soothing. I love the feeling of being somewhere that is so open, beautiful and powerful. The landscape precedes us and will continue long after we are gone. There is much research to show that connecting with nature is beneficial to our health and well being. I have been visiting and recording the landscapes of Northumberland and Scotland and it is this work that I will be including in the exhibition.
All the pieces are created using hand coloured fabrics and free machine embroidery. It is quite a slow process but it encourages contemplation and I like the painterly effect it achieves.
As part of the exhibition programme, I will be running my Tin Can Metamorphis Workshop on Saturday 25th March. If you’d like to come along to this please contact the gallery direct!
Its half term here, no school for a week, the clocks have gone back so the evenings come quickly, giving time for reflection on what I am making and why I am doing it.
Two new sources are infiltrating my ideas this week, firstly Boro textiles. Wonderful recycled cloth from Japan. My initial research shows that these fabrics were made of necessity from worn out fabrics and garments by peasants in Northern Japan. More details on the wonderful Sri Threads website.
I love the texture and layers of these fabrics, they seem to encapsulate time passing, weathering, the effects of nature.
A step further on from my appliqué and stitch perhaps. It’s certainly giving me ideas; new influences slosh around in my mind like ingredients stirred up in a cauldron. These fabrics are bumping up against those Joan Eardley landscapes I’ve become so attached to, sketchbook experiments are developing.
In the post today, I received a lovely book by Alice Fox. I’m taking part in a workshop weekend with her in a couple of weeks, so I thought I’d do some homework beforehand.
I was reading the first few chapters with a good cup of tea, when I discovered that I shouldn’t be drinking the tea but using it as a mordant! So now I have a baking tray full of tea soaked rusty objects in the front room!
I KNEW there’d be a use for all those rusty items I’ve collected! The book also mentions lots more textile artists, some new, some familiar, all further cause for research.
I’m collating boards on some of these themes on Pinterest, it’s a great way to store ideas and themes. So long as I don’t spend too long searching and too little time making….