walking, collecting, making

Holkham bay

This time last week I had just returned from a long weekend on the North Norfolk coast. I was leading a study weekend with 8 Fold, a group of textile artists who are all regulars at the Committed to Cloth studio in Surrey. We had a wonderfully stimulating and creative time and the location provided rich inspiration in terms of landscape and our beach-combing (extreme scavenging at times!). I have long wanted to visit this part of the world, partly having glimpsed elements of it through the work of Polly Binns and Debbie Lyddon.

Holkham Bay razor shell tide line

 We were blessed with the most beautiful blue skies and bright winter sunshine, giving long shadows and the perfect conditions for photography. It was very cold so our cliff-top cottage was a necessary sanctuary to warm up and the kitchen table became the focus of all sorts of experiments and explorations in rust printing, embossing, weaving, stitching, drawing… and eating, but not all at the same time! It was great to spend time with such experienced artists whose curiosity and delight in exploring place and material matched my own.

Alice Fox beach finds (Sherringham)

Needless to say, many photos were taken, and there is a selection here if you want to see more. Although the temperature wasn’t very conducive to sitting around drawing I made the most of the recent cliff falls and used the varying tones of the clay to help record my experience. As ever, there is much to process and explore as a result of this weekend and I know I’ll be feeding off it for a long time.

Alice Fox drawing with cliff-fallen clay

11 thoughts on “walking, collecting, making

  1. What a wonderful experience, I’ve wanted to visit this coastline ever since the series in which Stephen Fry was a lawyer. I must now make it a definitely and not a maybe, wonderful photos. Was good to meet you on Sunday.

    • It is lovely there – definitely should be a place to visit. Good to meet you too, I hope you had a good day at the exhibition.

  2. That second photo is so very like one of your pieces complete with stitching!! I love how each artist’s eye is honed to a particular vision, whether in making work or seeing the world around them. That image captures this completely when compared to your work!!

    • You’re not the first to point this out with respect to this photo! That is probably part of the reason I chose the image to show here as it is very relevant to me and representative of the kind of thing that strikes me about a place such as this.

  3. What a treasure trove of a beach. I am sooooo jealous!
    I live on the east coast of Australia, and though I find a lot of ‘Stuff’ it is predominantly plastics that I recycle into sculpture now.

    • The two beaches we visited were very different in terms of what we found and only a few miles from each other. They were a good contrast.

  4. I live in North Norfolk so will be very interested to see how our fabulous coastline might inspire specific future work. We have an annual contemporary art exhibition from July – August at Cley-next-the-sea run by the North Norfolk Exhibition Project which might be another excuse for you to visit again, hopefully with warmer sketching weather!

    • Yes warmer weather would be good: I love the beach huts at Wells, which would be a great base for exploring. I couldn’t get to Cley as the road was still closed following the helicopter crash

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