A Growing Concern..Textiles and Community

In common with many artists I enjoy the challenge of creating pieces with relevance to given situations, audiences and locations and an association of over thirty five years with community and public arts keep me motivated and interested in the exchange and learning with others as part of this process.
Leaf Sculpture, Broad Oak Nature Reserve.

Much of my early work was in the Medway Towns and Kent working as a Community Artist with organisations such as Spiral Arts and Shape on projects with hospitals, in education and even with the prison service.  This interaction taught me to explore all kinds of materials from bamboo, willow and cloth used in the making of giant puppets to projects and installations with natural materials and found resources reflecting nature and the world around us. This featured article by Textileartist gives you more detail of this work and some handy hints if you want to engage with other people and work outdoors as part of the process.

Makes a human and emotional connection between environment and landscape through stitch is the domain of many artists who work in textile and the pieces of Australian artists Glenys Mann  featured below) and Holly Story as well as British artist Rosalind Davis also feature in the article talking about the fragility of this relationship.

Glenys Mann, Waiting #16 Bundled

This connection to people and place is marked in exhibitions I am currently featuring in, Stuff for Thought (see previous blog) with its focus on Human Rights and the textile trade.  'Madder' (detail featured below), has been accepted for an exhibition Norwich Shawls: Past Glory, Present Inspiration,in the City famous for its cloth industry (my family home). Madder marks the importance of the dye in Norwich Red and at the same time, taken as adjective, Madder comments on the hard work and often poorly paid employment in the textile industry using fragments gathered in India and Pakistan. The exhibition is on from 1st to 15th October 2016. and is chance to see rarely-seen Norwich Shawls held in private collections alongside contemporary responses in the fine Hostry at Norwich Cathedral. This event is organised by the Costume and Textile Association of the Norfolk Museums Service.
Closer to home I will have a piece on loan to Maidstone Museum in the exhibition Coming Home, Conflict and Care. This includes pieces from the collection based on two paintings in the museum’s collections by artist Frank Hyde

Arrival of a Convoy of Wounded Soldiers at Maidstone Station, Kent, 1916
In October my one person show at Kent Wildlife, Tyland Barn opens and I will also be at the Pavilion Bookshop in Covent Garden from the 5th with a book signing on the 22nd October from 2-4. Please pop in if you can.
Finally I am delighted to be included in short article by  Down Under Textiles Magazine 
with some pieces marking my strong connection with the small things of daily life I love about that Big Country. All updates on exhibitions and workshops can be seen in the drop down pages on my blogsite.


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