Monday, 25 May 2020

The Open Road '

The exhibition Gypsy Maker 4, supported by the Romani Cultural and Arts Council, officially closed this weekend on what would have been my Grandmother's birth date. You can still see a virtual exhibition on the Art in the Attic link until 19 June.
I wonder what she would have made of this current situation we are in. I know that she would recognise the eagerness in me to get out on to the 'open road' when I could during this period of confinement. 'Drom' means the 'way' or road in Romani and I am finding 'my way'.
Hers is the generation that saw two World Wars, The Great Depression and the Spanish Flu..not forgetting the Cuban missile crisis. As hard as it feels at times, we will get through this. In 1994 she received a highly commended from Norfolk County Council Libraries Service for her 'Memories of a Romany Childhood'
Thankyou for those who purchased sets of my postcards. All the monies from the sales (except for postage) went to the Trussel Trust. An assorted set of 7-8 cards is £7, at least £5 will go to the trust (all of the hearts have gone) I am also donating 10% of sales from my shop at this time to Shelter. 
During the last few weeks I have working on projects for exhibition next year.

Finally, all going well and no down time in the service, I go live with Fibre Arts Take Two  on Facebook this Friday at 10.00am GMT and 7.00pm in Australia. So lets discuss what we value and miss and the value of creativity at this time..

Saturday, 25 April 2020

What We Value,What We Miss,

With the closing of borders as the world 'stays at home', this time seem particularly poignant as we stay apart during the Covid 19 crisis to protect each other and our health services. Never has the world seemed so silent of the sound of human movement.
I led a challenge for Textileartist earlier in the month in which I asked people to create a textile collage on the theme  'What We Value-What We Miss'. These are the same questions I asked back in February as part of my exhibition launch for Places, Spaces, Traces with Gypsy Maker 4 in terms of issues of 'identity' and 'place'. What you value enough to bring with you if forced to leave your home, and what you would miss if you had to leave it behind? In these strange times, these simple words have equal resonance now we find our lives restricted of movement. It is heartening to see people share the things of importance to them in stitch.
The new work for Gypsy Maker 4 can be seen in an on line exhibition at the Art in The Attic. It has led to an invitation for me to create an installation for exhibition in Antwerp in 2021. As part of this project I would like to add some additional words or even small stitched pieces reflecting on these times and connecting us to each other.  See my website link for further details on how to be involved.
I have created some of small pieces  along the same theme, looking at the things I value in my garden and home. These are for sale in my shop  of which, 10% will got to Shelter. I am also posting a few things on instagram as part of the artist support pledge  A scheme which supports artists, makers and creative practitioners who have suddenly found themselves with limited income. 
 April Flowers Snake's Head Lilly

April Flowers Woad
Some of what I have been doing, I realise, has been 'Smokes and Mirrors' as like all of you, I am managing things day to day and learning that its is ok not to feel ok a lot of the time, staying at home need not be lonely and as we share our stories in stitch. This blogpost 'Social Distancing Stitch, on Mr Xstitch discusses
On a more upbeat note. I was delighted to lead a sketchbook collage mini workshop for free under an initiative set up by West Dean College. of bite-size tutorial videos from the College's expert short course tutors. I was due to teach in May. I look forward to meeting you back there when we can.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Social Distancing Stitches..Staying at Home

As I work in my studio in the garden, for once 'staying home' 
I wanted to let you know that I will be taking part in the Community Stitch Challenge, from Monday 30 March with Textileartist. It follows on from Sue Stone's fabulous launch last week. I am calling the exercise 'Social Distancing Stitch' and will focus on looking at the everyday things we have around us. Please feel free to join me in this free challenge.
During this time my thoughts turn to the NHS staff, and other key workers working hard to keeping us safe, fed and warm. For many in the global community this is a far more challenging time and where fresh drinking water is harder to come by and simply washing hands is more difficult. Creative people have found that events, performances, teaching and exhibitions have all but disappeared. It’s a tough time for everyone as our lives change. Small businesses and the self-employed are particularly vulnerable to the impact of these necessary changes. I am equally heartened however, of how resourceful everyone is, and social media has become a blessing of communication. This is where the creative industries are still proving their value and sharing their skills in providing suggestions for activities whilst staying home.

This week would have seen the opening of Gypsy Maker 4 at the Rug Gallery in Cardiff. I am very proud of being part of this ground-breaking concept devised, owned and developed by the Romani Cultural and Arts Company. We will reschedule
Who could have seen a month ago most of the population movement so restricted as we work together for the benefit of all?

The Image on the left is Pani Kekkavva (Kettle) Rose 2019, 

I am thrilled to be in the latest edition of Stitch magazine. My project, The Wasteland and is good companion to the Stitch Challenge. If you go digital, you can get three issues for £5.

Finally, I am trying to get to grips with updating some items on my small shop. Please be aware I am adhering to Government guidelines, you will get things ordered but they may take longer. For anyone who orders anything I will donate 10% of my sales to Shelter or Plantlife.
Remember, Social Distancing, does not mean 'distant,' Self Isolation need not mean 'lonely'. Stay Safe, Stay at Home.


Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Wake Up

As we wake up on a beautiful Spring morning with a sky free of vapour trails it is hard to take in that so much has changed in the last few days. Many of the thing we have all do as part of our daily life, meeting friends, seeing family, work and all the enjoyable things we look forward to doing have been curtailed in recent days. Things are changing fast yet, at the same time, the world as becoming eerily quiet. We are all working in unknown territory here and the uncertainty this brings is challenging. 
I intend to continue to create and stay in touch with family and friends as much as is possible whilst working at home.  As we all move through the days and weeks ahead as a community we need to support those who are working tirelessly on our behalf to provide essential services and in accordance with guidelines from the Department of Health.  In these difficult times I urge you all to look after each other, remain well, be creative and kind. Access to some of the things we enjoy, the arts, our gardens and friendship is more important than ever.

Maybe we have the strength of our previous generations to calmly face what comes and prepare for the change the future brings. 

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Gypsy Maker 4

Places, Spaces, Traces a specially commissioned body of work for The Romani Cultural & Arts Company for their groundbreaking Gypsy Maker project opened last month in Newport. The Romani Cultural and Arts Company is an initiative that supports the development of innovative works by established and emerging Gypsy, Roma and Traveller artists. 
The exhibition also features the work of Dan Turner (his work 'Tan' is featured below) and is supported by Arts Council Wales. The private view was well attended in spite of flooding stopping trains and closing roads.

The exhibition closes at The Riverfront, Kingsway, Newport  14th March before moving on  to the Rug Gallery in Cardiff. I will be at the gallery on Monday 23rd March from 1.00-3.00 if you would like to come and say hello and look at the current project I am working on. (Images courtesy of Felix Page and RCAC)
Panni Kekkavva  (Kettle)
Exhibition dates:
Rug, Unit 16, Ground Floor, Capitol Centre, Queen Street, Cardiff, 21st March-18th April.
The Factory, Jenkin Street, Porth, 27 April-22 May.

An evening of talks is planned for the closing of the show in Cardiff on Saturday 23 May from 6-8pm  at g39 Oxford Street, Cardiff.

Workshop Update

Many of the workshops I have planned this year are filling up fast or have waiting lists only.
I am  delighted to be back at West Dean College in May  with Personal Journals and June.  with Unfolding Landscapes.
I travel further North to the lovely Lund Studios in North Yorkshire,30 June -3 July. Stitch Sketch Book, Folding bookforms.
Further afield I am back with the Alpine Experience from 12-19th August and in Australia with Fibre Arts Australia in the Autumn/Australia Spring.

All other workshops and those yet to be posted are under workshops section of this blog.

Finally, since the new year I have attempted to cycle round Mote Park most days on my trusty Marin when at home. This little adventures are great to pull me away into the fresh air.

 I keep a tiny sketchbook in my pocket and sketch when I can