Mary Gray ' River Ripples'
After sketching at the Museum of London , Margaret, Jo and I continued by bus to Hoxton Arches to see the latest 'Prism' exhibition 'Transient'. I last saw an exhibition of their work in 2014 at the Mall Galleries and then at Knit and Stitch and before that in 2011 and in comparison to the excitement I've felt before about their work I was a bit underwhelmed. The combination of the exhibiting space which felt a bit gloomy and being away from the centre of town and therefore few people didn't help but it was probably more to do with my own tastes having changed and developed.
Having said that there were some pieces of work I really liked, no surprise that these were mainly ones that chimed with my own work and interests.
I loved how Mary Gray had captured the watery qualities in her piece ( and the shibori gathering added an extra dimension, definitely something to experiment with )
Ali Brown has recently graduated from an MA in ceramics ( having switched from a textile course) and her work was stunning, the textures imprinted from fabrics, the use of unusual materials. Amulets are something that interests me a lot and having done ceramics in the past ( I have a box full of tiny thumb pots in the garage beside those that Ian has chosen to put in the lounge) so these pieces really resonated with me. I look forward to seeing what she does next.
Julianne Long 'Erosion'
I had a chat with Julianne about her work based on long term observations of weathering of a large piece of timber on a beach. I can relate to that with my work on breakwaters! Her sister had sent her small shards of timber as they disintegrated and she'd displayed them with embroidered rubbings of the larger timber. Having been reminded of the joys of 'frottage' when at Lund Studios , it makes me want to rush back to Birchington armed with crayons and colour catchers !
With more of an interest in 'artists books' and book structures , I was intrigued by this 'Tunnel' in dyed and burnt organdie ( reminding me of the telescopic paper mode of the Thames Tunnel in the Museum of London (Docklands )
This sculptural 'hat' made of electric cables combined with a much larger drawing of the sculpture was interesting, the change of scale and medium making you look more closely
Anita Bruce 'Loss'
My favourite and the exhibit with most meaning for me was 'Loss' by Anita Bruce. Based on the IUCN Red list of extinct and Critically Endangered birds, she had embroidered the names of these on varying weights of black and grey fabrics ( including organza). What made it for me is that ,for once, the 'unconscious side' of the back of the stitching was integral to the work, text losing meaning, turning into marks.
During my botanical career I worked mainly on threatened species and was a member of several specialist groups of the IUCN so this work carries even more significance for me.