Each year, designed to co-incide with the annual Poetry Festival, Weavers Gallery in Ledbury hosts a themed exhibition of invitational work by local textile artists. This year our theme was the life and works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Dawn to Dusk
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
(from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem ‘How do I love thee?’)
The Wheel Goes Round …
28 June – 8 July 2018
Weavers Gallery, Church Lane, Ledbury HR8 1DW
Open 10.00am to 4.00pm
Free entry, sadly no disabled access (first floor gallery).
I am delighted to announce that Eclectica has been shortlisted for the Fine Art Quilt Masters 2018, one of 23 pieces of work selected for inclusion in this prestigious exhibition at Festival of Quilts in August. You can see the full list of selected works here – I am in some great company.
This is one of a number of pieces of experimental mark making work which have evolved since my attending an inspirational drawing course led by renowned textile artist Matthew Harris at West Dean College early last year. It is not a quilt in the conventional sense in that I have layered, felted and stitched multiple pieces of painted muslin onto a base of wool felt. Deliberately there is no backing fabric as I wanted the drape of the wool to be an inherent feature of the piece.
Eclectica – detail
Fish ‘n’ Chips
Fish ‘n’ Chips is touring (2018-2019) with Contemporary Quilt’s ‘In Print’ challenge exhibition. Our first venue is The Forge Mill Needle Museum, Redditch and runs from 25th May until 8th July 2018. Other venues and dates will be announced in due course.
Monoprinted on calico using artists acrylic paint. Transfer printed appliquéd transparent fabric and acetone printed newspaper ‘chips’. Machine and hand quilting.
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 Detail
The Road Most Travelled
Even though the hand is better the mark making experimentation continues as, of course, I can now add stitch as well! This is a small (9 x 7 inch) hand stitched sample piece.
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 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.
Cogs & Bees
The theme for my latest ‘Art Quilts Around the World Group‘ quilt was “Steampunk”
I had great plans to design a fantastical creature but got sidetracked by the wonderful shapes that cogs create! I already owned a selection of MDF ply cog shapes which I used to gelli print the background fabric. Next I had fun creating some ‘rusty’ cogs from thick Vilene and acrylic paints – these are stitched on such that they have a loose outside edge. Then came the addition of some of the smaller ply cogs and a few metal ones I found in a drawer. In that same drawer were some old keys and angel wings (isn’t it amazing what stuff we keep ‘just in case’?!) which for some unknown reason I was inspired to make little bees from. For a quilt which simply ‘developed’ as I went along I am quite pleased with the result.
Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.
The theme for the latest ‘Art Quilts Around the World Group‘ challenge was ‘Nursery Rhymes’. For my quilt I decided to ‘ignore’ the darker side of this nursery rhyme (you can read all about this in Sue Zimet’s post) and take the words of poem quite literally.
It was the word ‘contrary’ which caught my attention i.e. ‘opposite in nature, direction or meaning’. Behind the garden wall, Mary, whom I view as a young girl, perhaps of teenage years, shows her spiky, disorganised ‘other’ self.
Techniques used: Image manipulation and printing, rubber stamping and Inktense pencils, appliqué, fabric painting, stencilling, foiling (silver bells), machine quilting.
You can see the other group members’ quilts here.
An A5 sized quilt donated to ‘Gathering Memories’, a charitable, community project aiming to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society. Do please visit their website if interested in more information about this worthwhile initiative.