Brace your self…it’s all about the residency!

braces wardrobe
ready for Present Laughter…..the costumes are gorgeous..many things custom made

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

Image result for oaklands park chichester


and of course

Chichester Festival Theatre_1295C. Photo by Philip Vile
thrust stage inside….

the striking Post War 60s building. (Interesting fact 1.  All the money to build CFT was raised by members of the 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.

industrial ironing
in wardrobe…this is actually an is a thing of beauty

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.

Image result for leslie evershed-martin
leslie evershed-martin

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 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



So you missed my blether…..

well I had another one up my sleeve just for you!

Ther week has ended with this…

White walling at Art One for degree show
White walling at Art One for degree show


Can't fit anymore in...
Can’t fit anymore in…

but began like this….

..after taking down my studio space last week…it’s still mostly in the car boot..unfortunately didn’t manage to sneak it past him indoors as he helped me get it into the car…so he actually knows how much c..p I need to get back in to the house.  Does anyone know any altruistic patrons out there who would like to give me a studio space in Petersfield for  6 months or so for a nominal fee? I can move out quickly! The search is definitely on.  If this year has taught me one thing it is that  I need a space to work in…game on…

Can't fit much more in...
Things pretty tight here too….by the way this is the other bit of the same room not another room!!!

I got  two more screens printed of which I managed to wash away with the pressure washer..oops…then made ten purses.. and after thatI spent Friday felting and drinking tea in the new forest with sarah waters..(didn’t I Sarah?..look what we made…very creative!!)

Can’t get photo off my phone put yours on sarah..sorry!

imageI had intended to go to the Pallant Open House  onSaturday but got waylaid  by birthday shopping expedition with 12 year old  going on 21 year old…so instead spent time in New Look and Hennes, Claires  and Accessorise..very inspirational.

What I missed…

Wood Engraving and the Brook Green School
Wood Engraving and the Brook Green School
Leon Underwood: Figure and Rhythm
Alice Kettle: Odyssey

along with free coffee and workshops….

…what I got….

Strangely it is very hard to download pictures of H & M stores and Claires Accessories..funny that!!! However the experience is imprinted on my mind so only wanted them for the benefit of you dear reader – you’ll have to make do without#!!
Sunday went to Brockenhurst Needlework Fiesta to see Caroline Bell and Alison Hulme.  Lovely show.   Really glad I made the trip.  Bumped into Sue Hawkins who had a stand there and told her had made her  scissor saver up.   Said hello to Fay  Maxwell.  Hadn’t seen her for ages – she inspired me to do the art college thing when she showed me her lovely sketch books and let me spend a day with her in her studio…showed me how to make cords too!!!
Alison Hulme Textiles
Caroline Bell Textiles


Needle Work Fiesta
Beautiful quilt at the Fiesta….












The great hing about going to a show like this is that it really fires me up.  I want to make loads of things with my materials and be creative.  Have got a  definitive list of things to make up this week…started with another cell work picture and going to make some more things to sell as well as two more exhibition pieces which will be shown at Eastleigh College and Romsey Abbey later this year.



Monday, went to Ramster with Abi. Every two years Ramster hosts an exhibition of textile artwork.  Its on until 30 Apr 2015 17:00 Google Calendar  - Ramster Embroidery and  Textile Art Exhibition - 2015-04-17 10:00:00 Yahoo Calendar - Ramster Embroidery and  Textile Art Exhibition - 2015-04-17 10:00:00 Hotmail / Windows Live Calendar - Ramster Embroidery and  Textile Art Exhibition - 2015-04-17 10:00:00 iCalendar - Ramster Embroidery and  Textile Art Exhibition - 2015-04-17 10:00:00 .  Abi and I are  applying next time..wonder if we’ll get in?   Actually I shouldn’t have said anything cos if wedon’t now you’ll know!   Jane Simms from Liss in SticheS was successful there as was Consuleo Simpson(room6).  Sorry no photographs of their work as  I was too stingy to pay for the photo pass…these are from the Ramster website…

Lovely hall to hang work in
these figures were lovely
sorry no idea who..great colours tho!
P.S only joking this is in my kitchen!
P.S only joking this is in my kitchen!