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The Sewing Machine Project at the Knit & Stitch show

I’ve got the car packed to the gunnels with Studio 21 work as we are having another showing of The Sewing Machine Project. This time it is at the Knitting & Stitching show and we will be at all three of the shows: London, Dublin and Harrogate.

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This is a great project – full of thoughtful, inspirational work and well worth a look; or if you have already seen the work ….. a second look! If you are at any of the shows please do go and say hello to the Studio 21 members who would love to see you.

I’ll be showing two works: Fold and Seam.

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Reading

The Knitting and Stitching shows have finished. It was a wonderful experience and so good to speak to so many enthusiastic people and to get such positive feedback. Thank you to everyone who came, looked, asked questions and were fantastically encouraging. I was exhausted at the end but have spent the past week catching up on domestic things and having a bit of a sit down!

For me this has meant catching up on some reading. I divide my reading matter into ‘upstairs’ books (a secret love of detective fiction) that are for reading in bed and ‘downstairs’ books (books I can get my teeth into and learn something new). I read from a wide range of  topics: anthropology, history, natural history and science, and both poetry and prose, to name just a few.

At the moment I have a pile of books waiting to be read

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and two journals that I have recently bought.

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Elementum describes itself as a journal of nature and story that includes writing from Cornwall showcasing art, photography & features inspired by our connection to the ocean & landscape. This is the first volume and it explores the theme of Calling. It is beautifully produced on nice paper and has wonderful photographs and artwork. I have ordered the second volume that will arrive soon. The second journal, Reliquae, is printed by the Corbel Stone Press and is also a compendium of poetry and prose about landscape, place and philosophy.

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There’s nothing I like better in the winter than to draw the curtains when it gets dark, make a cup of tea and sit down and read …. this lot will keep me going for a while. (I always have a pencil for marking interesting passages and this one above is particularly good!)

I’m taking a break from all social media over the Christmas period. It will be a time to relax, recharge and catch up. I’ll be back in the New Year to let you know about an idea that has been percolating in my mind for a while.

Finally, you may like to know that I have put four Marshscape Collages into my shop.

 

Exhibitions

I have work in two exhibitions that are showing over the summer.

The first exhibition is The 62 Group exhibition, Making Space at The Silk Museum, Macclesfield which opens on 17 June and runs until 3 September.

Holed Cloth 1 and Holed Cloth 2 are wall hung works. They are both made from one long piece of folded cotton duck that has had iron rings sewn into it and then soaked in a saturated salt solution for about 6 weeks.

‘A hole is just a space – an immaterial emptiness that is surrounded by a physical material that describes its shape and allows us to see a nothing. I have made holes in cloth to give form to space and to make visible the invisible’.

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The second is CLEY16 , a group exhibition at St, Margaret’s Church, Cley-next-the-Sea, Norfolk. It is from 7 July until 7 August, 10am-5.30.

I have two works in this exhibition that are inspired by vividly remembered engagements with the North Norfolk coast and explore how I can communicate visible and non-visible processes such as light, movement, sound, rhythm, erosion and regeneration.

Curlew Song notates the call of a curlew: a low drawling sound that rises to an eerie, trilling, bubbly ripple. This is a large, suspended work that can be viewed from either side. It measures 350 x 150 cms and consists of one large cloth (300 x 350 cms) that hangs double, over a long varnished spar.

Here are a couple of details.

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Molluscs are objects from my imagination that could well have been found on the strand line – the threshold between the land and the sea. 40 salt, encrusted ‘tubes’ stand upright, partially buried in sand.

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Select Festival 2016

Textile group Studio 21 are taking their Exhibition The Sewing Machine Project to the Select Festival 2106, Stroud. I am helping to put up the exhibition next Monday and it opens on Tuesday until the end of May. Do go along and have a look if you are in the area. I’ll be there on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 May and also for the ‘meet the artists’ session from 12-2pm on Saturday 7 May.

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There is a lot going on during the festival with exhibitions, lectures, workshops and the Select Trail where you can meet artists and buy and work. There is more information and a copy of the Festival brochure here. 

 

A desolate place

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‘A more desolate region can scarce be conceived, and yet it is not without beauty. In summer, the thrift mantles the marshes with soft satin, passing through all graduations of tint from maiden’s blush to lily white. Thereafter a purple glow steals over the waste, as the sea lavender bursts into flower, and simultaneously every creek and pool is royally fringed with sea aster. A little later the glass wort, that shot up green and transparent as emerald glass in the early spring, turns to every tinge of carmine.

When all vegetation ceases to live, and goes to sleep, the marshes are alive and wakeful with countless wild fowl. At all times they are haunted with sea mews and roysten crows, in winter they team with wild duck and grey geese. The stately heron loves to wade in the pools, occasionally a whopper swan sounds his loud trumpet and flashes a white reflection in the still blue waters of the fleets. The plaintive pipe of the curlew is familiar to those who frequent these marshes, and the barking of the brent geese as they return from their northern breeding places is heard in November’.

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Words frrom Mehalah, A Story of the Salt Marshes by Sabine Baring-Gould – pictures from my sketchbook

Zero

Firstly – thank you for all your kind words (see last post!)

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As you can see I have been to New York. It was my first visit and it was exactly as I imagined it would be from seeing it on the television – only busier, taller, louder and twinklier. I had an awful lot that I wanted to do and I managed to do most of it in a very short space of time. One of the best things was an exhibition at the Guggenheim.

Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950’s-60’s focused on the German artists’ group Zero that aimed to redefine art in the wake of World War II. Although I was aware of some of the artists, I hadn’t heard of the group before. The group made connections with other like-minded artists from Europe, Japan and North and South America to form an International network of more than 40 artists. Their name indicated ‘a zone of silence and of pure possibilities for a new beginning as at the countdown when rockets take off’. It provided a launchpad for a new kind of art – a clean slate.

Zero devised fresh approaches to painting by using a reduced palette, structured lines and grids and by using a wide range of materials. I was particularly interested in these materials and their processes.

There was burning

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Otto Peine, Venus of Willendorf, 1963

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Bernard Aubertin, Large Fire Book, 1961

nailing

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Gunther Uecker, White Mill, 1964

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Gunther Uecker, The Yellow Picture, 1957-8

and cutting.

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Walter Leblanc, Torsion, 1965

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Heinz Mack, Lamellan- Relief, 1950-60

Light

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Adolf Luther, Virtual Picture (Mirror Object), 1966-7

and movement.

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Gunther Uecker, New York Dancer, 1965

Some artists explored using the environment as a site for their work (does this anticipate Landart?) Hans Haacke made works that used air and water. He laid out a manifesto for the way he worked:

… make something, which experiences, reacts, to its environment, changes, is non-stable …

…make something indeterminate, which always looks different, the shape of which cannot be predicted precisely …

…make something, which cannot ‘perform’ without the assistance of its environment …

…make something, which reacts to light and temperature changes, is subject to air-currents and depends, in its functioning, on the forces of gravity…

…make something, which the ‘spectator’ handles, with which he plays and thus animates it…

…make something, which lives in time and makes the ‘spectator’ experience time…

Without seeing this before I find that this is how I have been working for some time now – it’s nice to have it summarised and laid out before me.

All the photos were taken from the Guggenheim Zero catalogue.

News

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Here is a new Green Salt Pot that I have just finished. It is waxed and salted and sits on a wonderfully worn piece of driftwood that I collected at Holkham beach. It is a small piece (under 25cms in all directions) and it will be part of 25x25x25 at Designer Crafts at the Mall 2015 in the New Year. 25x25x25 celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Society of Designer Craftsmen at the Mall Galleries, London. I am also showing a much larger work that consists of many Salt Pots – more on that later!

I also have some very exciting news that I would like to share with you! Last week I heard that I have been accepted as a member of the 62 Group of textile artists and I can’t tell you how delighted I am. I’m really looking forward to being a part of this prestigious group and to the new challenges that it will present.