Sayonara Japan, Hello Maidstone and Newport

I have just returned from a trip to Japan whilst exhibiting with Art Textiles Made in Britain for the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival which I will report on later in this blogpost. Meanwhile, I am preparing for the launch of Gypsy Maker 4 in Newport which opens on 17th March. The detail below is from one of the pieces I will be exhibiting called Take (which means bamboo in Japanese).

My early studies in Japan work and along with my family history have had a lasting influence on my work. My return after 35 years made me fall in love with both the place and its people all over again. The exhibition experience was overwhelming and we met by so many enthusiastic visitors it was hard to see across the gallery space. (The masks are the Japanese taking they usual regards for health and each other)
Even so, I managed to get a few images of the space at the beginning and end of each day.I loved how people engaged with the work.

 One enterprising lady even tried on my jacket.

You can take a tour of all the members works on these two short videos links from ATMIB Facebook page Link One and Link Two
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It was not all work, I often took an early morning walk and in the few days break before returning home I managed to explore locally.

View from the top of the Tokyo Dome Hotel of Mount Fuji and from my bedroom window.

 Omikuji at many of the small and larger shrines in Tokyo
Looking out from the 7th century Sensoji, Buddhist temple in the Asakusa Shrine.
Apricot Blossom, Asakusa
And a few everyday things on the streets:

 I also went to visit Team Lab Borderless, Mesmerising:
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Returning back in the UK. Trees is currently on show with Art Textiles Made in Britain at Maidstone Museum and Art Gallery until 29th February. The subtle background music from the Japanese gallery seems apt.

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Finally, a walk through the Torii gates at Nezu Shrine. These literally mark the entrance to sacred areas. I carry the memory of this magical place with me until the next time.


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