marks in the landscape

I’ve had a couple of days of meetings, which have been really useful and stimulating.  One was about the development of a new collaborative project (more on that another time) and the others were about my main project this year.  As a result I have renewed hope about possible funding.  I know I keep being vague in these posts about projects I’m planning and that is because I don’t want to announce things until everything is in place... hopefully that won’t be long now.  

We’re in the middle of a cold spell here with snow coming and going.  Yesterday was particularly wintery, with ice, remnants of last weekends’ snow and then rain just to make things extra slippery.  I drove over to Hebden Bridge to see Angie Rogers, an artist who’s work I admire and who was kind enough to give me some time to talk through various aspects of her recent residency.

The drive over the water shed between the Calder and Aire valleys is one I love.  You climb up from Haworth, through Oxenhope and then on the the moors that separate the two river systems.  Whatever the weather is doing in the valley, suddenly on the moors it can be so different.  It gets me every time!  Yesterday it was shrouded in mist and rain with the residue of recent snow marking out the features in the landscape.  It was bleak, cold and wild – bracing and breathtaking.  The subtle colours of the grasses, rushes and exposed peat are interspersed with patches of snow, which make a clean backdrop for stark stems.

Persistent rain made getting out of the car to take photographs a fairly quick affair, but sketches in the warmth of the car were possible.

Coming down off the tops the fields were suddenly visible, but still through mist.  A different layby, a different view.  Snow drifted along the walls mark out a pattern, almost a negative of the land without the snow.  Snow transforms the set of marks that make up the landscape; accentuates different features.  It lingers in dips and hollows in fields, revealing something new about the surface of the land.


Yesterday I was at Manchester Metropolitan University for the Pairings conference. 15 Images was included in the programme as an ‘intervention’, which meant a performance after the main papers and events of the day and hopefully gave the delegates a little time to chill out and reflect on all the stuff they’d been listening to all day.

15 Images is of relevance to the Parings project, which is all about cross-discipline collaboration, because it brings together 4 individuals from 4 different disciplines: composition, textiles, digital technology and performance. There were some lovely comments following the performance and hopefully some useful contacts made.

It was good to get back into my studio today and get things straight in my head in terms of what is left to do before my final deadlines at college. I had a useful afternoon planning how my main printed and stitched felt pieces will be arranged in my space, working out what is missing and the jobs left to do. I then spent what seemed like ages grappling with various social media type things. Not my forte but a necessary part of set up and promotion as an artist in this day and age!

Meanwhile, there seems to be some rather good collaboration going on in my garden. The rain is back in play and is boosting everything beautifully. There is suddenly lush growth and a fullness that was lacking a week or so ago.

This time of year is when things are most harmonious in my garden as blues predominate and work together with the purples and pinks. I have a lovely viewpoint from the kitchen window that looks past little blue and yellow violas in the window box, through to the blues of rosemary flowers, the ceonothus (which is at its peak), irises and aliums. Every now and then there is punctuation from a citrusy yellow euohorbia or alchemilla mollis just starting to flower.


Last weekend I had the pleasure of leading a workshop for ladies from various textile groups based around Fulbourne in Cambridgeshire. What is lovely about this group is that they’ve come together from various different specialist interests (including patch workers, knitters and stitchers) and are joining with a creative writing group who are investigating the history of their village. They are all collectively working towards an exhibition in 2012 that celebrates that history.

We had an action packed day investigating various aspects of design and composition using sketching, collage and bonding and we had a pretty fab lunch too!

I’m really looking forward to seeing the exhibition that they create.



Sense of Place: Spring

This Wednesday (26th January) my work will be exhibited as part of the Wakefield Art Walk. The textile panels of Fifteen Images will be displayed alongside a digital presentation giving the background to the whole collaborative project. My four Sense of Place pieces will also be on show for the first time.

The venue is Space@55Westgate (WF1 1BW) and the Art Walk is on from 5-9pm.

This is prior to Fifteen Images going to Plymouth next month for a performance at the Peninsular Arts Contemporary Music Festival on 12th February and the project is the subject of the festival lecture on that date. On the same day Taking Time opens in Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery and I’m absolutely thrilled that my physical textile work and the digital presentation will be included in this exhibition until 9th April.


Yesterday, when I got home from college, there was a small package waiting for me. It turned out to be my complementary copy of the new academic journal Craft Research, the inaugural issue of which contains a collaborative paper about Fifteen Images.

Extract from the abstract:

“This article describes a body of collaborative work titled Fifteen Images (Le Jardin Pluvieux). This web-based artefact brings novel approaches to textile representation in work produced under the umbrella of a practice-based research project in music called ‘Active Notation‘ . . . Research undertaken during the creation of Fifteen Images investigated both aural and visual reception and issues of materiality and temporality in digital representations: how textile objects might become effective visual partners in the temporal domain of score-led music performance.