Tag Archives: colour from the landscape

Cley/Clay

Cley Beach, February 27: Unseasonably warm weather – the car thermometer tells me it is 16 degrees C.

Clear blue sky, clear blue sea.

A pale blue sea haar obscures the horizon so that sea and sky become one.

Gentle NW wind with a slight nip.

Lazy waves

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It is only about an hour after high tide, so I have to walk along the top of the shingle ridge. Just below, recent big tides have dragged the stones down the beach in huge arching wave patterns to reveal the sand beneath. The incoming waves fill the pebble curves as they break, and it is obvious how their dragging action has shifted the stones to draw sweeping arcs right along the beach. In places, higher, dark shadowed ridges run parallel to the pebbles. Here, the sea has worn away the loose top surface to reveal the clay bed underneath.

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The name, Cley-next-the-Sea is a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon word Claeg or Clay, and today the clay is truly next to the sea. I am surprised to see thick veins of white clay running through the usual red and looking closer I see that the red clay is also tipped with grey.

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I have no camera or sketchbook with me to record this but sitting on the shingle ridge with the sun on my back I imagine a cloth, rubbed with a slick wet mixture of soft clay: a deep dark terracotta red merging into softer yellow/white – textured, red and luscious. Walking back to the car across the dyke I decide to drive back to the beach and collect some of the clay with which to colour a piece of work. I pick up just enough red clay and white clay to colour one cloth. I don’t take any of the grey clay and now that I’m at home I’m beginning to regret it.

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This morning in the studio I draw some lightening quick sketches, ideas for a possible clay-ed cloth. I wonder what it will be…..?

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For one day only

I’m very happy to have been invited by Viv and Kev at Art Van Go (stand TGF1) to be one of several Artists in Residence at this year’s Knitting & Stitching show at Ally Pally and I am going to be there this coming Saturday.

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The brief is to ‘examine options, explore ideas and work through processes’ and the idea is that each artist should work in their space as if it were their own studio. I am going to be bringing along some unfinished and unresolved works in progress. I am working through various new ideas at the moment and I intend to show how the concept of one of these ideas begins and how it could possibly unfold.

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The works are intended to be a small part of a much larger body of work that looks at the connections that can be made between the experience of different places. It looks at the encounter with new environments and how the experience of a new location is touched by similarities and associations to more familiar places in a never-ending, and possibly unconscious, triangulation of place, experience and memory.

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I am a great collector and just about every time I  go for a walk I will pick up pebbles, shells, wood, rope, fossils, seaweed and rusty detritus. These ‘evocative’ objects come from various locations and create associations to a particular place and can be seen as reminder, or a touchstone, of experiences and impressions that in turn feed the creative mind and the imagination. I am exploring how these objects could be included into these small works.

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On Saturday I will bring the inspiration for this work – drawings, found objects and things I have already made (including the work you see here). I will be experimenting  with colours collected from the landscape: chalk, yellow ochre, clay and sea coal and other materials to paint cloth and then when its dry, hopefully, I’ll be waxing and stitching it – I may even sew in an eyelet or two. At this moment nothing is set in stone ….. if you are there do come along and see what happens and to say hello.

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 I’ll report back next week with what I managed to achieve!

Finally, also at the Knitting and Stitching shows, I have two pieces of work in the Colour Notes exhibition by textile group Studio 21. The works tie in very neatly with what I will be doing with Artists in Action at Ally Pally as they are both coloured using ‘colours from the landscape’: chalk, yellow ochre and sea coal.

fullsizeoutput_d1f.jpeg copyGround Work: CoilLinen, wire, hand-collected and hand-ground chalk, hand-collected and hand-ground yellow clay, beeswax, sea water. Approx. 29 x 29 x 10 cm

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Ground Work: Fold, Linen, wire, hand-collected and hand-ground seacoal, sea water, beeswax, found threads. Approx. 35 x 40 x 10 cm

 

Exhibiting

I am going to be at the Contemporary Textiles Fair at the Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington all next weekend. For the first time there will be a guest artist at the event and I was absolutely delighted to be invited to exhibit there and to have the opportunity to speak about my work and to give a workshop.

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Ground Cloth Object: Coil

The Landmark Arts Centre is a former church and I will be showing 3 or 4 Sluice Creek Cloths and a few ‘never before seen’ samples from the series in the Bell Room, and in the main hall I will show a few ‘salt’  Liminal Objects and some small pieces that are part of a new body of work that I am calling ‘Colour from the Landscape’.

Ground Cloth Fragment - Chalk

Ground Cloth Fragment: Chalk

It will be a busy weekend with the talk and short workshop. The talk is on Saturday at 12.00 noon and I’ll be speaking about the influences on my work and the materials I use. There will be photos, sound, samples to touch and sketchbooks to look at – a multi-sensory event.

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Sluice Creek Cloth: Masts and Halyards 1

In the workshop we will be making different types of paint from materials that I have gathered from the landscape. Hopefully we’ll have time to grind up the pigments, make paint (including watercolour) and try them out.

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Liminal Objects: Wrack

I’m really looking forward to this event. I enjoy meeting people and this is the perfect opportunity.

This is what the catalogue says about the exhibition.

‘Local artist Debbie Lyddon has been invited back to the Contemporary Textiles Fair this year to exhibit her work inspired by the coast, and what she notices when walking through the landscape. Lyddon’s often sculptural, pieces evoke moody skies and sweeping scenery, without becoming a direct representation of a particular vista. Her experimentation with non-traditional materials such as bitumen and dried out sea salt, alongside her main staple; cloth, introduces an element of conscious, process-based decision making; informed by natural environment’.