One aspect of my work over the years has been involved in curating and setting up exhibitions. As head of fine Art at Chichester University for a number of years, the students’ degree shows played a major part in my work, and from 1999 I have helped curate exhibitions for the Society of Designer Craftsmen. From 1999-2011 I co curated Designer Crafts at the Mall Galleries in London, and in 2012 I curated Everyday Encounters for the Society with the William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow. I’ve just had an article published on this subject with the “Textile Artist” and the following link should take you to it. The site has lots of really good interviews with textile artists so is always worth looking at.
Those of you familiar with my work will know that much of it is done with with cable stitch. Heavy threads are wound onto the spool and I then turn my base fabric over having stitched in basic lines, to work on the reverse. This allows me to build up rich swathes of colour and long unbroken “couched” lines as opposed to the traditional stitched lines that occur with normal machine stitching. The spool runs out every three minutes so it’s quite labour intensive but there is the added element of surprise when I turn back to the front to see what’s happened!
Fine lines and details are then superimposed from the front over the stitched areas and it is usually this that makes or breaks the work. I use a combination of freely drawn stitched lines- rather like working with a pen or pencil to provide texture and contrast, and then precise, often darker lines are added to redefine forms that need re-drawing or have been lost during the stitching process.
The drawing is the beginning, but it never dominates the end result. Each piece evolves as I work. Movement is affected by fabric distortions which I have to try and control, or to work with, and colours can appear to change quite dramatically as I continue to add different threads. The following detail from a new piece should demonstrate what I’m saying
Here’s the certificate for the Craft and Design Award. The award means I will get coverage in the magazine in the Autumn and also an image will be used on their 2014 calendar. Interestingly earlier this year I was short listed for a calendar in Japan, big project, I didn’t get it but it doesn’t seem to matter now!
I am thrilled to say I am one of the silver award winners in textiles! Apologies to my facebook friends who will get this information twice! The standard was very high and I’m delighted to be one of the three people chosen by judge Kaffe Fassett. The following link will take you to the Craft and Design website where you can see all the winners in all the disciplines
Chichester art trail is now over, and we are busy trying to get the house back to normal! It certainly was very good for me, meeting new people as well as friends and returning visitors ,answering the usual “how do you do it” and “how long does it take” questions which I totally understand! The diptych based on central Spain will be going to its new home this week,( images follow including a stitch detail) as will quite a few new framed or mounted pieces, small and larger ones. Selling work is just a part of what I do, but it certainly helps and encourages me to make new work. I can’t wait to get the studio sorted ready to start stitching again.
A really busy and successful first weekend on the Art Trail. The photos show some of my work and also from my husband Albert, who is exhibiting life drawing and painting. For those who have seen my earlier posts and exhibitions, I had some great sales, the diptych, Frost on the Downs and the small landscape posted last week amongst others. These trails are a great way to talk to the public and to introduce new techniques to them. so many are unfamiliar with machine embroidery so I did a lot of explaining!
A very busy week after teaching last weekend at Lutterworth in Leicestershire-lovely responsive group from the Embroiderers guild there. It’s full steam ahead for the Art Trail, photos to be posted later but here’s a small embroidery inspired by the winter skies in Lanzarote. I’ve been looking more closely at skies and hope to develop this further in my larger scale works.