Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Not Forgotten

With D Day commemorations not far behind us it is fitting we remember our armed services and continue to care and protect them as they look after us. This is precisely what the Flag of Thanks a national collaborative art project led by AlabarĂ©, as part of the 2019 Armed Forces Day marks in an event hosted by Salisbury from 24-30 June  Lt. Col. Neil Stace, also known as the Sewing Soldier, leads the project, running workshops and also transforming the flags into quilts, sleeping bags and ponchos.These will be gifted to residents of Alabare’s Homes for Veterans, who have previously been homeless, as a gesture of support and community. 

I created my own pieces in memory of my family:

Number one for my Father Frank Holmes served in the Korean War 1951-53 often known at the ‘Forgotten War’ and in memory of all those 'forgotten soldiers'.
Number two dedicated to the ‘Royal Norfolks’
Number three dedicated to all the nurses who served in the Queen Alexandra's Nurses Core. My father wasbadly injured in Korea and nursed by both the QA’s and Japanese nurses. My sister proudly served in the QA's for a short time in her younger years
Back of one of the pieces..all contain the words 'Not Forgotten'.

From the Telegraph:
'Four million people died during the three-year war on the Korean Peninsula between 1950 and ’53, and although nearly 100,000 British troops fought in the conflict it is seen by many veterans as ‘The Forgotten War’. Sandwiched between the Second World War and Vietnam, it was fought in an age before television, and the war-weary British public, barely out of rationing, had little appetite for further conflict. The vast majority of British soldiers who served were National Service and once their time was up they often came home, were demobbed and went straight back into the workplace with little recognition of their sacrifice.'
If you would like to purchase one of these please contact me directly. Each piece is 30cm square and the starting bid for each piece is £50.  The money raised will go to the Alabare Homes for Veterans charity.
Delighted to showing some small pieces at Old Bank Studios Summer Exhibition Thursday 21st June to Sunday 1st July. as part of the Harwich Festival.(I am also running workshops with the studios in November..already full)

I spent a few days in the Alpujarra region of Spain at the end of May. It was lovely to catch up with friends and drawing. The yellow and the scent of the of the broom in and around Orgiva where I went for an evening for an evening walk was simply beautiful.

 Horse in Orgiva
Could not resist drawing my lunch in Salobrena!

Climbing the streets of Old Granada to get a wonderful view of the Alhambra from a nearby restaurant.

Last morning view of the Olive groves outside my door.

Finally, a little video of my my work and approach to stitch as it appears on Textileartist facebook page.

Friday, 17 May 2019

The Grass is Greener....the Orchids are stunning

The green is back again and earlier in the week I was able to visit Kent Wildlife Trust's Marden Meadow. The orchids are stunning. I advise you to gently visit of you can.

Help aspiring artists and makers join courses at West Dean College they couldn't otherwise afford by bidding on tutors work. Grass is Greener Lot 19 is on offer as part of a fundraising auction . All pieces will be on display in the Main Pavilion at West Dean Arts and Craft Festival 31st May – 2nd June.
My exhibition 'Painting with Cloth' at Rochester Art Gallery comes to an end this Sunday 19th May. Here is little taster of the gallery in these lovely images taken by Rikard Ă–sterlund. A few smaller works are also on show at the Huguenot Museum. The workshop was greatly oversubscribed so I am running a workshop at the museum on 10th August. The support has been overwhelming and I am grateful to Medway Council and Rochester Cathedral for this wonderful opportunity to show both my work and the last showing of Tea Flora Tales

Wild by Art Textiles Made in Britain moves to the Minerva Arts Centre, Llanidloes, Wales from the 4th May to 1st June.

Finally, a return to Kent Wildlife Trust. Had a lovely day with Adult Education students who braved an overcast day to draw. Dotted around the Tyland Barn site are lots of useful advice and boards. These are two of my favourites by David Attenborough and Iris Murdoch

Monday, 22 April 2019

Cold Spring Heating Up

This April certainly gave us a cold surprise a few days ago yet within the space of a few days we go to a record breaking Easter Sunday. I started the month in a very windy and relatively cool Malta. In early Spring, the landscape was green and full of  wildflowers as well as Olive and Fig trees
A succession of powers having contested and ruled the islands of Malta, including the Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Aragonese, Knights of St. John, French, and British. The architecture and landscape reflects these influences on the country's ancient culture.
 St Bathomolew's Church Gharghur
Fort St Elmo's Valetta
British and French Architecture, Valetta
Malta became a British colony in 1815, serving as a way station for ships and the headquarters for the British Mediterranean Fleet. It played an important role in the Allied war effort during the Second World War, and was subsequently awarded the George Cross for its bravery in the face of an Axis siege.

Fisherman's huts in the shadows of the Valletta's harbour walls.By the end of the week I was in King's Lynn with a very cold waterside area. 
Trinity Guildhall
 The flint chequerboard pattern of the Trinity Guildhall
The Customs House
Really enjoyed my visit the the exhibition Water Rising at the superb Groundwork Gallery

The artworks reflect upon the relationship we have to water and issues of sustainability where strong evidence suggests water level continue to rise. With the vast estuary and nature reserve of 'The Wash' close by the issues relating to Global Warming to wildlife and habitat will be keenly felt in this internationally important landscape. A conference is organised for the 17th May well timed in relation to the concerns raised by the Extinction Rebellion movement.
Work by Stuart Hearn in the foreground and Peter Mathews in the background.
 Peter Mathews,

Further details on all the artists involved in the exhibition including Susan Hiller one of the key exhibitors in the show can be found here.
Susan Hiller, Rough Moonlit Nights (Courtesy of the Lisson Gallery)

Finally, Painting with Cloth continues until 19th May at Rochester Art Gallery. I will be in residence on Saturday 4th May during the Sweep's Festival. Dictio Terrarum below records some of my landscape drawings made on location as I travelled in the last two years. They are on a book pages connected to the landscape.
Wild by Art Textiles Made in Britain moves to the Minerva Arts Centre, Llanidloes, Wales from the 4th May to 1st June.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Paint and Stitch, Van Gogh,and 'Wild Marks'

I have some time out over the last month walking locally and taking time for myself. It has also been a long time since my last blog so catching up to do. Starting with last things first:

Van Gogh in Britain
The Van Gogh and Britain exhibition on show at Tate Britain looks at how Van Gogh may have been informed by his experience during his short time here by the work of British artists and writers and how he in turn, continues to inspire British artists. 
Jonathon Jones in The Guardian and Rachel Campbell Johnson in Times give contrasting reviews yet I would I suggest you make your own way in to the work. I found the marks he created with a pencil or a brush from the first tentative studies in his early studies to the turbulent energetic swirls of later work the true pull of the show. They demonstrate a growing confidence yet there is also a sense of 'loneliness' and sorrow in those almost desperate swirls and wild marks. This is a man whose connection with the world is painted with a compassionate brush. Van Gogh is held fast in the popular vision yet I came away with another view of the man whose work we may be familiar with. The connection to the human condition and the landscape we inhabit is felt in every mark he makes and is as relevant to today as it was over a 100 years ago. As Van Gogh suggests, 'leave it to the critics',  just enjoy the insight into the man and his work that this show allows.

ITV News article here

Painting with Cloth opened last month at the Rochester Art Gallery and Craft Case. Thankyou to all who came making for a joyful private view. It was so good to see many friends old and new. The exhibition continues until 19th May. A few glimpses of work below:

Winter Grasses and 40 Yards
North Westerly
Dictio Terrarum and Tea Flora Tales
Showcase. Received the news that Stitch Stories was being reprinted at the private view and Textile Landscape is going for its second reprint. 
Tea Flora Tales in Rochester Cathedral alongside Madder. It is good that is has come home to its spiritual birthplace with Plantlife's flagship reserve at Ranscombe Farm close by.

Art Textile Made in Britain held its first exhibition of Wild outside the Festival of Quilts at the Minories in Colchester. My Trees installation took on a more open quality positioned near windows echoing the trees behind. Great care was taken in this exhibition by the Minories team. (Trees was taken down and replaced everyday as it triggered the alarms so was indeed a continually changing installation). The next venue is the Bramble Patch in Weeden, Northhamptonshire from 6 - 23 April. Entrance fee - a donation of £2 for the Alzheimer' Society.
A few installation shots of the exhibition below. You can also see more work on our new Instagram page:
Sandra Meech and Elisabeth Brimlow
 Louise Baldwin, Shards and Rosie James
Edwinna McKinnon and Sylvia Paul
Whilst in Colchester it was good to be able to visit the Firstsite Gallery. An amazing space and at the same time take in a little exhibition about the making of the Millicent  Fawcett Statue by the artist Gillian Wearing. The clay was moulded into hessian to create the texture of the skirt for the detailed relief of the bronze.

The exhibition Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere continues until 12th May