Have spent most of the summer in the garden, as ideas (mostly around more vertical lines/stripes) for my next prints and tapestries grow slowly in my mind. The garden has been growing rather faster, in our warm, mostly damp, summer, requiring endless clearing. By the end of July the freshness of May and June are well over, and there is something almost forbidding about the density of growth, menace lurks in the dark of foliage…. Always a fan of black and white photography, there is no doubt that it conveys the slightly surreal so much better than colour.
‘Ravel and Roll’ joins my other small tapestries in my studio which has been open for a week now for DAW. Also, of course, many of my prints – lots of stripes, lots of images to do with textiles. Weather, although VERY cold in the mornings, has been wonderfully sunny, and the meadows around us looking glorious. Visitors who have made their way to our far reaches of Dorset have loved it all, lots of very happy comments. Will post more when I have time…..hope to see you over the next week/10 days.
Dorset Artweeks opens this Saturday May 28th and runs until June 12th. My studio will be open every day over these 2 weeks, except Thursdays, from 10.30am – 4.30pm. Full details, and directions to my venue, number 167, can be found in the free DAW guide, or on http://www.dorsetartweeks.co.ukÂ Getting ready is always fairly stressful, but has been doubly so this time as I discovered 2 days ago that my website (and my Nature of Mending website) had been hacked (for the 2nd time this year – why me?!) and so has had to be taken down and hastily re-vamped. So not everything is back quite as it should be. However! lots of work to see in my studio! Will post more soon – need to get out there and get hanging…..
‘New Dimensions’ at Taunton Museum continues to be a great success, and can be seen until April 16th. Next week I will be hanging ‘Mending Revealed’ at Bridport Arts Centre. This is a show I am curating and taking part in, and is the second of my shows about Mending, presenting the work of several other artists who have worked with this theme, and in a variety of media. Won’t say more, just come and see it from March 5th! There will be a catalogue about the show available at the Arts Centre.
This is a still of one of my favourite shots from the video I have been making for the project with Somerset Heritage Stores that I have been part of over the past year. I had NEVER made a video before, but with great support, it’s done, and will be part of the show, New Dimensions, that opens at Taunton Museum On January 16th. I have also made textiles, and prints, and even had some of my tapestry weaving cast in bronze……my five artist colleagues have also been making a fantastical array of work in response to the collections. More on this early in the New Year, and about my next show about mending, Mending Revealed, that I am curating and taking part in. No let up on the studio front here!
Participation in three shows coming up!
Quartz Festival at Queens College, Taunton – a mixed show of a range of locally based artists, curated by Lisa Harty and Sarah Dudman. Opens tomorrow,Wednesday September 30th and runs til Saturday October 11th, 10- 6 daily. I have both prints and small tapestries there. http://quartzfestival.co.uk/
The second show promises to be really interesting; ‘Re-animate, Repair and Meld’ at the Bluecoat Display Centre in Liverpool is being curated by Paul Scott, whose brilliant stapled plates were part of my ‘Nature of Mending’ show in 2013. It will feature the work of artists who are concerned with the re-use and re-animation of existent (often devalued or discarded) cultural material. Other artists include Matthew Harris, Neil Brownsword, Bouke de Vries, and Jenni Dutton and Bridget Harvey, (both of whom will be in my next Mending show in 2016; more on this in due course). There will also be artists from Canada and Scandinavia. ‘Re-animate, Repair and Meld’ will run October 10th – November 14th. http://www.bluecoatdisplaycentre.com/
Finally, Stroud International Textiles (SIT) are mounting a Showcase weekend of stands, exhibitions and events at Cheltenham Town Hall Friday October 23rd – Sunday October 25th. I will have several of my small, block mounted tapestries on show here. http://www.sitselect.org/showcase/index.html
Through all of this activity, I and five other artists are still working on the Discovery Room project, exploring the museum stores and archives of Somerset Heritage. I have been trying out all kinds of new processes from video to casting textiles in bronze! Will do a full post on this before the final show opens in Taunton. More details at http://www.revealthemuseum.com
Finally, a PS. If you read my post about Bologna and Peralta, from June 2014 (still on this page, just) it talks about Fiore de Henriquez. Good friend Charles Mapleston has now finished his very fine film about this extraordinary sculptor, and a trailer can be seen at http://www.malachite.co.uk/films.html
July 10th 2015
Just returned from the extraordinary odyssey that is a trip to the Venice Biennale. Just wandering the streets and little bridges is a visual feast before you start on the art. Here are notes of a few of my favourites:
‘Dansaekhwa’ Palazzo Contarini-Polignac. 7 Korean artists, who have been working since the 1960s. A pool of extreme calm amid the heat and tourist buzz of central Venice. http://www.venice-dansaekhwa.com
‘Proportio’ Museo Fortuny. An astonishing show on four floors of this fantastic building. Restored my faith in the art of curation. The Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation have put together a rich collection of artefacts and artworks from across centuries that are grounded in art and instinct of proportion. Peeling walls, raw linen and antique Fortuny fabrics form the background to work as diverse as Botticelli, Elsworth Kelly, an ancient architectural fragment from the Yemen, Bill Viola, Richard Long and a library of priceless books, to touch on a tiny number of experiences. Beautiful catalogue weighs a ton, but can be bought online from the Foundation website. http://www.axel-vervoordt.com/en/inside/foundation/exhibitions/proportio
And the official Biennale proper? In other words the vast Arsenale mixed show, and the national pavilions in the Giardini. Well, at 25 euros entry for both, each of which can take up a whole day, this is good value. But what you find is patchy. Highlights in the pavilions were Fiona Hall in the Australian, and Chiharu Shiota’s keys and boats and miles and miles of red thread in the Japanese
Enough. But must not forget to mention Sean Scully at the Palazzo Falier, or Cy Twombly at the Ca’ Pesaro. Back now to my own threads and paper.
I love this moment: the warp is on and spaced and tensioned, and the first rows in there. All possibilities now open. There are two on the go here, one for Reveal the Museum, (http://www.revealthemuseum.com) and the other, if finished in time (i.e. next March, and yes, I am serious!) for Mending Revealed (http://www.natureofmending.co.uk)
I have just cut this off the loom – a small piece of weaving made for the Discovery Room project (http://www.revealthemuseum.com) which has taken weeks, thanks to my mad idea of using lots of ‘extra warp’ to create all those little flying pieces and the fine mercerised cotton lines. All about surfaces, and a sense of touch…..you need to read my pieces on the project site and its blog (link above) to find out more.
Meanwhile, I have somehow also got involved in ‘From Lincolnshire And Back’, a project posting unfinished work to a partner artist in Lincolnshire, and receiving one back to work on. I must be mad, like I don’t have enough to do! I have been experimenting with wire, again for the Discovery Room and my ‘surfaces’ ideas, so on the left are the pieces I sent to Lincolnshire. On the right is a new print, very small (85mm square) for the miniprint show that Bron Bradshaw is organising for her Dove Studios Festival this summer. It is taken from the clothing of a Victorian doll in the Somerset Heritage stores. So Discovery Room dominates, but is producing all sorts of different work and spin-offs. And I can’t forget about the next Mending show of course, ‘Mending Revealed’, that I am curating at Bridport next year. There will be more news about how that is shaping up in due course at http://www.natureofmending.co.uk
2D3D Contemporary, The Meeting House, Ilminster March 22nd – April 18th Well, this piece isn’t very new, but has only been shown during Open Studios last year. So this is it’s first really public outing. Small tapestry, about 20 x 15cm. The show looks great, and I have several tapestries and some new prints and drawings alongside work by other Somerset and Dorset artists such as Bronwen Bradshaw, Jenny Graham and Amanda Wallwork.
This is a new print, quite large. My first ventures into aluminium etching. Strange to be doing a normal thing like exhibiting in the midst of the very different experience of working with Somerset Heritage for The Discovery Room project. Visit http://www.revealthemuseum.com for up to date details about that.