My response to Sandra Meech's "Level Flood 1 & 2" is very influenced by my knowledge of the Somerset Levels through visits and by the huge media attention that the recent floods received. I felt very moved my the images and even produced a piece of work myself on this theme.
I love the spare quality of the above pair, this place can be bleak and elemental when the weather is poor and I feel that Sandra Meech's work captures this so well.
Sue Benner's " Mesh 1" is visually grabbing. Strong abstract imagery strikes one from a distance and draws one in. At first glance I was struck by the feeling that I was transported inside the downtown of a major city, surrounded by skyscrapers reflecting the light and the surrounding buildings so strong were the vertical lines and the grid of windows. Only on reading her blurb did I understand my mistake.
This work draws one in, having been grabbed from afar you see more and more as you get closer to the work and perceive the different surfaces of each element, the raw edges of the silk and finally the wavy stitched mesh of the quilting. I could happily live with this and find a new element to concentrate on each day!
Deirdre Adams "Tracings 4" has the opposite impact to me. From the other side of the gallery I could have passed this piece by, but at close quarters the textile artist in me was completely fascinated by the close up detail and pondering the construction and materials that made this piece.
Just look at these detail edits.
They force one to examine the tiniest details and ask a range of questions. When was the colour applied; how many layers of colour are overlaid; has color been removed; was it acrylic wax that produced this effect? It's the technician in me which is responding to this work and I spent a disproportionate amount of time in front of this piece!
There are things to say about all the work shown but these are may strongest responses and the elements which will live with me for the longest time.
It is very refreshing to see an exhibition curated with such attention to the variety of talent and approach of modern stitched textile artists. I must applaud Annabel Rainbow's skill at doing this and her humour which is reflected in her piece "Murder" which for some reason escaped my camera!