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

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Sayonara Japan, Hello Maidstone and Newport

I have just returned from a trip to Japan whilst exhibiting with Art Textiles Made in Britain for the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival which I will report on later in this blogpost. Meanwhile, I am preparing for the launch of Gypsy Maker 4 in Newport which opens on 17th March. The detail below is from one of the pieces I will be exhibiting called Take (which means bamboo in Japanese).

My early studies in Japan work and along with my family history have had a lasting influence on my work. My return after 35 years made me fall in love with both the place and its people all over again. The exhibition experience was overwhelming and we met by so many enthusiastic visitors it was hard to see across the gallery space. (The masks are the Japanese taking they usual regards for health and each other)
Even so, I managed to get a few images of the space at the beginning and end of each day.I loved how people engaged with the work.

 One enterprising lady even tried on my jacket.

You can take a tour of all the members works on these two short videos links from ATMIB Facebook page Link One and Link Two
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It was not all work, I often took an early morning walk and in the few days break before returning home I managed to explore locally.

View from the top of the Tokyo Dome Hotel of Mount Fuji and from my bedroom window.

 Omikuji at many of the small and larger shrines in Tokyo
Looking out from the 7th century Sensoji, Buddhist temple in the Asakusa Shrine.
Apricot Blossom, Asakusa
And a few everyday things on the streets:

 I also went to visit Team Lab Borderless, Mesmerising:
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Returning back in the UK. Trees is currently on show with Art Textiles Made in Britain at Maidstone Museum and Art Gallery until 29th February. The subtle background music from the Japanese gallery seems apt.

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Finally, a walk through the Torii gates at Nezu Shrine. These literally mark the entrance to sacred areas. I carry the memory of this magical place with me until the next time.

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.