Thursday, 27 December 2018

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Welcome to the turn of the year once again and equally, I cannot believe how quickly time has passed. This lovely picture of winter trees is reflected in the West Dean Gardens glasshouses.
I started the year with a photoshoot for Textile Landscape and by the end of the year it was released for circulation (in September) and sent for reprint on the day of its release.
All four of my publications have been reprinted this year so I would like to say a BIG THANKYOU to everyone who has contributed to and supported my writing including the Batsford editorial team and Jacqui Hurst for her beautiful photography. Just through today, a gift of a review by Sam Packer.
By kind permission of Jacqui Hurst 
This publication has featured throughout the year culminating in a guest gallery Tea Flora Tales and Textile Landscape  at the Knitting and Stitching Shows in the Autumn. The gallery, beautifully designed by the Upper Street Events proved popular with visitors engaging with the work commenting on the joy they felt in being in the space. I was equally thrilled to be in a video interview with Arnold's AtticA selection of this work with other pieces will be shown at Rochester Art Gallery in the Spring.
The quote below is from an interview with Helen Bowen in Sewing World Magazine in March is very apt for the last year, The creative process has been part of both a physical journey and 'mental footpath' for me this year. It is often commented on that 'I get around a lot' and will admit, it is sometimes a juggling act (more down to luck than 'time management) at times that I have managed to be where I should be. 
By the end of March I was back in Australia again under the kind invitation of Fibre Arts Australia and am in early discussions to return in 2020. I even ran a session in the bush and created a pen from a kangaroo bone and a tin to demonstrate with on location.
Images compliments of Tara Axford and Go Create New England 
Touched base for a few days before exhibiting as guest artist at Nadelwelt in May. This major European Textile Festival saw the first showing of a few of my smaller landscape works as well as Tea Flora Tales.
Heads down to work on new pieces and complete 'Trees' for my joint exhibition 'Wild' with Art Textiles Made in Britain at the Festival of Quilts. The exhibition tours in 2019 starting at the Minories in Colchester, (Trees was also shown at the World of Threads exhibition, Ontario in the winter.)
Over the summer I fitted in quick visits to France as well as a Summer School at West Dean (back next summer) followed by my first trip to Copenhagen to see friend (and workshops on the side)
Dee Priest work in progress, the backdrop of the French Alps at the Alpine Experience
Impressions of Mallety at Crafty Retreats

Views of Copenhagen Harbour
The wonderful and varied contributions from many people all over the world was a humbling experience as part of the contribution to Tea Flora Tales. Over £450 was raised at the Knitting and Stitching Shows. With various one off donations to my Just Giving page (now closed) close to £900 has been raised through various exhibitions over the last couple of years. You can continue to support and donate directly to Plantlife
Finally, to end the year. I am thrilled to be interviewed in WOWbook 3 by the wonderful Sam Packer. I have a few copies for sale  and you can also buy direct at D4Daisybooks for £25 plus postage.

Well that's my year. Its not been all work. Been to see a few shows including the Anni Albers at the Tate Modern and Fashioned by Nature at the Victoria and Albert Museum which close late January. Off to Norfolk for the New Year and a walk in the woods.

Wishing you all the best.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Plantlife...Just a big thankyou

I am back from the Knitting and Stitching Shows and would like to thank the Embroiderers Guild UK and so many individuals who came to support Tea Flora Tales in aid of Plantlife. 
A lovely £450 was raised in total. So many volunteers helped at the events including the members of the Quilters Guild, Skipton branch of the EG and people from my local Adult Education. All became amazing ambassadors for Plantlife. Its story is not entirely over as sometime in the early 2019 Tea Flora Tales will be shown closer to home in the Medway Towns, Kent. The region in which Plantlife was has its flagship reserve in Ranscombe Farm (more news later).

It was lovely to be exhibiting alongside both the 100 Hearts (which I reported on in a previous blog alongside a short review of some of the other exhibitors) and the Graduate Showcase in the Kings Suite. 
Amy Elisabeth Vance.
 Fay Jones
 Jessica Grady
 Libby Vale
 Melanie Kay
Suzanne Redois 
 Jessie Dickinson

Kerry Napier

Apan Azad
It was fabulous to return to the Knitting and Stitching Show after considerable break away and thankyou to all the team who helped create such a lovely showcase for the work  (images below compliments of the Knitting and Stitching Show)

On the day of the show opening I found out that my first publication for Batsford, The Found Object in Textile Art was being reprinted. (Textile Landscape sold out at both shows before the last day, thankyou.) On the same day I was handed the current edition Stitch magazine which features my work in an article which looks at Mixed Media. 

I have a few days of  teaching at West Dean College and at Adult Education before winding down for the season. Last year, I spent some of Christmas Day in the studio outside. Might need to wrap up warm...I need to get back in there to explore.
 West Dean Trees

Monday, 19 November 2018

Harrogate and Happy and Glorious

Forground piece by Angie Hall Collet
How appropriate that I am packing away more Tea Flora Tales posted to me in the last month to place on display at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate. Home of Betty's Tea  Room and Yorkshire Tea. Come and say hello. I will on stand TG15 in the Kings Room alongside the graduate showcase. 
Tea Flora Tales. (Photograph by Mike Hemmings)
I have also been  exhibiting some smaller work at Happy and Glorious in Cranbrook. This little gem of a shop sells all kinds of things...hand-made in Britain. Come and say hello on 1st December 2-4.00pm and take in some shopping in the lovely Cranbrook High Street.

Managed to squeeze in a short workshop...amazing what can be created with bits of paper. Work in progress by the participants below. I will be running another workshop in May so check out their site for all events and future workshops.(I hear Mr Xross Stitch is back next year.)
Further News: The World of Threads Festival in Ontario continues until this Sunday 25th November (image below is a detail of my installation Trees). 
I am equally delighted to have become a member of S.E.W, The Society For Embroidered Artworks. News about the organisation here. 

Signing off for now, need to finish packing for Harrogate. Time for a cuppa as well. Winter is definitely being felt around the corner.  

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Anni Albers, Cloth and Trade

This last few weeks have been busy and this does not look to change anytime soon. However in the midst of that I was able to take in the fabulous Anni Albers exhibition at the Tate Modern. 
A leading artist of modernist abstraction movement, Albers was born in Berlin in 1899 of a Jewish family. After the rise of Nazism in the Germany which forced the famous Bauhaus school to close she fled to the USA with her husband Josef Albers where they founded the innovative Black Mountain College in North Carolina.

I first encountered Albers' work, through my engagement with tutor and mentor Janis Jefferies as a student at Maidstone College of Art. I have in my possession two seminal books from that period of time The Art Fabric ; Mainstream (1981) and Beyond Craft; The Art Fabric  written by Mildred Constantine and Jack Lenor Larson and was thrilled to see such a large body of work in the flesh.

Her dominant concern as always been between medium and process and the exhibition at the Tate provides some of the best representations I have seen making to make that connection visible with samples of her own working process, students and colleagues work and clear references to the theory and practice of weaving.
Detail of Black, White and Yellow, (and below) woven by Gunta Stölzl 1965 under the direction of Anni Albers. The original 1926 version was thought to have been lost in the Second World War

The final rooms of the exhibition held ethnographic samples as well as drawings prints and textiles samples. These are evidence of the research undertaken for her seminal book 'On Weaving published in 1965.
Design for Unexecuted wallhanging 1926

 Room 6, The Pliable Plane explores the relationship between textiles and architecture

Painted effigy cloth, Cotton.  Peru 1100-1300

As stepped out of the exhibition I could see that the patterns and images of the world outside are so clearly reflected in the weaving samples inside the exhibition. I urge you, if there is one exhibition you see this year, see this one.It is on until 27th January 2019.

On a related note, the subject of cloth and clothing, product and consumption,  discussed in my current blogpost for Mr Xross Stitch, an Unfair Trade. There is also a feature review by Ailish Henderson of Textile Landscape