My MA Creative Practice show opens this Thursday in the Blenheim Walk Gallery at Leeds Art University.
If you would like to attend the launch evening 5-8pm on 21st November you can register here, where you will also find details and a list of the artists. The show is open 22 – 28 Nov (10-5 Mon-Fri & 10-4 Sat).
My contribution to the show is a summing up of my experiments with materials grown, gathered or found at my allotment plot: a series of objects made using flax, nettle, daffodil leaf, garlic leaf, sweetcorn husk, bramble, dandelion stem, leek, kale stem & root, beech & apple wood, stone, ceramic, plastic, paper & cloth. I’ll post some more images once the show is open.
Fabric of the Building gets another airing from this Saturday. It is showing at The Beetroot Tree, Draycott, Derbyshire as part of Industrial Abstract. I’m really please to be showing this work again. It was my final degree project and most of it has been tucked away at home since I graduated. It includes works on thick industrial felt, paper and digital projection. There are elements of print, embossing, manipulation, natural dye, and hand stitch. I’m looking forward to installing it in a different space and getting those animated stitches covering a wall in the gallery.
The exhibition is on from 20th April to 8th June and there will be a ‘meet the artist’ event at the gallery on Saturday 4th May.
> The show has been up all week and there have been some lovely comments about how professional our room looked and how well our show came together. I also had some really positive feedback on my work, so I’m feeling very pleased indeed.
But today we took it all down and packed it away and into the van to go down to New Designers next week.
>It’s a very strange feeling coming to the end of something that started five years ago and has dominated so much of my life during that time. Many changes have taken place, affecting so many areas of my life, many positive, but also twists and turns that were so unexpected: it is difficult not to feel a bit melancholy at this time. Of course this is also the beginning of so much and I’m ready for that. It’s time to move on, take on new challenges and have new adventures…
The preview went well, there were lots of familiar faces coming to see what new ideas this year’s graduates have produced. It was lovely to have the support of good friends on an occasion like this. I’m determined not to fall into the void that so many past students have spoken about when you finish a degree like this: exhaustion, not knowing quite where to turn next… I already have a long list of things to be getting on with but of course it is a little overwhelming and from now on so much has to be driven by the need to have an income. Finding that balance between financial concerns, the demands of family life and satisfying creative needs is always going to be a challenge, but it’s one I’m up for! In the mean time I’m going to do my best to enjoy the show being up and the excitement of going to New Designers.
The show at Bradford is open Monday to Thursday this week, 10.30 – 4 each day.
>We had a photo shoot last week at college. This was to provide us with professional standard photos for use on publicity stuff: postcards, business cards etc. Some students arranged for models and brought all sorts of props to set up their work to suggest fashion or interiors situations. My collection is made up of art pieces on felt, paper and digital projection and so I don’t really need any props, just a wall or two.
What I really wanted were some close-up shots of stitches and my embossed paper pieces. These are what I’ve really struggled to photograph well myself. There isn’t much for the camera to focus on as it is all monotone; it is the shadow created by the texture that gives contrast. I got my images back early this week. The images of the felt pieces were no better than I can manage myself. I’m looking forward to getting these up in my space for the show to be able to photograph them properly together. Meanwhile I’ve found that close ups taken outside in the sunshine give the best results (above).
The photographer at college managed to light the paper pieces so that the embossed marks show but the shadows cast by the stitches aren’t too dominant, although the images are still quite dark.
When I photographed them myself in strong sunlight I got some good bright shots but the shadows are so strong they are a bit confusing: they look more like drawings.
I like the ambiguity of these pieces however, so perhaps it is about capturing that…
I’ve taken so many photographs recently and I’m struggling to find one that captures the whole collection to use for my postcards.
I keep coming back to these folded, clamped and dyed silk pieces, which were really development pieces and haven’t made it through to the plan for my show space but which are hanging in my studio.
They have the three dimensional quality that I originally intended for this project and which in a sense has been put aside in favour of more subtle ‘flattened relief’. I’m tempted to try and include them though… just not sure how to do it. The danger is that I end up just including everything. I know the secret of putting together a good collection is what you leave out when the temptation is to include as much as you can – just have to try and put that into practise!