Painting with Cloth;A Piece of Her Mind

Painting with Cloth 
My exhibition painting with Cloth is currently on show at Queen Street Gallery, Neath, Wales from until Saturday 2nd Nov 2019. Please come and join me for a 
Meet the Artist Evening - Saturday 12th October at 6pm.

Collecting found materials as she goes Cas Holmes explores the connection between landscape, people and place. Marks with cloth, paint and stitch are created with a disregard of the divisions of medium usage and application that often define the world of painting and textiles.  Drawing inspiration from the world in front of her, Cas thrives on the challenges of the unforeseen and unexpected. The work on show is as much guided by the materials she works with as it is to her connection to her ideas about landscape and nature. She is fascinated by objects with a story to tell, cast-off sheets and clothing, handwritten papers, and the history of what we do with them and the familiarity they have in our own life.
The exhibition marks the publication of her fourth book, Textile Landscape by Batsford (2018)
A sister exhibition 'Painting with Cloth:Landscape' is also on show locally in Maidstone,  Kent in November at the  Kent Wildlife Trust, Tyland Barn 3-29 November 2019

A Piece of Her Mind: Culture and Technology in American Quilts.
The familiarity we have with cloth is part of our history and with my pieces I reflect my interest in the landscape and environment, creative, social and politically. Women, historically may not have had the same freedoms to express their ideas yet a recent exhibition at the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum in Washington DC  sought to explorer the connections between 19th century women and the surrounding culture as evidenced in the quilts they made. As Alden O’Brien, Curator of Costume and Textiles explains. 

“We call the exhibit A Piece of Her Mind because we’re looking at what’s going on in the minds of these women. We can’t read their minds but we can read their quilts. The designs they were choosing reflect their interest and involvement in current events and popular culture. I hope that people will think of Victorian women as more interesting and intelligent than we sometimes give them credit for.” 

Embracing the new technology of the sewing machine alongside the development of new dyes giving brighter colours and the imports of exotic  cloth women began to create more exuberant quilts inspired by flora, new patterns from the orient and printed images

Given that the USA faces presidential election in 2020, a year which also marks 100 years of American women being given the vote I became particularly interested in the 'political quilts' being created. One in particular caught my attention, Henry Clay, a presidential candidate for the 1844 election is featured in a medallion quilt which contains pieces of actual campaign ribbons. Women could not vote yet Clay’s recognized the potential women had to influence male family members. Now we have the could we use that influence today I wonder?

An on-line link to the exhibition can be seen here.

With thanks to DAR Museum for granting permission to use these images Images credit:The Daughters of the American Revolution Museum, Washington DC, Gift of Grace Ann Garland (2003.24 ) and  Friends of the Museum Purchase (2018.9)

I also took in some of the great American outdoors, in the latter part of my trip I was aware I was walking in Mountain Lion territory. The views and the wild flowers were worth it.

I even managed to keep a regular journal created out of an old British Airways bag and whatever paper I could find (including my old shoelace).

Finally, I am updating courses coming up next year as they are being finalised under the workshops heading in my blog including courses at West Dean College (listed under my page) and a delighted to be returning to Fibre Arts Australia in September with two courses listed here under my portfolio


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