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


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