Saturday, 23 February 2013

Textile Sensory Overload: Jammers and Weft

It's been quite a while since I've been to any exhibitions so fitting in 2 yesterday afternoon left me with my head buzzing. Having read the review in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago about the Rauschenberg exhibits at the Barbican and Gagosian Gallery, I decided to do a combined trip to Bloomsbury  to  see 'Jammers'  and  the World Eco-Fiber and Textile Art exhibition at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS (thanks Margaret for flagging this up)

First time at the Gagosian - such a large, light space shows the  pieces up to great effect.
I was particularly struck by 'Mirage' with  it's overlapping gauze over a pieced red and yellow background, the gauze have a pieced section on the top, playing with transparency/opacity.
Slubbed silks were used to good effect in 'Gull ' with the touch of red on the rattan pole and the frayed blue-grey silk in 'Pollen'  partially revealed  the yellow silk beneath.
My favourite piece however was 'Vow', a 3D triangle of naturally coloured fabric, sown at the bottom, weighted with a short rattan pole (with that touch of red again)

Than onto WEFT at SOAS - such richness of textile techniques after the sparceness of the Rauschenberg!  I love 'ethnic' textiles and have acquired a variety of pieces from John Gillow over the years: ikat; kantha; indigo (tho' the  Chinese  shibori above, very like a length exhibited, was bought fairly recently from Changs)  This exhibition is an absolute joy in  its variety and quality and it was good to see  contemporary intepretations of traditional forms.
The  double faced Suzhou embroidery on organza  by Liang Xuefang of lotus shoots and their relections was stunning -  so graphic its looked like it had been drawn with ink but  composed of tiny stitches. 

Made me think of some paintings I did a while ago of posts and their reflections in Derwent Water and thinking how I might intepret them ( with much  larger stiches, naturally!)

Thinking of the Lake District,  I'm having a creative weekend while Ian is at his parents choosing what to take with me to  NWCQ retreat  next week at Rydal Hall : indigo journal quilts; watercolours and sketchbooks; colourcatchers and scraps for daily(ish) art project and depending on my printer co-operating, inkjet prints of green doors to play around with for Sue Ridgewell challenge at QG AGM. Meanwhile I've made an apple cake and washed my walking socks and thermals!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Green Door Experiments

 The Sue Ridgewell Challenge at the QGBI AGM at Nottingham this year is a 60cm square quilt on the theme 'My World is Green'. Having  gone through several  green phases with a substantial stash remaining and with my work as a botanist I was originally thinking of doing something based on my lab work. But with deadlines looming I remembered the pieces I produced on the paper lamination course a few years ago using pictures of crumbly doors.

I did several experiments in photoshop, playing with opacity  to see how they would look layered over a pictures of distressed doors (Iran, Greece and Yorkshire!) which I would then print in poster format over 9 sheets.

I do however have various door pictures that I had already printed on fabric so played around with these. A bit more random piecing and perhaps cutting them up is required but interesting possibilities.
I have 2 laminated pieces to choose from : the one below is more interesting but less green - it would require stronger green fabrics behind it. Looks like I might to make both and then decide!

Pancake Creature - 501st Post

Couldn't resist sharing the last pancake out of the pan on  Tuesday from the dribble of leftover batter.
A heffalump perhaps? Trumpeting that this is my 501st post!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Cherubs at the Haberdashers

Have just uploaded my photos from Brussels onto the computer and besides all of those of Ian posing next to tanks and us guzzling beers from different shaped glasses, I couldn't resist sharing these reliefs of  cherubs from the Maison du  Renard (Guild of Haberdashers) in the Grand Place. The guide book suggested they were 'playing' but the choosing of fabric  is a serious business!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Brussels Birthday Boy

To celebrate Ian's 50th Bithday, we're currently in Brussels. We've been enjoying  lovely food and drink, especially at La Villette where the staff stuck candles in his cheese platter and sung 'Happy Birthday'.
He was going around with a cheesy grin  as he got his wish and we spent most of the day at the Royal Army  Museum. We got chucked out at lunchtime when it closed so we went to the museum next door for a very nice lunch at 'Le Midi 50' before returning

Even I found some things to interest me: especially the early planes and balloons in the aviation section and it was a spectacular building.Most of all it's earned me loads of brownie points!!
Today it was my turn. After a brisk  walk around the Grand Place looking at the Guild Houses we headed for the Musee Royaux des Beaux Artes  where I particularly wanted , like Auden,  to see the Breugels.
Of course we've also been sampling a range of beers and chocolates - I could even be a convert to hot chocolate after tasting Ghana 85% at Frederic Blondeel in Place Ste-Catherine.