Looking Back, Looking Forward

Looking back this year and reflecting has been one of accepting the continuing challenges  of balancing the caring role with that of the creative role. As Susan  Weeks commented in my recent interview as part of the Embroiderer's Guilds Talking Threads series. It has been a time when:

'collaboration with others also means I have needed to accept help and support from other people so that I can still some of the things I want or need to do' 

I remain thankful for all the people in my life from friends and professional colleagues, to carers and the Kent Community Health Teams for helping Derek and I to travel through the ups and downs of the last year. That in it itself enough to celebrate

I am managing to balance (most of the time) the Care-Clean-Create cycle and CULTIVATE my own sense of self and creativity. which I talk about in a feature of Jan-Feb 24 issue of Embroidery Magazine ,the magazine of The UK Embroiderers' Guilda delightful way to kick off the New Year 

Here are a few things I am looking forward to in 2024 before looking back

Looking Forward

Gypsy Makers Tour

Launch at Tŷ Pawb 19th January 2024 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm

The Romani Cultural & Arts Company (RCAC) is excited to announce the launch of the latest edition of their ground-breaking Gypsy Maker project. Gypsy Makers is a new touring exhibition that will feature work from artists that the RCAC has commissioned since the inception of the Gypsy Maker initiative in 2014. The Gypsy Makers touring exhibition will show new and existing artworks to mark the tenth anniversary of the Gypsy Maker programme which has been fully supported by the Arts Council of Wales. Gypsy Makers will include works by the artists Daniel Baker, Billy Kerry, Artur Conka, Corrina Eastwood, Cas Holmes, Rosamaria Kostic Cisneros, Shamus McPhee and Dan Turner

Memory detail in Storytellers. Image by Shelley Ganderton

Storytellers continues at The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge. until 24th February. There is a full programme of free live interviews with the artists. I am talking with Rob Smith on Saturday 3 February 1.30pm (places are limited so book early)


Unspoken: Truth and Silence, The Halpern Gallery Chatham  8th – 31st January 2024

An exhibition exploring the things we may not want talk about as well as the things we care about.

Teaching and Workshops 

French Retreat

Looking forward to my upcoming retreat in the South of France June 7-14th 2024 with Soul Stirring Retreats. This will be my first overseas workshop in 4 years

West Dean College

My courses at West Dean College online and at the college are full however I am please to be able to offer some one day courses at their London Campus in the Spring. Updates to follow in 2024.

Adult Education:Expressive Drawing

I am offering two courses at Kent Adult Education. One  on line Wed afternoons from 11th April to 15th May via Zoom (£97) in place at Maidstone on Saturday 11th May (£40)

The courses focus on  an exploratory and experimental approach to making mixed media drawings based on my own practice.

I will be sharing further updates regarding releases of courses including the Spring release date of Fibre Arts Takes Two in future posts.


Looking Back

So many things travel through from one year to the next. Illuminate ATMIB continues it tour to  Studio 40,Queen Street Gallery, Neath  (following on from its launch at the Knitting and Stitching Show)

Places, Spaces and Traces/Shipping Forecast

This new work which has been touring since December 2021 before its major show at the beautiful Sint-Anna-ten-Drieën church in Antwerp in 2022 toured around all four nations of the UK during 2023. You can see more on my works page on my website. I am negotiating a possible final venue in 2023. Please contact me if you would like more details about this project. I was very touched by this beautiful little video  by Fiona D Artisan of Scottish Island Living about the collaboration with the community that is Craft Town Scotland

Other exhibitions

I exhibited with Fibre and Form at Nucleus Arts Centre with Absence. The first in a new series of work which I have been creating and writing about (more about the writing later). It was lovely  to be invited to exhibit in 'Stitch by Stitch'  at the Willow Gallery Oswestry in the Summer. The catalogue sold out but you can get a copy here to download. I was also thrilled to be invited as guest judge for the inaugural Mote Park Art Competition in the Autumn.

Teaching, Talks and Collaboration

That  I have been able to teach at all this year has been down to a re-think about my practice. As one good friend recently said to me  'you have evolved new skills even taking on online work where you were initially reluctant during the pandemic and this has enabled your to be more adaptable in the way you work  and with what you do in your collaboration with others'. This adaptability is a two way process which has enabled me to continue working with overseas clients on bespoke courses and talks in the virtual environment of Zoom to the specialist pre-recorded course I teach with Fibre Arts Takes Two.

At home I have managed short courses with West Dean College and with Kent Adult Education and have built up some work  with new and existing partnerships both in place and online including work with the Mental Fight club and a look at sketchbook for art teacher training in Brighton. More about my work and collaborations can be found on my website including a very exciting writing project I will be talking about in 2024

As I have been planting, seeding and growing things over the last two years as lead worker in the garden I have dug deep into Derek's knowledge base over what to plant and when. He may be more of a 'back seat gardener' but his hand is still in the garden as mine can sometimes remain in the paint and with cloth. The garden is solace and best thing to keep me fit. The friendship and support I have had has enabled me to continue cultivating my practice.

I finish with a turn of the year chat with my friend Christine in a radio interview on Fresh FM in New Zealand . Sit down with a cuppa and catch up on the recording here. Biscuit anyone?


Happy New Year and the best for 2024


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