Thursday, 7 June 2018

Transient: Prism at Hoxton Arches

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.  

1 comment:

The Idaho Beauty said...

This is not the first I've seen of hand embroidery on book pages. It rather stumps me because all I can think of is what the "backside" will look like when one flips the page and how do I deal with the thread tails? I've most recently been pondering this because of my own sudden thought about hand stitching on some of the pages in that upcycle book challenge I started, maybe not embroidery but a little beading. And then I remember that unless I glue something over the other side, all those stitches and tails will be showing. I want to see better what's going on in the current series of spirit books that Susan Gaylord is showing on her blog, where she is stitching spirals in metallic thread and sometimes adding some beads along the edges of the pages. HOW ARE YOU FINISHING THE BACK!!!

Is that not a typical quilter's response? There's no place to "bury" those tails, hide the stitches from showing. It never once occurred to me that those "wrong side" stitches were marks and embellishments of their own and perfectly fine to have showing. Thanks for sharing and making this observation.