Lesley Brankin

Textile Artist

Category: Architecture

Sacred Spaces

Earlier this year I mentioned that I was  considering how best to approach some exhibition work to be based on Coventry Cathedral. Well despite other  things demanding my attention I am pleased to say that my quilts are all now complete and ready to show at ‘Sacred Spaces’ – an exhibition of work by members of ‘Stitch in the Middle’ (part of The Quilters’ Guild Contemporary Quilt Specialist Group).  I will have three pieces on show – my main quilt and two small A4 sized quilts, one as part of a Group Whisper Challenge and the second developing from a group meeting.  I will talk more about my main quilt in due course but for now here is one of the small pieces:

Old & New

‘Old and New’ combines imagery from both Cathedrals – the ‘figures’ are derived from the shapes of the window voids in the ‘Old’ Cathedral whilst the ‘Crown of Thorns’ and coloured blocks are inspired by the ‘New Cathedral’.

‘Sacred Spaces’ will showing from 21st to 27th October 2019

at Weavers Gallery, Church Lane, Ledbury, HR8 1DW (10.00am – 4.30pm)

with other venues to be announced in due course.

Back on Track

With Ledbury Poetry Festival now underway my  attention has reverted to  Herefordshire Art Week (September 7 – 15th 2019) and my exhibition with fellow Quartet members  Amanda Wright, Jill Exell and Cheryl Kirby. First on today’s agenda was to turn some little mixed media landscapes into art cards.

Landscapes of the Imagination

Weavers Gallery, Church Lane, Ledbury, HR8 1DW

Open 10.00 to 5.00, informal demonstrations daily

Sadly no disabled access (first floor gallery)

H.Art Website 

The Start of Something New

With three exhibition pieces to produce, not to mention my also having agreed to participate in H.Art* week later this year, it really is time to get my act into gear. I am not presently able to share detailed design ideas for the exhibition pieces but I can reveal that one of them will be based on the wonderful architecture of Coventry Cathedral.

In particular I am drawn to the negative shapes created by the window frames of the old part of the Cathedral – some of them have an intriguing, almost figure like, appearance.

The question is how might I go about utilising these in a quilt design …

*Herefordshire Art Week

 

 

Metropolis

 

Metropolis

Life has been a bit busy recently and I have not had chance to feature my latest quilt.  Another experimental mark making piece which reminded me of a cityscape, hence the title of ‘Metropolis’.  It was awarded 3rd place in the Art Quilt category at Festival of Quilts earlier in the month.

Metropolis (detail)

 

Weeping Window

During March and April Hereford Cathedral hosted the travelling Weeping Window installation, a collaborative piece by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. A subset of the original Tower of London Poppies, created to commemorate the First World War centenary, this work captured my imagination.

Hereford Cathedral, Weeping Window March/April 2018

Hereford Cathedral, Weeping Window, detail

Still sticking with my mark making theme – this is an A4 sample piece I made in response.

Weeping Window

Weeping Window Detail

Magical Venetian Mosaics

San Donato

Should you ever find yourself on the island of Murano in the Venetian lagoon, Italy do be sure to make time visit the church of Santa Maria e San Donato. Although the outside of this building is stunning in its own right (and is itself a fabulous source of patchwork design ideas), the star of the show has to be the beautiful medieval mosaic floor. Sadly when I visited photographs of the interior of the church were not permitted but the delight it gave me wandering around remains with me today.

Santa Maria e San Donato, Murano

Having injured my hand at the end of 2017 and unable to do any stitching I did not want to miss out of doing the latest Art Quilts Around the World challenge. With Google’s help I found an image of a section of the church floor and drew up a sketch. Using a light box I traced this onto prepared for dyeing calico (muslin to my American friends) using a permanent marker pen. I then spent many happy hours colouring in the design using a mixture of Inktense dye pencils (painted with aloe vera to activate them) and permanent marker pens.

I have finally been able to complete the quilt by simply free motion machine quilting around the main motifs using a mid shade of grey thread.

The Pink City

The Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

Back in September my sister Christine and I travelled to Jaipur, India as part of a Colouricious Block Printing Holiday. We had a fabulous time not only trying various forms of printing and visiting some of the main tourist sights but  also being allowed a privileged glimpse into the non tourist side of India. With several thousand photographs to work from trying to decide just what to use as an inspiration source for my work has been very difficult. After much deliberation I have selected to initially work with images of the Hawa Mahal, an architectural gem located in the very centre of the Pink City.

Hawa Mahal – sample quilt

My first sample piece (A4 size) features a stitched section of the building plus some block prints (of course!) and stencilling. The hand stitched hexagonal fretwork picks up on a detail from some of the windows.

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