Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Linear Mapping - take two

I am really pleased to have another chance to show Linear Mapping, this time in my own studio during Saltaire Arts Trail. It's always an interesting challenge to reconfigure an installation of components. I have no fixed arrangement, so we shall see how it works in this new space.

My studio at the Butterfly Rooms will be open 10 - 5 on Saturday 23rd May, 10 - 4 Sunday 24th and Monday 25th. I hope you will pop by and have a look...

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

This time last year...

This time last year I was part way through my project called 'Linear Mapping'. The project involved recording or mapping a series of short walks in the local countryside and also some in my native Chilterns. I was reflecting on this yesterday while I was out walking. Since then my walking habits have changed a bit, with a dog to take with me on my journeys. We don't always want to stop and 'sniff around' in the same spots but are learning some give and take. Being out walking at different times has given me some wonderful encounters with nature. Yesterday while I was taking photos of bluebells we were both startled by a pair of deer thundering past us just a few feet away.

Linear Mapping is on my mind a lot at the moment as I will be showing the work during Saltaire Arts Trail in a few weeks. To accompany this I am currently in the process of putting together an artist's edition, that documents the project. I am enjoying the process of bringing all the different strands together and finishing the process of documentation. With any luck these editions should be ready in time for the trail... not long now!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Archives and narratives

A couple of weeks ago I made a trip to Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley, Leeds.  The mill no longer produces the fine worsted cloth it was once renowned for, but holds so many connections with its manufacturing past. Large parts of the mill have been turned into commercial units but there is also a wonderful gallery space and an archive, which are both open to the public.

My visit was the start of researching a new body of work, but with no specific direction it is always an uncertain experience. Will I find something that sparks my curiosity? How will I know what to look for? Despite uncertainty I am starting to feel that things are strangely slotting into place from the different projects I have been working on. In particular the research I did with Bradford College Textile Archive, which culminated in the installation 'Draft' for the Pick & Mix exhibition and also the research paper I delivered last week at the Infinite & Various conference in Bradford. Out of a great tangle a thread emerges... I am looking forward to untangling this one.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Some little eggs for Easter

The last few weeks feel like I haven't done much, certainly no making as such. I have been resting a bit this week but also putting in the ground work for some new projects, proposals and ventures, early days yet.

So feeling a little out of touch with making I was reminded of the red dyed eggs we were given by our host as a traditional Easter celebration last year in Santorini. So here are my attempts using just colours from the garden; onion skins for colour, fennel, herb robert, rosemary, etc for pattern. I particularly like the way the colour speckled through the shell to make some spotty eggs.

Monday, 30 March 2015


Today I spent some time in the garden, clearing an overgrown path. As I worked at clearing the weeds and grass my mind went back to something I remembered watching, something about a gardening principle. I forget now the name of the garden designer and the details of the concept, apart from it being described as weeding 'like a cow'. The gardener demonstrated, slowly pulling handfuls of foliage, seemingly randomly from the border. I suppose a way of thinning, making space for growth but without being overly selective about which plants are removed. I wish I could remember more about it. While I steadily pulled at the dead grass, moss and weeds it gave me time to think, chew things over... ruminating I suppose.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Inspiration From Historical Textiles

Last weekend I enjoyed teaching a two-day workshop at my studio in Saltaire, West Yorkshire. The theme 'Inspiration from Historical Textiles' allowed me to dig out some of my textile treasures. My lovely students also brought some absolute treats of their own too. We spent the weekend talking about textiles, making cyanotype prints of textiles, drawing from textiles and stitching into textile. Obsessed; surely not!

Below are a few highlights. If you are interested in coming to one of my workshops you can find more information here.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Unpacking - repacking

It's been a busy few months for me, both in the studio and out and about. I haven't had a lot of time to think. Today I spent some time packing and re-packing artwork, which provided a little time to reflect on the projects I have been doing and where they are taking me. A talk I gave last week also gave me a chance to think about my creative practice and the many changes of direction I have followed.

Just at the moment I really feel like I am getting somewhere with finding ways to express my ideas. Of course there are lots of things I want to develop, but I do feel like the 'visual language' I am working with feels right.

There have been a few ambitious projects I have pursued that have worked out well, and shown me that I can work on a big scale (when before I thought I couldn't). I have also enjoyed working on installation pieces, which seems to satisfy an urge to arrange things in a space. I have also learnt a lot about myself, which feels like the whole point of making art, perhaps?


Monday, 16 February 2015

Linear Mapping

Earlier this month I travelled down to Buckinghamshire, to hang my installation work 'Linear Mapping' at One Church Street Gallery, Great Missenden. The work, created over a period of several months in West Yorkshire and Buckinghamshire, comprises a series of 'threads' or strands. Each thread represents a short walk I made in the countryside around my home near Bingley, or near where I grew up in Great Missenden. I was delighted to be one of the five artists selected to create installations for the Pinpoint II exhibition, particularly as the gallery is so close to 'home'.

Below you can see some details of 'Linear Mapping', with the work of fellow artist Gizella Warburton on the wall and plinths behind. As I was hanging the work I loved to see the relationship between my own work and the other work in the gallery - the lines in Gizella's work in particular. In fact until I started to hang the work at the gallery I had no idea how it would look as I hadn't had a suitable space to test it. In general I was pleasantly surprised with the weight and light of the piece and I think it is something I would like to develop further.

The other exhibiting artists are: Clare Barber, Sarah Burgess, Robert Moon, Gizella K Warbuton.

Pinpoint runs until 28th February 2015 at One Church Street Gallery, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16 0AX, England. Open Thurs - Sat 11am - 4pm. Tel: 01494 868151


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