Sunday, 19 January 2020

Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival and other travels

I am getting ready to leave for Japan with Art Textiles Made in Britain for the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival this month. I am so looking forward to this short revisit after studies early in my career. 
I am working on one of the pieces which also features as the front cover of Textile Landscape above. While I am away, My colleagues at Art Textile Made in Britain will be installing our exhibition Wild at Maidstone Museum and Art Gallery.  Local artists will be there on 8th February 1.00-4.00 pm to answer questions about the work. Further details of future events can be found under exhibitions link on this blog 
Gypsy Maker 4 opens for its tour on 15th February at the Riverfront Gallery, Newport the birthplace of my Romany Grandmother. I  am proud to be involved with this exhibition with the sculptor Dan Turner an initiative that supports the development of innovative works by established and emerging Gypsy, Roma and Traveller artists. The exhibition is supported by Romani Cultural and Art Company and Arts Council Wales will tour to three venues:
The Riverfront, Kingsway, Newport from 17th February -16th March
Rug, Unit 16, Ground Floor, Capitol Centre, Queen Street, Cardiff, 21st March-18th April.
The Factory, Jenkin Street, Porth, 27 April-22 May. 
It is appropriate as I set off my travels that I started the year with a new course at West Dean College 'Mapping Your Space'. As the wind created its own soundscape as it whistled around the building as we worked it was not until the final day we saw some sunshine as it shone on the wonderful flint of the walls.
I have two more courses coming up at West Dean in May and June. Just follow the link to my page hereBelow are a few images of work in progress (Thankyou to the participants for allowing me to reproduce them).
Bev Behrens
Alison Todd
Catherine Keane
Kath Lawton
Liz Corrigan
Terina Foster-Friend
Jan Slater
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Jan Tregidgo
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I have two more courses coming up at West Dean in May and June. Just follow the link to my page here.This time my mug will not be with me. I lost htis on my way to Chichester. Lets see if I can keep hold of stuff on this trip! I will be posting updates on Facebook and Instagram pages as I travel.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Looking Back, Looking Forward 2019-2020

Another year has passed and as we enter the 'roaring twenties' I am thankful for the friendship and support over the last decade. The last ten years has had its ups and downs both personally and in the greater global picture.
It is ten years since the release of my first publication for Batsford, The Found Object in Textile Art. Given the current debate on re-use and sustainability the book remains equally today. I am grateful to Batsford for supporting my writing and developing my voice.
2019 opened with my exhibition Painting With Cloth at Rochester Art Gallery. This marked the publication of my fourth book Textile Landscape. In the week the show opened I received the news it was reprinted again alongside Stitch Stories. The exhibition toured to Queen Street Gallery in Wales and will continue into 2020.
I have been wandering, walking and working throughout the year visiting friends and colleagues, teaching and developing ideas for new work. It has been, as always, the small details of everyday life and the changes reflected in the landscape drawing my attention from the sun on the wildflowers by the side of the road in Spain and France to stone walls in Western Ireland and a magical tree house where I stayed in Colorado. I always carry those memories of people and place with me. Thank you for the friendship and treasured times.


As we move into the change to the New Year, the foundation for what is to come has been laid. Such is the nature of needing to plan ahead, I am sure, there will be many challenges to be faced and unexpected surprises to be discovered.
Packing is underway for my trip to Japan with Art Textiles Made in Britain for the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival this month. I am so looking forward to this short revisit after studying paper and textiles there early in my career.
Gypsy Maker 4 opens in February for its tour. As a person with Roma heritage I  am proud to be involved with this exhibition and it positive focus on the 'Traveller Communities'. It can sometimes be a hard 'walk through this world'.I reported on both these projects in my last blog. Travelling and working is not without its problems. As reported in my last blog, I lost work at the end of the year in a portfolio at Brussels station. This work, 'Tilburg to Mallety' (Unfolding Landscape) is another of the several pieces created as I travelled Europe in 2016-17 to be lost. 

Working with other remains a focus beginning with a course at West Dean. I am delighted to be teaching at Sweet Nothings in South West France and the Alpine Experience over the Summer before going to Australia with Fibre Arts Australia in September.  (I hope for all my friends and colleagues in Australia the devastating fires are under control soon.) As the weather warms I will also be running workshops in the UK including Hope and Elvis and Lund Studios. Most are full or only have a few spaces left.

For all workshops and exhibitions please follow the relevant headings on this blog

Delighted to be featured in SEW Region Magazine  (South East West Region of the Embroiderers Guild) in  December
I caught up with family in East Anglia over the holidays. Love the cold calm of the landscape.


 And found the Pedlars Cottage in Beccles

Here is hoping that the next decade is a fairer one and wishing you all a cleaner and more peaceful planet.



Sunday, 8 December 2019

All that is lost, travels and travellers.


Art Textiles Made in Britain have been invited to take part in Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival  from 23-29 January 2020. We will be showing alongside heritage quilts from the Quilters Guild Museum collection as part of a British focus. Some of the works shown from my touring exhibition Painting with Cloth first shown at Rochester Art Gallery will feature in the show.

Trees featured in WILD (below at the Minories Gallery in Colchester) also finishes its Art Textiles tour at Maidstone Museum and Art Gallery 1-29 February  2020

I been busy in my studio during the last couple of months researching ideas for specially commissioned artworks Places, Spaces, Traces for the The Romani Cultural and Arts Company as part of their groundbreaking Gypsy Maker project—an initiative that supports the development of innovative works by established and emerging Gypsy, Roma and Traveller artists

The exhibition supported by Arts Council Wales also features the work of Dan Turner tours to three venues:
The Riverfront, Kingsway, Newport from 15th February -16th March
Rug, Unit 16, Ground Floor, Capitol Centre, Queen Street, Cardiff, 21st March-18th April.
The Factory, Jenkin Street, Porth, 27 April-22 May. 


Other news:
Travel..all that is lost:
Given that I have been a bit of a wanderer over the last year, something had to give and that was my portfolio, lost in Brussels Midi around 4.15 pm on 21st November. I cannot imagine I will get it back now....but live in hope. Bird Cage, with the bird flown is one of the pieces that was in the portfolio.
I visited Antwerp in November on my way to the Netherlands. I loved the outlines of the cranes in the docks against the late wintry skies. At the Red Star museum the poignant and powerful images and recordings telling the stories of travellers and migrants making their way to the USA reminds us of the hardships of travel then and continued hardship for many now. It was fascinating to read some of the documentation and to see Einstein came through on one of these ships to a 'new land' with all its hopes and promises.




I went to see the exhibition Black and White at the Textiel Museum in Tilburg and found this iconic piece 'Bag' by  Hendrik Kertstens.  A portrait (of his daughter Paula) made as an ecological comment on the number of plastic bags given away by shops. The photograph echos the headdresses often worn by women in Dutch Old Master paintings.
Cannot believe another year as flown by, seasons greetings everyone and thankyou for the friendship.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Wildlife, Landscape and Reflection

I spent a very wet Saturday morning installing a small exhibition 'Textile Landscape'  with a focus on wild places and wildlife at Kent Wildlife Trust, Tyland Barn  near Maidstone. This is a sister exhibition to Painting with Cloth held at  Rochester Art Gallery earlier in the year.   
Dutch Blue
Summer Grasses and Sedge Warbler

Opening times  11.00-4.00 Wednesday to Sunday. (There is a wonderful little cafe serving light lunches and the reserve is a delight to visit.)


'Collecting found materials as she goes, Cas Holmes creates marks with cloth, paint and stitch with a disregard of the divisions of medium usage and application that often define the world of painting and textiles.  Drawing inspiration from the world in front of her, Cas thrives on the challenges of the unforeseen and unexpected. The work on show is as much guided by the materials she works with as it is to her connection to her ideas about landscape and nature. She is fascinated by objects with a story to tell, cast-off sheets and clothing, handwritten papers, and the history of what we do with them and the familiarity they have in our own life.

I am also participating in the Embroiderer's Guild 'Home' exhibition at the Knitting and Stitching Shows in Harrogate 28th Nov-1 Dec

Lest We Forget
Finally, as we mark the time for remembrance I reflect back on my visit to Washington a little over a month ago I visited the Korean Veterans Memorial in Washington. I remember my father who proudly served alongside American serviceman as part of his National Service as part of the Royal Norfolk Regiment with the United Nations. This memorial (as will all memorials) reminds us of the shocking number of lives lost, both soldiers and civilians. 

My fathers own memoirs (which I have had cause to read recently for another project I am working on) testifies to his individual experience where winter became a welcome break from hostilities. Many were about great kindness (on both sides during this time) but also about great sorrow and hardship. I leave the last in his own handwriting.