Oh my oh my this has got nothing to do with Brexit..and, I haven’t been so caught up in Brexit that I haven’t been able to blog. No dear reader I’m just a bit rubbish at social media. So what have I been up to since December – well here’s an over view…
January: spent trying to keep my instagram up to date! Still digesting all the lovely things from my travels in Gujarat taking me quite a time and I was also busy with deadlines for University. I arranged and ran a lovely arts day called Gujarat Journey at a local school last month and also talked about my work at a teacher’s Art Conference at Southampton Art Gallery.
Can’t wait ( but I have to) for my next trip to India this time I am going to Rajasthan in October 2020 and will be hosting a trip with the wonderful Colourlicious. …do come with me if you can I know it’s going to be fantastic! I know it’s along ways off but places do book up fast so have a look now!
January: off to Newcastle and a whistle tour of all the Baltic had to offer. Sadly not too much appealed to me which is such a shame as it’s a great gallery space… it all seemed a bit dated. Ended up explaining what a rave was and clubbing to the teenager. There’s some great stuff on a the mo tho. On the plus side I did replace my angel of the north key ring which was looking decidedly tatty …….well there wasn’t much of it left actually….
February /March: Ran a kantha evening at Liss in Stiches and talked about what I had learned on my travels and the history of kantha quilting. I am indebted to Dorothy Tucker for letting me know about this amazing book. Kantha Recycled and Embroidered Textiles of Bengal
Its fab..get it before it goes from being expensive to extremely expensive! Mainly images and it is really beautiful.
I am continuing to research for my master’s paper and trying to decide what to hone my research on..I really want it to provide a firm basis for my PhD..,.ever onward…..you have to aim high…and I just love being a student.
March: A trip up to see the Embroiders Guild at the NEC Fashion and Embroidery Show where I got to see my heart and medal for 100 Hearts with lots of other lovely work. It was good to see some of the graduate show case too as I was in India for the Knit and Stitch last Year…..and of course look at all the other lovely things on offer..I needle felted a bee and leant about traditional scandi stitching on linen.. hard!!!! No backing calico!!! And linen thread…what’s all that about!!!! Hard! Hard! Hard!!!! Their designs are so beautiful tho. My friend bought a fluff remover……the less said about that the better…..mentioning no names ..Helena!!!!…and she drank Guinness….
Next it was time to take my turn stewarding at Ramster Hall where I was very pleased to be exhibiting for the first time.
The grounds and the tea room are excellent too…- loved being a part of it.
April: Last month I decided to take the wayward teenager to Egypt..sorry Megs!! We had the most amazing journey. I cant begin to tell you about how fantastic and incredble all the amazing art we saw was. We travlled from Cairo to Abu Simbel just North of the Sudanese border. I came across these guys and the ancient art of Khayamiya………..check it out ..fascinating or what???/!!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvrMJHaXBBk
I had a lovely chat with one of the stall holders in Luxor who made pieces for the Coptic Christian church there. I bought one teeny piece…..although I would have loved some of the larger pieces – they are truly magnificent. The video of how they make them is intriguing!!
Also bought some ‘secrets of the desert’ essential oil…supposed to drive men wild. I’ll let you know!!!
I drew a lot – not as much as I would have liked -but the most interesting thing I did was when I spent a day on a felucca…won’t talk about the night on the felucca and it was nothing to do with ‘secrets of the desert’or maybe it was? Lets just say Helen nul points mosquitoes 1099’……ok back to drawing…..as we were sedentary while the boat moved I drew lots of people and used my camera to fill in the details of the poses….a really interesting exercise!!!
Here are some of my images…..
I am now stitching them. Currently working on a piece about community and using examples from my draw every day book…….. which is still going strong… very proud of that Sarah H thank you!!
Gearing up for a workshop on boxes with the Phoenix Juniors Stitch group and the Beltaine festival at the weekend…….more drawing……. before heading off to Paris next month to look at some art with my teenager…….oh and probably sample a few macaroons and a croissant or two. . Also, due to an arts council commission ………which I sadly didn’t get… are you supposed to share your failures.. well I do ’cos I think you learn from them… told you I am no good at the social media game…….….I am revisiting old work. Phew that’s it!!! Up to date!! Just got to load it all now. Fingers crossed!!!!
Ps Great talk at uni by the Caravan Gallery check them out they have work at Mottisfont…and managed to catch Pete Codling a t Portsmouth Cathedral…….beautiful huge drawings….there until June
PPs looking forward to visiting the Emsworth and Chichester Art Trial later this month…….Pat are you ready????
PPPS Doing some work on a community art project at a hospital……..
BYEEEEE!!!!! Off to stitch!!!! I’ve realised why I don’t blog…no time!!!!!!!
PPPPS Sarah can I still come and see you……I’m sorry that you cancelled your computer lesson…my bad…totes x
As the year draws to close..what a great couple of weeks I have had. Being part of the final exhibition Finalelement at the Otter Gallery was amazing. The show looked great and was well attended. Sadly the last ever exhibition at the Otter Gallery in Chichester
some drawing exercises which were fun and based on the Dorothy Edwards books ..drawing from the right side of the brain and then used lots of old materials to make in to a something new……the results as you can see were varied and stunning…..looking forward toseeing the finished pieces
Last weekend I managed to cram in a weekend away with him indoors wandering round Venice and soaking up the beautiful light and of course sampling the pasta. Fortunately that’s all the soaking we did as the floods had recinded by then. Stayed in a great central apartment and went on lots of Vaporettos.. …him in doors is still bound to his mobility scooter which we couldn’t take on Easy Jet .Consequently after a speed boat on to the island (very James Bond!) we ambled everywhere with him on crutches ….and I sat and drank cappuccinos and did some boro ……check out my instagram mycathasniceboots. ( We also got to go on one of those trucks at the airport..great fun!! and you get to board the airplane first!!!Not really worth smashing your leg up for but great fun nonetheless ).
The plane had hardly landed in blighty before I was off again on an M25 sojourne (it’s not really a road is it??) to the wonderful Art Van Gogh..bit of a pilgrimge as I’ve never manged to make it to the actual Studios before. It was a doddle to get to Knebworth though and lovley to hone my kantha skills and learn more abou it with Dorothy Tucker. I’ve bought Dorothy’s book on Embroidered Pictures and John Gillow’s on Kantha..oh dear..early Christmas pressies for moi….
A wonderful tutor and great to talk to her about my current work. It was also lovely to see Kev abnd Viv as I didn’t get to see them at the Knit and Stich this year as I was in India and spend time and money in the lovely Art Van Go shop..…(more early xmas pressies!!)
On my return to Hampshire I managed to catch up with Sarah Homfray who was in the vicinity, trotting off to West Dean no less and she inspired me with her lovely drawing every day book ..(watch our for Sarah and Caroline’ s drawing courses at the RSN…..a real treat) ….. anyway, ever the magpie, I’ve pinched that idea and have started my own book. I will keep you posted on my progress. …..currently on day 12 … only another 253 to go ……this is so not a chore…..you should definitely try it….see pages above! …. theyve come out above as my site is playing silly beggars with me again….aaargh the life of a blogger is not easy….
Also thanks to Sarah H ….who managed to update and revive my rusty shisha skills whilst we were in Gujerat ….. eternally grateful Sarah ….. I am offering a workshop on shisha mirror embroidery at the Town House in Petersfield on Thursday the 7th February (with her blessing I hasten to add…!!!) Spreading the word according to shisha!) also see picture above!!!! She also put me on to this book The Left-Handed Embroiderer’s Companion: A Step-by-step Stitch Dictionary by Yvette Stanton which is now on my christmas list..if anyone is reading this ..hint hint..
I am planning to run a series of workshops at the Town House through the first half of 2019 on traditional stitch. They will be two and half hour sessions of slow stitching where you can learn a new skill, relax in lovely surroundings and drink nice coffee into the bargain! Pre- booking is essential..there are still a few places left for the first session in February ….. I am keeping the classes small…(this would make a great Christmas pressie)
Email or call me for details.
I am now off to make a start on my 2000 word artist statement for my assessment for one of the final modules for my Masters Degree at the end of January…… and do a bit of research on Vivian Koorland….interesting…. and Ruth Loibl
O and finally , sadly I have parents evening to attend for the teenager verging on thirty year old…’shes not a child you know’….oh dear, there’s definitely a work of art in that…
PS Merry Christmas and I hope to see some of you at my work shop at the Town House in the New year.
PPS Look here in the new year for more news on my next exciting trip to India in 2020……heres a few more photos from my last trip.
PPS Enjoy your tutoring on your cruise to South Africa Sarah W…..xxx.
Well my time at Chichester as Artist in Residence has now passed and I’ve just spent the most amazing (nearly a ) month in India travelling round Gujerat with a sneaky trip to Delhi and Agra at the end…...I would have blogged from India….but I need a new phone ..the old one does not just cut the mustard…..I did instagram though http://mycathas niceboots . It’s on my business plan now ( thank you Sarah Homfray)… need new phone..…yes dear reader I do now indeed have one – a business plan that is ..and I’ve nearly got a new phone…..just tryng to narrow it down.. (boring!!) ….so much more interesting arty things to do….
2018/19 is the year when I’m going to get all media savvy and sorted!! I’ve had my first proper PR session with my private advisor (aka the Mad canadian — who also kindly dropped me at heathrow last month for my BIG ADVENTURE….) Watch this space….don’t hold your breath though!!
I’ll also be holding my first workshop of the year in Petersfield in January……watch this space also for details.
My Gujerat trip with colourlicious was amazing – beyond all expectations and I’ll be bloggin’ more about it in my next few posts…. I have some very exciting news!!
But for now I’m concentrating on my MA exhibtion at the Otter Gallery FINAL ELEMEMT https://www.chi.ac.uk/about-us/otter-gallery/current-exhibitions which opens next week.. all welcome! Private View is on Thursday 6 til 8pm… I would attach the picture of the invite but I cant work out how to convert the ruddy pdf to a doc you can ruddy read..aaargh!!!!! Click this boring looking lookin link and you’ll see the lovley invite. A5 pv
Heres a sneaky peak of my fantastic trip……….i have alot of very beautiful phots to share..i;’ also be going to do some show and tell if anyone is interested!!!!
and that is it for now..off for a crit at uni…..
PS look forard to seeing you later this month Sarah for your talk at Liss in Stitches
as summer slides away and culminates in my artist in residency exhibition – it opens on the 15t hSeptember… it’s going to now take me teeny bit it longer to put together the finishing touches… as at the start of the week I managed to slip slide away and do a cartwheel down a flight of stairs. No mean feat when you are 39 and three quarters (sic – for the sake of the new reader I decided a while back to stop aging before I got to 40 – very sensible advice in my opinion feel free to magpie). No broken bones fortunately just bruised and battered… I feel extremely lucky….I think the crystals I bought in Totnes over the summer must be doing their thing. Did you know crystals, according to my 10 year old, keep you self-centred??? Hmmm…he’s possibly right!
Fortunately, until said fall from grace, I had been very busy getting things finished for final assembly of my work at the theatre next week so my enforced hiatus shouldn’t be too much of a setback…. so I will pop pills like there’s no tomorrow for a couple of days and then get back on track…time and tide and all that jazz…and pull everything together at the weekend.
It was quite tricky deciding which route to go for the final installation. As you might imagine the theatre has provided me with a plethora of stimuli……. I spent most of August sorting out what to do and what to use, what to take forward and what to shelve. The end result is my take on a celebration of ‘Festival 18’. My main aim was tell a story through my art work and reflect the theatre, its’ environment and its’ people now – as well as acknowledging its’ wealth of history. You can let me know if I’ve succeeded!!! It’s quite tricky working to produce something that lives up to other people’s expectations but I am hoping my artistic response will please….however, as an artist, it really is about putting yourself out there and I find that its best to just do what you love so whatever the feedback, I have had a blast, enjoyed the creative process, the meeting people, the close experience of theatre, the looking beyond and the digging deep – I feel satisfied with the outcome and am excited to see my pieces in situ. They will be there until mid October.
Over the summer I did another morning stitching at the theatre and went to see ‘The Meeting’ by Charlotte Jones -met her briefly at the directors talk for the play where audience members were encouraged to take part in my ‘Everyone is an Artist’ project. There will be piece to celebrate the outcome of this in the exhibition…I hope you managed a label…if not you could add to it when it is at the theatre from the 15th September.
‘The Meeting’ raised several issues……the role of pacifism when the nation is at war, outsider influence and how people cope with and react to disability. A play about language, silence and outsiders coming into the circle – I found it compelling, moving and thought provoking. I did a bit of stitching during the performance and through the interval to feel fully involved (!). The chairs from the production really spoke to me and I loved the way they were used in the play….and I am really lucky in being able to borrow them for a bit and use them in an art installation near you from the 15th September. It was tricky to decide what to do with them and how much to add and how much to leave them alone to tell their own story.
The idea of the protagonist, an army deserter, coming in to disrupt the circle was the crux of the play, and he was welcomed in to the inner circle. I saw similarities in my coming into the theatre as an outsider, although, I hasten to add, I am not an army deserter nor have I been disruptive in quite the same way (but ( definately feel accepted by the circle.) However I do hope that I make people look at things from a different angle as that is what I see is my job as an artist!
There were going to be screen prints too but I had a bit of a mishap with the screens…..the less said about that the better…moving swiftly on….they (the chairs) relate nicely to the wall pieces which I have stitched and printed using material printed with leaves collected from Oakland’s Park where the theatre stands, imagery drawn from the 2018 brochure and materials given to me by the lovely ladies in the wardrobe department.
Wall pieces were taken to the framers last Friday and will be on display (and on sale – ever hopeful!) at the theatre next week. Life atthe moment seems to be treating me torahter a lot of incidents at the mo and my trip to the framers was an interesting foray in itself… what started out as an excellent concise meeting of minds turned into a two hour ordeal when my 10 year old managed to lock my car keys in the car!!! Don’t ask!!! Ah the joys of multi-tasking… thanks go to the mad Canadian who came to my rescue!!!! However every cloud -which is totally my motto in life – if we hadn’t been stranded I wouldn’t have wandered in the studio of the very talented artist Nicola Hancock who also develops and manages the Chichester Art Trail. I really got a lot from my unintentional visit and it wasn’t just the tea, shelter and my 10 year old occupied terrorizing her lovely dog! I felt inspired looking at Nicola’s eclectic mix of work. It really was beautiful, interesting and drew me in. Can’t wait to get my pictures back…and get on with making more diverse work myself.
In between times or should I say liminal places(?)
Rewind to July and, stop press….all work for the theatre was put on hold when the Embroiderers’ Guild invited me to stitch a medal and a heart for their celebration ‘100 hearts war stories’
They will go on display at the 2018 knitting & stitching shows and the NEC in 2019. Research for the project involved me finding out lots of new facts about my maternal grandfather who incidentally inspired one of my very first large textile works… ‘my past in the present’. George Patrick Martin served in the army for the duration of WW1, fought at the Somme and Passchendaele and hence was an old contemptible
My research resulted in the production of a medal in memory of him and a heart in memory of his sweetheart, my future Grandma Abigail – whom I never met as she died before I was born. He was 19 when he signed up to go to France. Hard to contemplate what he must have endured and what all those young men and women must have gone through. Although it is important to celebrate and commemorate it is also really important to acknowledge the futileness and awful devastation of war. I think it will be a thought provoking exhibition and am proud to be a small part of it.
EG stuff in the bag I schlepped around galleries in London including the Saatchi…lovely….and Frida Kahlo at V and A. Amazing. However I didn’t really like looking at all her personal stuff… it felt wrong, a bit voyeuristic to be looking at all her private things. I loved her paintings and her wardrobe …inspiring. Perhaps it would have been different if I’d seen them at the Blue House – because I really enjoyed snooping around Agatha Christie’s summer abode, Greenaway, in the summer. May be it is all about place? Or maybe I just fancy a trip to Mexico next?
I also managed to squeeze in an exhibition an Ox Market Gallery in August with my fellow MA students. Great experience with some great feedback. Thank you to everyone who supported us….
So……..you’re not supposed to start a sentence with ‘so’ you know ‘cos it’s not grammatically correct. Did you know that? When you know, you realize how much it is done…or maybe its just me? Something to think about….anyway… there will be three parts to my final exhibition…did I tell you I do like working in threes…? Yes indeed – like a triptych, with a difference. A screen, some chairs and a series of framed wall hung works…… installed in the Foyer of the Festival Theatre from the 15th September….just in case I haven’t said that enough!
And so dear reader my time at the theatre is nearly over…I really am lost for words – which is why I am an artist and let my work do the talking for me. The immersive experience has been inspiring and interesting for my artistic development and has taken me down a different path… on this occasion responding to the cft environment and its people and interpreting this institution at a particular moment in time. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported me in my time there, especially Jess and Richard and Charlotte, I will quite miss being there….I will however definitely be visiting the theatre more often in future!!! I really want to see Copenhagen and Flowers for Mrs Harris.
Ever onwards….my next exhibition will be at the Otter Gallery in October and once the Chichester Festival Theatre work is hung I will be concentrating on that. This will sadly be the last exhibition at the Otter Gallery as it will close its doors and metamorphosise into a computer suite…ahh the onward march of technology….marvelous…. we artists need to keep on fighting to get art out there and claim spaces.
Next I’m off on a research trip to India to explore the textiles of Gujarat…. I’ve managed to squeeze in a quick trip to the Tahj Mahal on the way home too……well when in Rome….or should I say Agra….
PS Sarah – Hope Edinburgh exhibiton goes well..the pics look fab!! wish i could have come with!
Well how about this for an opener….its pretty inspirational…the first permanent art exhibit at the Natural History Museum. The backstory is fab. Kovats was inspired by Darwin’s drawing to explain his theory of evolution, and it seems that as well as the theatre featuring large in my life at the moment, so are TREES (Did I mention I’ve just taken on an allotment? We’re going for an orchard – evidently you need 5 trees minimum. Take a look at this link later)
It’s just over a month since I’ve been doing my bit as Artist in Residence at Chichester Festival Theatre and I wanted to share some of my thoughts so far, as well as the imagery I have been collecting to reflect my time here.
The deadline is approaching to producing a plan of work for my exhibition at the theatre in the autumn. I have started to pull things together and make decisions on what to take forward, and what to leave behind in the file marked ‘pieces of work that were never realised!'(YES, that’s quite a big file if you’re an artist!….but the research and the drawings are great to do!)
I can’t get away from the trees surrounding the theatre and the impact that the theatre has on its’ environment. I have been reading about the tree of life, the tree of the world – Yggdrasil – in Norse mythology (thank you Gary Goodman) – and an amazing article about trees and their connection to each other (thank you Him in doors). I really want the book Are Trees Sentient by Peter Wohlleben now!
So I am taking a LEAP (sorry Richard!) and going with TREES as a place to start to depict the theatre. Apart from the environmental situation of the theatre, right on the edge of Oaklands Park, and the fact that the building looks like a big concrete tree (it does trust me), I see the theatre and it’s community as a tree.
Also I can’t help being influenced by my work with school children for ‘Thread Bearing Witness’ and ‘Finding a voice through ‘The Tree of Life” by G Hughes. Looking back, trees have been used on stage at Chichester rather a lot… trees it seems are everywhere. I even went to see a dress rehearsal of The Chalk Garden – and yes you guessed it… trees are there too……by the way don’t go down the rabbit hole there’s a lot of stuff about all of this on the internet!! I’ve been there and managed to pull myself out..it wasn’t easy. You have been warned!!!
Rather than explain in words here are some drawings from my sketch book which will hopefully help explain my thought processes…..
So basically CFT, I see you and your community as a tree.
The roots are the past. The trunk the strengths and things you are good at. The branches the people that are involved with the theatre. The leaves… well I’ll stop there you get the drift.
I’ve also been looking at ‘tribes’ of the theatre and how I might depict them. I’m looking at them as beetles at the moment – don’t ask – but it’s in a good way and I do tenuous links.
and from wiki….
Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers, typically actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music, and dance. Elements of art, such as painted scenery and stagecraft such as lighting are used to enhance the physicality, presence and immediacy of the experience. The specific place of the performance is also named by the word “theatre” as derived from the Ancient Greek θέατρον (théatron, “a place for viewing”), itself from θεάομαι (theáomai, “to see”, “to watch”, “to observe”)
I want to try to capture the performance and storytelling part of theatre in my work. When you stop and think about it, it’s all a bit weird: sitting in auditorium, looking at people on a platform who are pretending to be other people, and trying to make you believe that they are not themselves, and that they have an important story to tell. Which (when it is good), transports you to another world and makes a personal and emotional connection to you. This, dear reader, is what I hope to weave into my artwork. There are many things to decide – the exhibition is pencilled for September!
I’ve been experimenting with eco printing (thank you Caroline Bell!) to create backgrounds to screen print on to. Next stop is collecting leaves from Oaklands Park and onion skins from the kitchens here to print on some cloth which I will then stitch into…. I am also giving thought to how I can create a community tree…it’s a work in progress so watch this space….there will be some community events in July where you can have the opportunity to come along and contribute to the art work..haven’t finalised the format yet…….just playing around with ideas…..watch this space
reminds me a bit of Allen Ruppersburg the never ending book
I’ve also been continuing to wander unfettered around the theatre….so sort of observing the ‘theatre as theatre’ really….. I am so lucky to have all this access…I love being a fly on the wall…wandering is so cool..It was fascinating watching the dynamics of a ‘change over’ in shows yesterday.
The Chalk Garden leaves and the set up begins for Me and My Girl. I watched a bit of rehearsal, missed the meet and greet as I was running around Southsea visiting cathedrals and mosques for… don’t ask that’s another life and caught a bit of a Youth Theatre workshop…fabulous!
I have also been admiring the amazing costumes for The Country Wife which I hope to see next week (as well as a back stage tour for the production. Thank you Jess). You would not believe how busy the whole place is – perhaps I should be using ants instead of beetles. I think I am going to have to use artistic license tho ‘cos the beetles are more fun to draw!
Oh and I managed to make these in the prop department ….
Other news up and coming exhibition..I will be exhibiting at the oxmarket gallery from the 13th of August for two weeks..watch this space……..
PS FINALLY last but not least ..The University of Chichester plans to close the Otter Gallery this autumn – where I am currently undertaking my Masters Degree in Fine Art. This is Chichester’s only free public art gallery with a permanent collection. Is this the thin end of the wedge for the future of fine art in Chichester? Current planned exhibitions by Masters Fine Art students are shelved – so I’m a bit sad about that to say the least. More info at https://ottergallery.wordpress.com/
If you wish to sign a petition that has been set up to try to stop its closure and at least look at alternative plans for a permanent gallery space… please go to Save the Otter Gallery petition by clicking this link
and that is about it….off to make some more scones……..
PPS I’ve just bought my ticket for Frida..at the V and A……can’t wait. Well I can but you know what I mean!
PPPS So sad our road trip to Edinburgh is off Sarah but so pleased about your Canada exhibition!
Couldn’t resist! Continuing to be incredibly pleased (understatement) to be selected as Emerging Artist in Residence for Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT) and I am currently going for totally immersing myself in the life of the theatre. One of the benefits of the residency is the close access I get to buildings and personnel and the community touched by the theatre and I am planning to use this experience to create work that will be exhibited at CFT in the autumn to celebrate its’ Festival 2018 season.
So what’s has been happening so far? Learning about CFT Day one: I arrived (on the teenager going on 30 year olds 15th birthday) – paying close attention to all the beautiful trees that surround it in wonderful Oakland’s Park – and
and of course
the striking Post War 60s building. (Interesting fact 1. All the money to build CFT was raised by members of the public..you see crowd funding is not new…Interesting fact 2. – CFT was the first thrust stage to be built in the UK in 450 years…..what’s even more interesting is I now actually know what a thrust stage is – go on google it …you know you want to!)
First I met with the deputy head of the Learning, Education and Participation (LEAP) Department that creates a year-round programme of practical workshops, talks, tours, performances as well as running the largest Youth Theatre in the country. Its four main areas of contact are children and young people, families, community and education. I’m trying to build up a holistic picture of the theatre and it’s community and the influence it has. I am also interested in how it makes contact and interacts with the outside world.
I spent the rest of the day being amazed by the vastness of metro house – the CFT’s prop store – searching for props and attempting to re-cover a lamp for Present Laughter, which I was lucky enough to see the week before.
I was privileged to be invited to the ‘meet and greet’ with the cast of random and generations where I met and talked to the actors and the South African choir – check them out on instagram! The plays are hard hitting and amazing. Brilliant set.
In my spare time (that’s a joke by the way) I’ve been researching the history of the building using, amongst other things, books by Kate Mosse and Leslie Evershed-Martin, the man who started it all and who seems like quite a character.
Coincidently, I met a woman at a textile event (Brockenhurst) whose grandfather owned the building firm that that built a part of CFT in the 60’s. She was a cornflower girl – one of the girls and women who sold cornflowers to raise money for the theatre back in the 1950s. Serendipity. I need to find out more….
I was invited to (and attended!) a talk by Tinuke Craig, director of random and generations (fascinating and insightful, an amazing, interesting and very accomplished woman), and met members of the the Commissioning Circle and the Youth Commissioning Circle.
As my residency progresses I am continuing to to meet as many people connected with the theatre as possible and have been finding out about the Pass It On and Renew projects which have helped the theatre continue to grow and evolve. The reach of the theatre goes far beyond just the people who attend the shows.
Next I will be spending a bit more time in the prop department and meeting some of the army of volunteers who support the theatre. My sketch book is getting fat and I am getting lots of ideas…I have begun to make experimental pieces in response to time spent st the theatre…I will begin to post these as a visual documentation of my time here. It will be interesting to see where this goes.
images above are in the prop department……..guess the show….
Meanwhile the Art One Degree Show started last night..great to see lots of new art..the preview was busy and buzzy…….and am now getting ready for a trip to the New Forest, New Milton to be exact… for my drawing in to textiles work shop tomorrow..I hope my students are going to enjoy it…its going to be quite exciting – we’re going to some drawing from the right side of the brain exercises (thank you Betty Edwards)..and wire drawing and then turning our designs into textile pieces! Really looking forward to it!
PS I have actually been doing some work too..so will put pics in my next post..I have a thing going on about how to download images on to my computer ….
PPS I’m updating my site so stay with me….there are a few glitches…..I will get there!!! Onwards and upwards.
PPPS …off to pack my car!!
PPPPS Sorry I didn’t get to see you Sarah
Okay DRUM ROLL PLEASE big news this month is I’ve been awarded artist in residence at Chichester Festival Theatre and I am rather excited about it TO SAY THE LEAST!!!!! As well as getting to meet lots of great people and be inspired by this wonderful theatre to produce some artwork, I will be based in the props department and get to work on props as well as an indepth look behind the scenes at the theatre over the next three months – another bonus is I get to see lots of great plays. The work I produce in response to the residency will be exhibited at the theatre to celebrate Festival 2018 in the autumn…..might be some teasers beforehand too.. I haven’t made up my mind yet.….it’s all up to me……Fantastic OR WHAT!!! I can’t tell you how great it is!!! There is a world of possibilities!! First day is officially next Monday!!!
Meanwhile I sent off some trees for the thread bearing witness project…really pleased how they turned out. Sorry now pics at mo..my picture stuff is driving me mad.. I really can’t work out rhyme or reason of how pictures are saved to my computer..aaargh…
Went to illustrated talk by Gill Clarke, Visiting Professor and Curator at Otter Gallery, University of Chichester on Women in the Land Army at Petersfield library – of interest as I have just started to work on my medal and heart for 100 hearts exhibition with the Embroiderer’s Guild – Exhibition later in the Year.
I also attended a conference on the People of the Heath – the dig has now drawn to a close for the present but there is a book, art work and exhibitions in the offing – watch this space.
Liverpool delivered again with a great exhibition at the Walker Gallery Singh Twins. Loved it!!!
I have also been popping in to Pallant House in Chichester when I can.. I enjoyed the Delonghi room which is currently showing work by textile designer Sheila Bownas (1925—2007), a supplier to Liberty London and Marks & Spencer who remained relatively unknown until an archive of her work surfaced recently at auction. Her colourful patterns capture the optimism of the post-war era. One of the many textile designers…female unsung and unrecognised. Interesting that such an influential art form does not celebrate the mainly female designers – funny that????
I also enjoyed the work of British painter Leonard Rosoman RA (1913 – 2012) – ‘A Patriot for Me’ – John Osbourne’s play – is seen in a series of works not shown together since the 1970s. This is the first museum show of Rosoman’s work for over 30 years. Loved it!!!
Lots of childcare over Easter. As well as too many Easter eggs but managed to fit in lots of sneaky studio time too….handy having it in the garden as I can disappear at regular intervals and just keep running back up to the house to provide snacks and sustenance at the required times. Well when I remember!!!OOPS! Works in progress….
Did a life drawing class too………
and so finally ….the month ended with a taste of textiles for Liss in Stiches on Saturday……where I ran a workshop on Kantha Stitching ..very similar to Sashiko, and also, I learned,Durham Quilting. Isn’t it great how these stitching traditions all over the world are integrally linked.. I really like the simple-ness of the running stitch and have been experimenting in my own work with it…..I met some really interesting people.. I love the power of hand stitching bringing people together…it has a real qualities when it draws people together and you have many interesting conversations.. .. I learnt about my little pony!!! don’t ask!!) Kerala in India and Cat stitches – evidently they are BAD!!!
Meanwhile at Liss is Stiches we had an amzing morsebagging evening! we made about 80 bags..final count at ext months meeting. It was a really enjoyable evening ….definitely need more machines if I’m going to run a sweat shop……
PS Really looking forward to Brockenhurst Fiesta this weekend …hope to see you there..I will be upstairs showing some of my latest work (and staying with you Sarah…..!) off to finalise my packing as I’m flat out for the rest of the week..see you there…
PPS Over and out……..
PPPS noel and me…..you have to click this..I thought it was funny anyway!!haven’t worked out how to negotiate back tot his page though so of it works your have to log back into my site..not good!!! .which is why i have put it at the end!! BYE! this is why I am doing a website course at University! Its really hard!!!
Well it’s been seven months since I started my masters and the months have been rather magnificent also I wanted to write this blog mainkly about wahts been happneingin the last magnificent 7 days……..
Had some great speakers this term one who stands out is Philippa Lawrence. Principal Lecturer on the BA (hons) Artist, Designer: Maker course at Cardiff School of Art & Design. Wonderful work on a grand scale… definately worth a look…she’s got an exhibition coming up at Hestecombe House in Somerset..not sure when! Her work is currently on show at Ruthin Crafts Centre- A Darker Thread, 3rd February – 8th April 2018. I was lucky enough to have a tutorial with her which was extremely helpful. Her trees are amazing but shes about much more…..
Also did a great workshop with Amanda Cobbett AKA the mushroom lady. Yes they are fabric!!Check out her website Anyway I made this little beauty…. she showed us how to make the body and I didn’t see the point of making something realistic. She does it so well so I went for more is more…..
The body is a perfect scale replica of a Greenfinch…honest!!!
Love the technique and would like to adapt it to make more 3d objects….
I’ve been working on developing another body of work and am trying to push into 3d….. lots of potential here and I need to keep making and drawing…my sketch book is coming along nicely.. I do love drawing… I need to be more regimented about how often I am drawing though. Every day would be pure luxury. I’ve been making some more books too….
I also attended a conference for Hampshire Art Teachers at Southampton Art https://www.southamptoncityartgallery.com Gallery … as one of the speakers I was talking about my experience as an artist and a teacher as well as the Campaign for Creativity and the Embroiderers Guild’s World’s Longest Embroidery for Schools. I also managed to display my work in the gallery and do two great workshops…busy day but great!!! The first workshop was with Kwame from African Activities. An amazing company which does a wealth of different African themed workshops ….look at the website…its mind boggling what they offer! We did printing on to cloth…strangely I loved this!!! Great fun… loved the stories behind all the symbolism of the Ghanaian stamps we were using on simple cloth…especially loved the way Kwame ‘read’ our cloths once printed and made them into a life story…brilliant.
The next one was with Vanessa Stone a paper artist. Great activity based using papers to make designs inspired by the the current exhibiton Roger Mayne and St. Ives: A Defining Moment Currently at Southampton Art Gallery 13 Jan 2018 – 12 May 2018
We worked in the gallery next to the exhibition which was a real privilege…. I’ll definitely taking mine on and turning it into something textile…as well as exploring with children in workshops at school.
I am also in the process of co-ordinating an installation for Art Shop 2018 in Petersfield and am working with a group of year 6 children who will be installing work at One Tree Books in Petersfield from in April 2018. Lots of shops in around Lavant Street taking part. Look out for the work!
Then I spent a day tappy lapping from the Tate Britain to Tate Modern. The What makes us Human. Wonderful – as well as fantastic work by Bacon and Freud and Kossof. I particularly liked DE Souza…ahdnt seen his work before. I need to look at more…. and I time spent wandering around the permanent collection. Lots of new artists to research!!! Need more time!!!!
Next on to Matisse and Picasso at the Tate Modern. Loved the virtual reality experience in the Matisse. I can now say I’ve been to his studio in Paris circa 1915…FAB. And then one of my favourite artists Picasso. I know I shouldn’t like him because he was such a misogynist BUT……I love his work…. fantastic…amazing show. Made me think about the definite advantages of working with one image and doing it again and again in different ways. Loved it. Selfish narcissistic, ……,,hmmm……
Looking forward to another trip to the Tate and the Walker next week when I head off to Liverpool for half term.
When I return I’ll be running a workshop at the Taste of Textiles Day on Saturday 14th April at LisS in Stitches at the Community Centre in Liss. I will be teaching a workshop on the wonderful art of Kantha Stitching……come along any try a stitch taster for just £5..an absolute bargain…lots of different things to try.
Rights off to do more printing… I’ve just re-kindled a love for monoprinting.. and painting…….and I spent yesterday clearing my studio out…it’s a joy to behold!
As always it’s a bit of a balancing act trying to keep all the plates spinning while continuing to develop my art practice.. but it is a joy.. I am just re-looking at one of my chairs which I have decided I need to sell to make room for more……..ART! Fingers crossed and hope to see you at Taste of Textiles day Saturday 14th April 10 til 4pm
Hi di hi campers.. I’m having real problems to remember to blog..must be an age thing…I keep writing them and then not publishing..which is not great if your trying to keep up a blog…however I’ve been stressing about it too much… so as they say on Blue Peter..if they still do that is…here’s one I made earlier… .. I hope it will be of interest..as there’s some great info in it……I’m also creating a new website at uni which is very exciting …watch out for the changes!
I was recently asked by the Embroiderers Guild to be involved in a working group to promote stitch in schools and also promote the Campaign for Creativity. As a result I went along to the Knitting and Stitching Show in London’s Alexandra Palace to help ‘woman’ the Campaign’s Stand and raise awareness about its’ aims. People visiting the stand could come along and sew their names on to a textile petition and hear more about it.The Campaign for Creativity is an initiative organised and promoted by Twisted Thread and supported by the Embroiderers’ Guild. Its’ aims are to help provide more and better opportunities at school for children to be creative and to think creatively and believes that the rigid nature of the national curriculum does not provide enough opportunity or time for children to express themselves creatively and artistically. There are many good reasons to support this campaign, it involves a petition which needs 100,000 signatures in order to trigger a debate in Parliament which could potentially effect real change. There are around 5000 signatures on the petition to date – so there is a long way still to go!! Let’s help create the debate. If you haven’t signed up yet, then please do! You could embroider your name on to small pieces of calico and send it into the Campaign to be attached to the textile ‘stitch-tition’. This is the visual side of the petition – the one where your signature counts towards the 100,000 needed, is on line. Please go to… www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/spring/the-campaign-for-creativity/ and sign up! The ‘stitch-tition’ that was started at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017 will go on display at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show 2018 at Olympia.
I also want to mention here Morsbags http://www.morsbags.com/. – I met Claire Morseman whilst I was at the great British Sewing Bee – now there’s something worth knowing about…I cant tell you how amazing I think this project is..again free or cheap to take part in and makes you feel good inside…. google them – an environmental cause well worth promoting! Lets ditch the plastic! Being a skint student I’m always up for things like this!!
Another thing I’m loving is the Alice Kettle project Thread Bearing Witness to raise the plight of displaced people. Get involved! You’ve got ’til April to stitch a tree.. its easy, enjoyable, for a good cause and will be great to be involved in a national art project which will be displayed in at least two large galleries,the Whitworth in Manchester and Winchester Discovery Centre.
Meanwhile I am continuing my studies and continuing to experience as always a lot of seredipity. There was fabulous programme on Mexican art on the BBC in December (The Art That Made Mexico) which showed the wonderful Las Posas Gardens which I used as inspirationfor my piece of work in West Dean last summer…it was followed by a complimentary programme -Hand Made in Mexico- on the intricate embroidery used to decorate the colourful huipitls worn, made and embroidered by Mexican women. I was really interested in how the women transferred their designs. Very similar to the prick and pounce method of design transfer used in English embroidery – and also of interest as I am currently teaching some workshops using the Japanese technique of Sashiko whose modern day interpretations use a variety of methods to transfer designs across to materials. Talking of serendipity I was lucky enough to be given a ticket (thank you mad canadian!) for a very special theatre production at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester last month which was about the life and times of surrealist artist Roland Penrose and his wife and partner – war photographer Lee Miller – a truly remarkable woman. The connection is that West Dean holds the archive of some of photographs used in the performance and Edward James was a close friend to Lee Miller and Roland Penrose. The performance, a one off, was very personal – as it was written and presented by Roland and Lee’s son, Antony. It was really rather wonderful and I felt uplifted and inspired afterwards. I am still pursuing themes of feminism and identity in my own work…watch out for a bit of surrealism thrown in for good measure from now on.