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

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Two and more for Tea Flora Tales....the Knitting and Stitching Show

Just arrived back from the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. The response to Tea Flora Tales has been overwhelming. It was so good to see people interacting with the installation and finding their favourite pieces. Along the way we have raised a good amount of money for Plantlife . I will reveal more after the show moves on to Harrogate. Thankyou to the Embroiderer's Guild UK and the Knitting and Stitching Show for their support of this project.
A contingent of beauties from the Profanity Embroidery Group (PEG) in Kent playing with Tea Flora Tales. Read about them here on Mr Xross Stitch
I am sure I did not get all my words in the right places at the right time so to those of you who may have got rather strange responses from me as days went on..I apologize. I enjoyed meeting each and every visitor. The support and help from all who have been involved has been phenomenal from the team that help set up and take down to the volunteers who not only came to assist on the stand,  but became excellent ambassadors for Plantlife. 

It was a powerful show this year with many exhibitors working around emotionally charged themes. The 100 Hearts by The Embroiderers' Guild in partnership with SSAFA Charity, Wiltshire proving a favourite with the visitors. The pieces commenting and commemorating of family, loss and life.  (You do not see many in my images as I could only sneak photos at the beginning of the day before visitors arrived)

 Roxanne Hawksley's Pale Armistice in the foreground.

Top Brenda Parsons for Lucy Margaret Nesbitt, Vad,  Bottom, Jill Munday, For the Canary Girls, and Annette Collinge, Machine Gun Corps.
Phillippa Mogridge, ...and the Earth Ran Red with Blood,  Juliet Bryon, Patricia Iles, Anthea Godfrey, To Dress Extravagantly in Wartime is Worse than Bad Form and Siew Ong Hinchcliffe.  Anthea currently has an inspirational interview on Stitchery Stories Podcast and is the driving force behind the Campaign for Creativity to retain creativity in schools.
Jenni Dutton's powerful comment on Dementia and Aging in wool and thread portraits proved emotionally charged in its intimate reflection of a subject shared as a common experience for many.
 Nigel Cheney, Decorated Tour of Duty, Sentinels in Cloth reminds us that the division between uniform and mortality is a very fine one.
Caren Garfen, What's Going on Upstairs reflect upon the devastating world of eating disorders in another emotionally loaded and powerful comment on a difficult subject.
 Emily Tull, 10 Years of Markings and Unmarkings and the nature and power of stitch as a tool for marking, drawing and painting.
Dionne Swift and Collective Stitches a collaborative exhibition of artist and student work which celebrates what we all learn as part of the student and teacher partnership.
Dawn Hemming, Spiralling Out, Hand knit circular textiles one of the few very welcome exhibits in knitted textile.
 Carol Naylor, A  Stitched Timeline from the 70's to Today marking the incredible strength in her work reflecting landscape in stitched cloth over the years.
Fabricated Narratives...Alyson Midgelow Marsden, Helene Carpenter, Di Halstead and Marianda Twydell. I like the way this exhibition was carefully curated in a small space as if giving an intimate portrayal into an 'artist's collective studio'  celebrating process and ideas in collaboration.

Not all the artists represented at Alexandra Palace move on to the shows at Dublin and Harrogate so please check the Knitting and Stitching Show website for further details.

Finally, a little glimpse of the other part of my show which includes some pieces from Textile Landscape. (The book sold out on the morning of the third day so apologies for those who came to get a copy.)

I will be at Harrogate on stand TG15, come and say hello.

Oh, and my heart, dedicated to both my grandfathers and Edith Cavell, a great Norfolk heroine. This piece will be on show at Norwich Cathedral where Cavell is buried.