The catalogues have arrived for Stroud International Textiles’ Select festival. They look great and there is such a feast of textile related events and exhibitions included this year. I’m sorting out the last few bits of publicity material for Tide Marks, which will be in Stroud from 6 – 24 May. I’m thrilled that I have Arts Council funding to support this exhibition (supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England) as well as for taking it to Hull and London later this year. While I’m in Stroud I will be running two one day workshops in the gallery at Lansdown Hall. One is already sold out but there are still some places available on 21st May.
I will be at this lovely event this weekend at The Tetley, a new contemporary art gallery in Leeds. I first showed at this event last year and it was a very friendly gathering of all things book art. I’m looking forward to seeing the new venue and meeting some lovely artists’ book making/appreciating people! I’ll be taking some of my Tide Marks books along, as well as this: Forgotten Haberdashery
Tide Marks is finally up at Gate Gallery, Grimsby. We put the exhibition up on Tuesday with the expert help of Sue Stone and the exhibition opened today. The private view (I’ve never worked out why they’re called private when everyone is welcome!) is on Friday evening from 6-8.30pm. I’ll be there so if you’re in the area do come along.
I grew up in Grimsby, so as well as the place having strong links with the sea and therefore being a very appropriate place to show this coast-inspired work, it feels great to be showing in my home town.
The book published to accompany the exhibition is available to buy here.
The Tide Marks exhibition features a range of works on paper and cloth as well as some small tapestry weave pieces. This is the first time that I’ve shown weave as part of an exhibition. Weave is very much a part of my practice but I tend to use it as a way of collecting things together, part of my process rather than the finished work. I have often used tapestry weave to bring found items together, partly as a way of exploring the possibilities of the material and getting to know it. You really understand a fibre when you spend time with it, manipulating and seeing how far you can push it. Weave requires tension. Some things just can’t cope with this, whereas others can surprise in how they withstand it.
These small woven fragments all have a found metal object embedded within them. These metal marks form a line, like a line of debris left by the tide. They are dark marks within light weave but their mark spreads into the weave as sea water has worked on the metal and taken it into the fibre around. You can see a little sequence of images taken when these were first introduced to sea water here.
These pieces are like a collection of random objects found along that tide line: scraps of things, some rounded, some tattered, some pleasing in shape and compact enough to sit pleasingly in the hand or pocket, some more ungainly. The quality of the weave differs: some is tight and affected by the shape of the embedded object, some is more loose, imperfect. They undulate in response to the forces that have been exerted on them. These are imaginary items: one could almost imagine they’d been woven by mermaids.
I’ve been finishing off various bits of work for Tide Marks. With less than two weeks to go until the opening it is finishing touches time. Amongst the work are five paper pieces with embossing and stitching on a scale that I’ve not attempted before. Stitching into paper this size (70 x 50 cm) provides certain challenges but I’ve worked away methodically at my kitchen table with the autumn light changing rapidly as the weather flits between sunshine and showers, the now cold wind carrying animated leaves past my window. This has been a more attractive place to work than my studio of late. I miss the eye onto the outside when I’m there.
These pieces are subtle, quiet. They change massively with the light: sometimes the embossed lines and stitches catching dark shadows so they look like drawn marks; sometimes the whole piece looking flat and empty. The space that appears empty from a distance is full of detail when you’re close. Space can be scary: it is tempting to fill it up, but just like silence that can be beautiful I hope the spaces can be too.
After a long and busy summer things have finally returned to the normal routine of term time. Autumn is in the air and I have a lot to do! I have work to finish for a number of exhibitions this autumn (there is an updated list on my exhibitions page now), the biggest of which is Tide Marks, which gets its first showing at Gate Gallery in Grimsby towards the end of October.
As with Textures of Spurn and Gifts from the Pavement I am publishing a book to accompany this body of work and I am busy pulling that together to meet the print deadline. It’s a satisfying process to bring something like this together, to see the images sitting alongside each other and look back at how the work has developed. I like this documentation of a project, recording the process and bringing that together with elements of inspiration and finished work. It isn’t a catalogue and it isn’t a description of how I have done what I’ve done. It is more a commentary on the project and a way to take the viewer deeper into where the work has come from.
This time round I’m doing everything myself: becoming publisher and graphic designer as well as artist. It’s a steep learning curve but I like a challenge!
Last week I packed up my new Sand Marks pieces along with some of my Tide Marks books, some sketchbooks and found objects to do with the Spurn project. These all went off to Cardiff ready for A Personal Perspective at the Makers Guild in Wales. The exhibition opens this Saturday with a private view on Friday evening and runs until 28th April. Sadly I won’t be able to make the opening as I will be at another event…
The Leeds Artists’ Book Fair is on at leeds University this Friday and Saturday and I will be showing my work there. I have visited this event in previous years and there are some amazing book creations to be seen. As I’m a relative new-comer to the world of art books I feel rather humble about being offered a space. I’m really looking forward to seeing the other exhibits.
Further afield, the European Art Quilt VII exhibition moves to its next venue this week. My Folded Wall is included in this touring show. From 10th March it will be showing at the Breda’s Museum, Netherlands. It is there until 5th May.
And even further away, the Sketchbook Project tour has begun in America with various dates over the coming months. Once my contribution is available to view digitally on their website I’ll give the link.
And if that isn’t enough Hannah‘s lovely exhibition Experiments in Light and Landscape featuring her landscape based work opens this Thursday at the Yorkshire Craft Centre in Bradford (preview 4-7pm)
I’ve done some updating of the items on my online shop. You can now find a series of collagraph prints on there, including some of my Spurn Marks prints. These feature rust prints with collagraphs over-printed. There are also a few concertina books, various cards and some framed pieces as well. Because each item is unique things change on there quite frequently, so it’s worth keeping an eye on what is currently available. The link to the shop is always on the right hand side of the blog and I’m happy to post to anywhere in the world.
I’m really pleased to be going to Unit Twelve today, a lovely gallery in Staffordshire. Today is the PV for their Contemporary Craft Open exhibition and I have two of my Tide Marks books in the show. Proceeedings are from 2-4pm, open to anyone, with fizz and all those attending being entered into a prize draw to win £100 to spend with madebyhandonline. The exhibition is then on until 25th November.