Thursday, 29 May 2014

Dislocation quilt has been submitted, fingers crossed

I have now submitted my entry to the Dislocation challenge after a weekend of finishing it off.  I am very pleased with it, even if it doesn't get juried in.  New techniques for me on this one were using Markal painstiks, machine appliqué of bias strips in two different widths, and finishing with a binding of approximately an eighth of an inch.





The final piece, now called "Blite, whack and red all over"


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Lumen, lack of light and a hidden lion

In the end I did not miss the life drawing class.  The teacher rescheduled, and I realised when I arrived at the class last week, that the person in the T-shirt was not a new member of the class who had forgotten his trousers, but was Clive, the life model.  After the initial gulp of the throat, realising that this was it, I then spent a really exciting 3 hours getting to grips with charcoal, short poses, long poses and discovering the skeleton underneath.  We have another life drawing session at the end of the term, so I hope my skills have extended a bit by then.

I followed that with a look round the "Inspired By" exhibition, at the Morley College Gallery.  This is a competitions for adult learners to make a piece inspired by an object in the V and A.  This is a really lovely exhibition and the interpretations of some of the objects is remarkable.  Several pieces of jewellery are very covetable, particularly  a leaf brooch by Nina Gargala, and this dramatic piece by Gudny Hexter.

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 Anyone who follows the blog of Margaret Cooter, will be pleased to knew that her recent work, Museum Mazes won the printmaking prize.

After that, a visit to the Lumen Church, a wonderful space in Bloomsbury, with a fascinating history, from its beginnings as a Gaelic-speaking church to its present multi-faith usage.  The interior has a remarkable "sacred space " that is wonderful to sit in

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and the window at the top casts a marvellous light that reminded me of being in James Turrell's  "Deer Shelter Skyspace" at the  Yorkshire Sculpture Park. 

I have been stitching and drawing, but the light is so poor, I have not been able to photograph the products of either activity. Lots of quilting, completing my piece for Dislocation,; returning to one of the scrap quilts to practise free machine quilting; making some postcards for an online challenge.

Arriving early for the annual Prism exhibition at the Mall Galleries, ( on until 31st May) I discovered  this little memorial in the crypt of St Martin in the fields church, a tribute to the first Pearly King.  

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Prism is as ever full of wonderful pieces, go if you can.  Free entry, well-lit, easily accessible, good coffee and lots of inspiration.

Finally at Waterloo, a hidden lion - how have i passed this every day for a year and not noticed it?

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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Art for art's sake*

I am not getting much sewing done, because of  the conjunction of a family commitment due to an older relative needing more support than usual, both sons doing BIG exams, difficult times at work, and more positively, starting a drawing course at Morley.  I am trying to use any chunks of time to address my fear of the drawing implement, rather than turn to the sewing machine.  So far, I am OK, despite having had to miss a couple of sessions ( conferences and other members of our very small team being on holiday).  Each session is 3 hours, and we have been given the opportunity to try lots of techniques.  Sadly , I missed this week's life-drawing session.  Examples of work done so far follow below.  I am pretty amazed that I have been able to get to a semblance of recognisable objects in these.

Week 1 - drawing an imaginary elephant and then copying a photograph with a scaling grid


Week 2 - perspective drawing of a table top - no photo as it  looks really boring

Week 3, drawing lots of small objects from different angles



Week 4, drawing something very small on an enormous scale - paper is A1 size


Week 5, observational drawing at home and while travelling




I do find the 3h sessions exhausting, but as with all tasks requiring hand/eye/brain coordination, I can see the value of practising little and often.

Art of a different order at the weekend, when I went to see:

  • The Glamour of Italian Fashion - gorgeous;
  • the David Hockney charcoal drawings at the Annely Juda Gallery, on until 12 July ( free) where the drawings can be seen in great detail.  I was mesmerised again by the film of the car going down the snowy lane, filmed by 9 cameras at the same time.  It is really haunting, particularly in this longer version than was seen at the Royal Academy, as people appear and disappear from the film.
  • next to the Francis Kyle Gallery, where I was initially drawn in by the wonderful colours in the paintings by Jon Wealleans, but spent more time looking at the etchings of Venice by Malte Sartorius.  There will be a larger exhibition of his work starting on 21 May for a month, and I'll definitely be going back.
  • oddly unsettling paintings and photographs at the Hus Gallery, but the repetition in the paintings by Neil Raitt became more compelling with time spent looking
  • finishing up with the sculptures of Lynn Chadwick at Blain Southern.  I think I am in a phase where I am  more and more drawn towards line and form rather than colour


The exhibition also contains a maquette for one of the kinetic sculptures I saw last year at the Cass Sculpture Foundation


A great way to end the day and f course I have now downloaded the song* to my iPod.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Black is black*

Continuing with the dislocation piece, but it is slow going as the black on black quilting is very difficult to see, so I can only do it when the light is really good.


the back is easier to see of course


A visit last week to the Martin Creed exhibition at the Hayward ( finishes today ) brought mixed responses from me and prompted the purchase of the book " Why your 5 year old could not have done that".  It is a good read and the examples chosen are thought provoking, but I remain to be convinced by many conceptual artists.

Art in nature presented as well this week, as the wisteria on our house joins the hundred of others in flowering profusely in London.


Song here.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Is 11 months ahead really too soon to book for an exhibition?

Not if it is an opportunity to see the workmanship on this


and this


Alexander McQueen's "Savage Beauty" is coming to the V and A in March 2015 and I've booked my ticket.  I used to wonder what all the fuss was about with McQueen, until i went to Liberty's and tried on some of the jackets.  He was a master of his craft and it will be a joy to see the combination of the tailoring and the skills of the atelier staff with whom he worked.

( Images from the Metropolitan Museum site)