Monday, 25 May 2015

PRISM textiles and Geffrye Museum

A visit today to the annual PRISM textiles exhibition, where the theme was "Lines of Communication".  A new venue, at Hoxton Arches, was much more straightforward to get to than I had anticipated, to Clapham Junction, and then overground to Hoxton.  A very good facet of this new venue is that the exhibition is on for two weeks, until 31st May.  The standard of work on display is as always superb, and in some cases very moving.  It seemed very monotone this year, with bright colours in evidence in only a few pieces, but particularly in those of Gina Ferrari, who has been inspired by the graffiti in the garden of the venue and in the work of  Ruth Issett, whose overlaid and stitched organzas are marvellous.

Many familiar names this year.  It was wonderful to see the devoré pieces by Peta Jacobs whose work I had admired at the Cloth and Memory 2 exhibition at Saltaire.  A very moving piece of 64 hand knitted lace gloves in memory of visits to the artist's mother who was suffering from dementia, apologies, I did not get the name here.  Intriguing stitching on ventilator mesh from Niki chandler, giving excellent shadows which were integral to the work.  Crunchy, vibrant map of a river by Amanda Bloom.  Fabulous work as ever from Bea Sewell with stitched memorabilia in a series of boxes.  Fantastic to have Amanda Hislop's  sketchbook available to view alongside the finished piece of work, so much inspiration and understanding of her artistic process from viewing the two together.

Photography is allowed at the exhibition this year, but images are for personal use only, so not shown here.  It is a bold move of the PRISM group to move from the Mall Galleries and I'm not sure it has been completely successful.  The gallery was very well lit and laid out, but it was very cold due to the unseasonal weather ( and there was no obvious source of heating anyway).  There are minimal toilet facilities and no cafe - although there are many good eating places in less than 1 minute's walk.  The exhibition was not busy on a Bank Holiday Monday, which was not a great sign.  Something for the organisers to think about I fear.

I had not realised how close the Geffrye Museum was to the venue, so I managed to ft in a visit to a place hat has been on my list for several years.  Not enough  time to see everything, but enough to get a flavour  and persuade me to visit again soon.  The flowers in the garden were spectacular as another bonus.  Good cafe as well.

2015 05 24 mosaic flowers

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Quilt exhibition - don't touch!

Our quilt group is having its biennial exhibition from 23rd until 25th October this year.  A perennial question at such exhibitions is how to align the wish for attendees to touch the quilts with the need to keep said exhibits clean and undamaged.  There are always the ubiquitous white gloves, and the inevitable questions to those who are wearing them, summed up in this witty post.  The " don't touch" signs always seem very off-putting, so I've been pondering a better way to get the message across.

Exerimenting with freezer paper stencils and Markal paintsticks again, I've come up with these little banners that can be touched.  I can get about 4 good prints from each cut stencil, and can also use the stencil cut letters as masks.



Lost the comma from the letter masks.



Although this first example is machine quilted, I've layered up 5 of these as travel projects for over the summer.


Thursday, 21 May 2015

….. and I would sew 1420 yards of thread

With apologies to The Proclaimers, I am intermittently chained to my sewing machine, machine quilting the big project.

Alice quilting

Alice quilting

When I need a break, I go and photograph amazing flower heads and buds.


Peony bud

Nigella flower head

or look at the shadows from my lampshade


Monday, 18 May 2015

Art: perspective in two forms

The day started with a visit to the Annely Juda Gallery to see the new David Hockney exhibition of photography and paintings.  I wasn't overly convinced by the paintings, like several reviewers, but the photography collages / combinations/ photographic drawings are really different and seemed to me, to be worth travelling to see.  The odd perspective changes encourage many looks at the same scene, and there is a game of " find the object" in identifying repeated instances of people and objects across the series of paintings and photographs.

Then on to the drawing course, where we were using enlargements and reductions of our drawings to cut out shapes from painted paper and then collage these in different formations.  Good fn, but I found it very difficult to settle on one arrangement.  Photography not helped by the strong shadows in the studio this afternoon.




I can see some of these being used in textile pieces in the future.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Three periods of history: Magna Carta, the Tudors, WW2

What a weekend, straddling Magna Carta, the Tudors and WW2.  I feel that I have been studying for GCSE history alongside the younger members of my family.

First of all, Magna Carta.  I gave a talk to Thameside Quilters on Friday night about my journal quilts.  This was a lovely experience, and I hope that I encouraged some of that productive group to have a go at journals.  Another part of the evening was a presentation by Paula Doyle about the Magna Carta Quilt.


This is a magnificent project, being stitched by 25 quilters, 23 of whom are from Thameside.  Paula brought along two small banners to give a flavour of the colours, fabrics and stitching that will be in the finished pieces.  The back of the quilts will be a mosaic of the Thames and individual blocks of the back are available for sponsorship to cover the costs of this superb piece of work.  I have sponsored a block for our family for posterity.


The next day, an immersion in aspects of Tudor history as the Gloriana made her way through Teddington Lock as part of the Tudor Pull.  Great swathes of flags, gilt and red made for memorable images.

Saltire on Gloriana




Then, waiting to come through the lock, were the Dunkirk Little Ships


Although there are many of the ships still sailing, there were 18 involved in this flotilla.  All showed loving restoration and attention.





Inspiration for this journal challenge, perhaps.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Return to drawing

I am back at the Mary Ward Centre this term, for a mix of drawing and painting.  This session was a refresher on measuring size and proportion of objects and transferring them to paper using the sight size method.  Our tutor, Sophie, encouraged us to use a bamboo skewer as a measuring tool, and  certainly found this much more consistent than using a pencil.  We chose a series of objects, gradually increasing in complexity.  I did enjoy this when I got to the "flow" stage.
Pencil drawing, plant pot, vase and bottlePencil drawing, plant pot, vase, bottle, jug
Looking at these boards in the studio, I ca see why I was completely take in by the work of this artist  at the Mall Galleries earlier this year.

First swifts, summer is on the way

Saw and heard my first swifts yesterday, what joy.

Image result for Swifts

Monday, 11 May 2015

Journal quilt May 2015 - noise contours

I have lived happily alongside Heathrow for 25 years, with little intrusion ( apart from Concorde) until June 2014.  Since then, when the wind is in the east, my neighbourhood has been assaulted with noise, as new flightpaths are "tested" as part of a global initiative to supposedly reduce the cost of fuel for airlines, and, supposedly, reduce aircraft emissions.  The changes have been implemented in the USA, and are being tested in the EU, without consultations with communities that will be changed forever by exposure to increased noise.  

The methods used to calculate noise exposure are misleading in the extreme, with decibel monitors placed at strategic points, and noise levels averaged out as an annual exposure, rather than being stated as maximum and minimum decibel levels.  My journal quilt this month is therefore about the noise contours around Heathrow, showing that my house is supposedly outside the noise contours, and that the 85dB sound levels going over our roof between 2130h and 2330h in particular, are a complete figment of my, and my neighbours'  imaginations.

Noise contours CQGB May 2015  Version 2

Commercial cotton, overprinted with hand-enhanced map, commercial ribbons, hand-quilted / embroidered and machine quilted.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Wisteria and der gross Sammelfläche

Spring has sprung, and unfortunately with it has come easterly winds.  Due to international changes in aviation, particularly to flightpaths, this has meant that our area is now subjected to unrelenting noise from take-offs ( 0615h until 2330h) when the wind is in the east.  Not conducive to creative activities, but very conducive to campaigning activities for HACAN and TeddingtonAction Group, therefore much of my time is going there.

Rant over, as a different aspect of spring that I love is the eruption of wisteria along walls and fences.  A morning walk is longer than usual due to stopping to capture these beauties.

Wisteria mosaic

Der grosse Sammelfläche is at the quilting stage.