Wednesday, 26 March 2014

"By Design" gallery at NEC

My last thoughts from the NEC last week are about a fascinating group called "By Design" whose work was very thought provoking. Why? Because the work was visually very interesting and because working as sub groups of four each produced a starter piece which was subsequently worked on by three others in turn. The only stimulation being that ALL of the piece must be used but could be re shaped and re-pieced as each in turn saw fit. Finally the work was returned to the initiator who then completed the work.
This methodology is well established within the group who also had produced a book about this exhibition and had copies of the books on previous shows.

I have spent a lot of time just reading and thinking about the mindset that enables this sort of free work and am finding the challenge it offers very exciting. Not that I want to copy their methodology, but would be interested in exploring that sort sort of collaborative freedom.
I love it when ones ideas are challenged and one is opened up to new possibilities. This was definately one of those moments!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Hidden Histories at the NEC

I was delighted to see "Code in Context" my Bletchley Park quilt on show at the NEC and due to travel on to ExCel in London in April. I was also delighted that a photo of this quilt was featured in the show brochure.

It is an interesting collection of quilts on a huge variety of subjects and made in all manor of styles.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

NEC again......

Two stands well worth a visit are "Embroidering a Life" Palestinian embroideries and the Madeura competition.
Yasser Barakat , from Jerusalem has been seeking out examples of traditional Palestinian embroidered clothing all his adult life. His rich collection are a stunning testament to the skill and patience of generations of stitchers who have embellished simple cotton and linen garments. On show are garments and where the damage was too great to preserve the garment he has saved the embroidery.

Into bright and vibrant colour, I could not resist buying a small piece to transform into an artefact I can use and enjoy.

Pat Archibald, Gillian Travis and Janette Purdie were invited to attend the Israeli Quilters Association 20th Anniversary conference. As a result of the trip they have created some really stunning A3 sized quilts; well worth seeing .
Also worth a look is the Madeira Competition - "Glimpses of India"
The work is not named so I'm not able to attribute them but I loved them!

My love of ethnic textiles has been well fed here!

Contemporary Expressions at NEC this week

We are exhibiting this week at the Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch show at the NEC with our "Shakespeare's Era " pieces. It's great to have an opportunity to exhibit in the UK the work we first took to Alsace in September.

There are a number of interesting stands to explore. More of the Palestinian Embroideries and the Madeira Competition - Glimpses of India later. There is a world of retail treasures to spend ones money on too!

We are also showing our "Kew" collection at "The Festival Of Textile Arts" at ExCel in London 3rd to 5the April.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Learning to create multilayer embroidery

My embroidery classes have taught me a whole range of stitches but I now need to know how to combine them together!
So our tutor set us a challenge. Bring a photo of a textured surface and she would tutor us through how to try to interpret it.
I chose two photos of rust.

We then chose a suitable coloured background or coloured a fabric to suit. I had some recently created rust cloth so used this as my starting point.

I then took some dyed scrim, pulled it about and then randomly stitched it down with huge sorbello stitches. Couched down some yellow felt, too bright so rubbed some felt tip pen over it to soften the effect. I also cut up some small pieces of felt and then attached them with big stitches. All this so counter intuitive as one had been taught as a child that ones stitching had to be even and neat!

Since this point I have been adding further layers, all the time referencing back to my rust photos. It's not complete yet, I need some more advice before I add more.

It's been such an interesting exercise; so many taboos squashed but I'm still a hesitant chooser of the right stitch to use.
I'll post again when I solve the "what next" question!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Paul Klee at Tate Modern

Better late than never! I've been sleeping better and working hard to finish work and Blogging has suffered.
I had a wonderful day at Tate Modern seeing the Klee exhibition. I have always loved his paintings; have a large print of one in the dining room and yet have never seen any until now in the flesh. The most surprising thing was that faced with so many pictures I was really struck by the degree to which they reminded me of textiles or were capable of being interpreted as textiles.  "Green X above left" and "Brown Striving at Right Angles" could both be potential little textile pieces, natural dyed plains and overlaid voiles while "Redgreen and violet yellow Rhythms" with its surface elements begged to be stitched!

"Structural I I " with its squares and rectangles and light geometric etchings and "Pastorale (Rhythms) "painted in 1927 was incised like a catalogue of stitched motifs.

His use of colour gradations was interesting, giving a real sense of movement and the detailed description of how this was achieved, something I'll try with dyes next time I'm colouring fabrics.
Some pieces were linked in my brain with Kandinsky, and I was drawn to the abstract shapes and shading in some pieces .

I have come away more in awe of his talent than before and determined to look at a simple piece of textiles learning from what I have seen.