Visiting the Sicily: Culture and Conquest exhibition at the British Museum last Friday had me searching for my watercolour sketchbook from the trip to Western Sicily in 2002. I hadn't met Ian then so he hadn't seen them . They're a bit variable in quality but they summoned up a host of memories ( some like twisting my ankle in Palermo botanic garden and severe conjunctivitis best forgotten! )
Thursday, 12 May 2016
Brunei gallery, SOAS and then meeting Ian at the BM for the Sicily:culture and conquest exhibition followed by another excellent meal at Savoir Faire. You weren't allowed to take photos in the Ikat exhibition ( although there was one annoying lady taking some 'furtively' on her phone - she could at least have turned the sound off!) So I'm sharing here some of my collection bought from John Gillow. The larger pieces have been reassembled from garments - the one above we had in the 'parlour' in our last house, I never tired of looking at it.
Monday, 2 May 2016
Having been in the 'Salon de Refuses' the last couple of times I've entered ( 'CQ@ 10' and 'Dislocation') and after a year of not making anything much, fearing I'd lost my way, it's given me a real boost. It fits in with both my continuing series of indigo and seascapes and those using salvaged antique red quilts, being constructed from sections of old quilts I dyed in the garden.
A decent bottle of red with our lamb chops at lunchtime is called for I think...
From my statement:
The edges of the coast are eroding, falling into the sea, being washed up in other places. Disintegrating sea defence structures are patched up, replaced and reinforced, the coastline continually evolving, a delicate balance between intervening and letting nature take its course.
Sections of two rescued antique coverlets over-dyed with indigo, tacked together and lines of broken quilting repaired, the edges of holes caught down and darned. Through the process of stitching I attempt to reach an equilibrium of mending with leaving the fragility and beauty of worn textiles to speak for themselves.
Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Beaney House of Art and Knowledge in the morning. It's an excellent museum for sketching in , with well chosen ( and lit!) display, good interpretation and lots of chairs and tables , even pencils, laid out. I loved this medieval greyware pot (above) in the 'Materials and Masters' Gallery with it's thumbprints round the base and I've got these green pots in mind for my next visit!
'The Drawing Room' had a new exhibition of artists books titled ' Prescriptions' with interesting, thought provoking and moving (sometimes disturbing ) interpretations on the themes of well- being and medicine. I recognized a few names from 'sketchbook project challenges'
The exhibition is on until August ( the 'magic Lantern' exhibition was also intriguing)
Friday, 22 April 2016
A week ago(!) I was in Llandudno for the Quilters Guild of the British Isles AGM and conference. A lovely venue and the Cwilt Cymru Connections quilts were beautifully displayed - I couldn't resist taking pictures of mine with the sea behind ! This was the final showing for these - they've recently been on tour with the Grosvenor Quilt shows. By coincidence, 7 other quilts of mine for 'International Threads' were also on show - at Quilt Expo in Beaujolais.
It was a very good conference, with interesting talks and workshops on offer and most importantly lots of catching up with friends.
Sue and I were sharing a 'Premier Sea view' room ' at the St George's Hotel ( it was on a corner with view both ways) . There was a very posh dinner on in one of the function rooms the first night and we were entertained while having dinner in the terrace restaurant watching the people arrive on the red carpet.
A coach trip to Trefriw woollen mills was even more interesting than expected. Besides the fascinating tour of the processes involved, there was so much inspiration in the form of machinery and peeling corrugated iron. I took so many photos!!
I also made a collection of sticks and stones brought home in a basket from the African Fabric Shop.
Magie was kind enough to mention my 'Tunisian Door' quilt in her moving talk and of course I had to buy some more fabrics ( indigo from Guinea - the piece that's featured here)
Sunday, 10 April 2016
Ruth Issett about her latest work , the way she's interpreting the landscape round her home in layered dyed organdies ,was so inspiring. Afterwards , Sue, Robbie, Chrissie and I headed off in search of the Newport Street Gallery ( noticing interesting scaffolding and llamas at the City Farm along the way!) . Amazing space to display paintings by John Hoyland - while there were a few interesting pieces , I tend to agree with the reviews that other artists have done it better. It did however act as a reminder to look again at the work of Callum Innes whose paintings I so enjoyed in Edinburgh
Friday, 1 April 2016
stitching on trains , so when I travelled up yesterday to Nuneaton and Rugby to visit their museums, I took one I'd put together inspired by landscapes of Rydal Hall.
Maggi Birchenough, how important quilting was to her right to the end, it seems to me we should not let opportunities pass by to do what we love. I stewarded the SAQA stand with her at FoQ last year and we had some long conversations when it was quiet . Even though she knew then the diagnosis wasn't good, she was still generous with her time and enthusiasm.
It was also the anniversary of my Dad's death in 1995 and I was remembering the train journey then - an evening phone call from the hospital in Warrington, catching the last train from Euston, sitting all night in a chair the nurses found for me, being with him as he gently slipped away.