I will be teaching a workshop in March at West Dean College in West Sussex. As a new tutor to this renowned centre for the creative arts I have been invited to show some of my work in the College foyer in the run up to my course there. I have sent a variety of work to show in this exhibition, including: Spurn Cloth #1, the large art quilt piece I made during my 2012 residency at Spurn; 49 Beer Bottle Tops (shown above) and 76 Hair Grips (both incorporating found metal with hand stitch and natural staining); a selection of paper-based pieces incorporating rust prints, collagraph and stitch. The exhibition runs form 10th January to 10th March.
I took down my installation at The Bowery last weekend (with the help of my small assistant). It was potentially a rather sad day as the paper pieces that I’d collaged directly onto the wall were going to have to be scraped off. I didn’t know whether they would come off in salvageable pieces or if the whole thing would break up. I had resolved myself to this site specific piece (the paper extension to my linen Spurn Cloth #2) being an ephemeral work and likened it to the erosion and change that is happening constantly at Spurn, where the pieces were based on.
Someone suggested I should have filmed the process of putting the installation up, building up the collage on the wall – great idea, but I’d already put it up when they suggested it! So I decided to record the taking down instead. Here is the result, although the quality isn’t great it gives an idea of how the pieces surrounded you in the gallery (the first half is shots taken from the middle of the room looking round the walls and then it goes back the other way tracking the removal of the work and leaving an empty gallery again.
The Gifts from the Pavement book is now available to buy on my online shop.
By the way, this is the last week to see Industrial Abstract at the Beetroot Tree in Derbyshire. Textures of Spurn continues at The Bowery in Leeds and if you’re around that area next Saturday I’ll have a stall at the Leeds Festival Chorus Plant and Produce sale at St Chads Parish Centre, Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds from 11.30 – 2.30. This is a fundraising event for the wonderful choir, which I sing in. There will be lots of plants, food, craft stalls and general loveliness.
This week I’ve been creating an installation at The Bowery in Leeds. This is based on my long Spurn Cloth #2 but sees it displayed in a very different way to the previous venues it has visited. Rather than hanging vertically the cloth is hung horizontally round half of the gallery room. I have extended it using collaged rusted and printed paper so that the band of texture and marks forms a complete circle around the space.
The paper is collaged directly onto the wall, something that I was quite nervous about doing. Having completed it, I’m really excited about how it has worked. There is a kind of freedom to this sort of site-specific work. I don’t have to worry about pricing or whether anyone might want to buy it. It can just be.
At the end of the exhibition the paper extension will then be scraped off the wall and will be no longer. Just as Spurn itself is constantly changing shape, bits being eroded in one area and deposited in another, this installation has seen the original cloth extended, added to, enhanced. And then, as if by the action of an exceptionally high tide, it will be taken away again.
My work is showing alongside a beautiful exhibition by Hannah. The preview is this evening from 6-8pm (all welcome) and the exhibitions run until 5th July.
Textures of Spurn goes to its next venue this weekend, opening on Saturday at Gallery 49 in Bridlington. I’ll be there during the afternoon (12-4pm). I’m really looking forward to it, and to meeting Stef Mitchell, who is exhibiting at the same time.
Despite severe weather warnings (the likes of which I’m sure must amuse those readers in countries that regularly have properly severe weather!) my exhibition opened last weekend at The Ropewalk in Barton. It is a very different prospect hanging this work in a gallery space after the spectacular but challenging building that it was originally conceived for.
For the first time you can see the whole of Spurn Cloth #1 (all 4.7 metres of it) hung on a wall rather than in the curved format it had in the lamp room of Spurn Lighthouse. Conversely, Spurn Cloth #2, which hung (all 10 metres of it) in a very tall space half way up the lighthouse, hangs now as a two sided piece.
The gallery put together a lovely little six-sided fold out brochure for the exhibition with a few images of my work and a bit of blurb. I have some spare copies of this so if anyone would like one sending I’d be happy to post one to you. Send me an email with your address or leave a comment.
Textures of Spurn opens tomorrow at The Ropewalk gallery in Barton upon Humber. I’m braving the snow we have forecast and hoping to be there tomorrow, even if no one else comes! I delivered the work on Tuesday and had time with Richard, Exhibitions Officer, deciding how to hang the work. It is such a different space from the lighthouse! I found the space quite daunting at first and was concerned that the work wasn’t going to have the impact it had in the previous setting. By the time I left (in the snow – North Lincolnshire was looking gorgeous) I was really pleased with how it was coming together and I’m excited about seeing it all complete tomorrow.
If you don’t have far to travel and the snow allows then do come along – it’ll be warm in the gallery! The exhibition is on until 24th February.
I gave a talk to Halifax Embroiderers’ Guild last Friday. (It is still a bit of a novelty to think complete strangers actually want to sit and listen to me talk about my work for the best part of an hour!) I took along my Spurn sketchbooks and some samples as well as the 10 metre long Spurn Cloth #2. After I spoke we had some fascinating conversations and I met some lovely ladies. We also spread the long cloth out across the floor for everyone to have good look at the detail.
It’s always interesting to see how someone else decides to place your work; work that you’re so used to arranging a particular way so that it wouldn’t occur to you to do it differently.
I went to the Private View of Unit Twelve‘s Contemporary Craft Open at the weekend. It was a lovely event with two rooms full of beautiful work and I felt very privileged to have my work included. I was intrigued to see how my concertina books would be placed by the curator, having not been to the gallery before and having posted them off a couple of weeks prior to the exhibition opening. When you’re used to arranging your own work it can be a surprise to see how others choose to do it but it can also be useful and make yo see things differently.