Sunday, 28 June 2009

New Threads

Today I created an new installation at The White Gallery in Bollington for New Threads an exhibition of textile art as part of the Three Shires Textile Festival. I've been busy stitching little wing-like bundles of found colour using old sweet wrappers and toy balls. The work is almost impossible to describe without it sounding very odd indeed! For me the piece is reminiscent of insect wings, birds of paradise and tropical blooms- anything at all that burns with colour and plays with light. Strangely, the initial impetus for the work came from seeing a documentary on the Pixar film A Bug's Life. One of the animators described how as part of his research he would lie in the grass looking up through the flowers, noticing how translucent and luminescent the world was from an ant's eye view. Everything Glows for the Very Small can be seen at The White Gallery from the 4th-19th July.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Drawing With Light

I've just finished a fantastic Digital Photography course with the brilliant Ministry of Craft, in a bid to get to grips with my beast of an SLR. Whilst doing my homework I experimented with light trail photography, something I loved doing whilst on my degree.I'm fascinated by the ghostly, other-worldy shapes and qualities acheived by simply waving light around. I think they have a painterly quality: layers of colour, juxtaposed shapes and delicate line qualties. I've recently worked with some lovely children from Park Lane SEN Specialist School, creating shapes with light in response to music. The sensory delight that comes from dancing lights in a dark space made us all feel uplifted.

Today I visited Manchester School of Art's degree show and came away feeling inspired to draw and make! The next generation of embroiderers are a talented bunch. This year there seems to be a focus on technique with some exqusite work on show. Degree shows are breathtaking in the sheer range of creativity and innovation all in one room. Go and see it!!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Rubbish Revamped

The lovely ladies of Rubbish Revamped have kindly invited me to be a guest tutor at one of their workshops. If you fancy turning those ubiquitous plastic bottles and freebie CDs into shiny, dangley garlands come along on Sunday 12th July. Visit the Rubbish Revamped site for more information and to book a place.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Busy Times in May

What a brilliantly art-packed month! I've just returned from a lovely weekend in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. I was there to install my 'dangler' garlands at Fresh Air 2009 a biennial outdoor sculpture festival held in the grounds of the idyllic Old Rectory in Quenington. Ana the curator found me a beautiful spot to hang them, under a walk way of Laburnum trees. The intense yellow of the petals made the colours of the garlands sing, though the petals were rapidly falling to the ground. Something I have found from these new experiences of installing my work outdoor is how the pieces seem to complement and be complemented by intense floral colours. Though my work uses the most artificial colours and materials imaginable, they do not seem out of place against the shouty flowers of May.

We stayed in a miniature thatched cottage. I love thatch! Its giant outdoor embroidery/hairdressing, what a fascinating craft. I also called into the magical Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, where cabinets of curiosity hold wonderfully idiosyncratic collections of objects. My favourite was the 'Recycled' cabinet of objects from all over the world made from waste materials. These included a place mat from India woven from punctured velvet tape, a by-product of the Bindhi industry! The low lights and crammed cases meant that people inspected them with torches, all this created a magical sense of discovering something precious in these objects though they may have little monetary value.

All in all its been a breathless month with three installations for as many festivals, coupled with workshops and artists trail days. On the 9th I was in Bollington, making in the sculpture garden as part of the Artist Trail. On the 17th I was making bottle flowers with the good people of Chorlton. I've been blown away by the positive and enthusiastic response of everyone I've met at the festivals. I couldn't have asked for a better reception for my Glittering Fall installation than 'wow', which I overhead lots of times as I sat at my temporary workshop under the wisteria canopy of the The White Gallery. Thank you to everyone who has seen or taken part in any of the festivals I've been involved with in May. A huge thank you goes to Fiona at The White Galley for giving me such a brilliant opportunity to exhibit in such a beautiful place.