29 December 2014

Year-end findings

At the end of the year I like to do a clear-up, to start off the new year on the right foot, tidy and fresh. As you tidy up, you find little scraps of things that you don't want to throw away "just yet" - like these -
Taking them left to right ...

Emily Jo Gibbs had an exhibition of her work at Craft Central in October - beautiful stitchery. She now does portraits and still life
but you might remember her amazing handbags from years past -
Photos are from her website; see more of her work there.

The tiny card is by Alice Fox - it seems to show stitches arising from ceramic -
I'm looking forward to a ceramics course next term, and this will make an excellent starting point for developing "something".

Another tiny card, this time by Janet Bolton, whose work I've always enjoyed for its liveliness and complex simplicity -
She has an exhibition coming to Cowslip Workshops in June, and teaches at West Dean as well as giving workshops and slide lectures.

Rachel Fenner is an environmental artist/sculptor; the oil painting "Channel" is from an exhibition in 2005, and I love the waves and wind, light and dark, changing weather and viewpoints in it -

"Lungs" by Robin Blackledge was shown at the Wellcome Collection some years ago -
In a talk about his work he said: "My interest in healthcare lies within the opportunity to effect positive change in the built environment. My early work in performance, I believe, shapes how I view public buildings, their daily cycles, and the myriad of roles played out within by the staff and users. As an artist working on these environments, one has to be aware of what is expected of you, and act accordingly. In projects where lead artist roles are required to develop an art and design strategy within new build or large refurbishment projects, this role is pre-defined, and the artist takes on more of a consultancy role and is usually a member of a core design team. In later years I ventured into 'Public, digital and interactive art' and now have made a body of art & design work which has been made calling upon skills & experience gained in various methods of art production."

Which is all very interesting, but I've kept the little picture because it reminds me of some pre-digital photos taken early in spring in Epping Forest, the trees just in bud, looking up at "rivers of sky" between them. A breathing space between the branches.

The small paintings by Gro Thorsen , exhibited in 2009, are some of the 366 called "Seasons" - each is 6cm x 6cm. You would be drawn in close to see the details - and yet the views are of things seen from a distance.

Finally, "Another Perspective" by Lindsay Madden, advertising the ING Discerning Eye exhibition last November, which I forgot to go see....
Painting on those old rulers ... a theme of children growing up, parents watching their children growing up. Lindsay says: "Objects associated with childhood communicate the longing to hold on to the past, while the combination of chalk and paint acknowledge the ephemeral nature of youth. My latest body of work comments on our experiences of school, the notion of continual measurement – physically, mentally, academically, against peers, conformity, uniformity, isolation, insecurities and freedom." Lindsay also has a set of works on chalkboards.

And now for something different, also a "found object" - some abandoned mending has resurfaced -
Rescuing socks that are wearing thin, giving them a few more years of life, may seem like a waste of time and effort, but it's a way to be stitching when "nothing more creative" is going on. I love to sit in the studio, catching up with the radio, stitching on "something" - and colourful darning fills the bill. (Who knows where it might lead?) The secret is to do the darning before the hole appears - holes are trickier than thin fabric - and to darn from the wrong side.


The Idaho Beauty said...

You do a beautiful job of darning & make an excellent point about getting to it before the hole arrives full blown. I always think just one more wear as I pull said thinning sock on & then forget to set it aside at day's end.

irene macwilliam said...

reminds me of darning socks when I was at boarding school from five and a half to nine and a half. If the darning of the hole in the sock was not good enough matron just cut it out and you began again. At that age I could not fully appreciate leaving the bit of slack at end of rows. However it did leave me with an ability to be able to ply the needle. When I returned to same boarding school at twelve and a half such mending was no chore whatsoever.