Sunday, 19 July 2015

Patching things together

Finally getting some time in the studio I have been working on some new ideas. Based on some initial research I did at Sunny Bank Mills earlier this year I have been exploring patchwork, stitch, drawing and composition. I am allowing my making to help with thinking, and for thinking to inform my making. That might sound obvious but I am enjoying allowing things to unfold organically.

Saturday, 4 July 2015


I recently spent some time at my Mum's house, helping her sort things out in preparation for a house move. She has unwittingly become the inheritor of generations of 'stuff'. You can interpret that word as you like, but I see it as a positive word. As an example we found this rather lovely envelope in my Grandmother's hand:

In case you can't make it out, it reads 'Grandad Lovejoys Treasures from his pockets'. So that would be my Great, great grandfather I suppose.

There can be no doubt that my interest in found objects comes from my Mum's side of the family.

I have also claimed a pair of simple jet earrings that belonged to my great, great grandmother Ellen Lickman (below). In fact I think she is wearing them in this photo. I have never really owned any old jewellery before, and I really feel the weight of history wearing them. I am rather interested in that sensation... possibly something to explore.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Catching up

I must admit I laughed when I read the title of my last blog post. Although I am embarrassed it is so long since I last posted, I can't help but feel that 'rest' is the last thing I have been doing. As is normal for me at this time of year, the academic roller coaster reaches full speed and I am dragged along with it.

Although I have been stupidly busy, it has also been a wonderful period of blossoming talent that has seen my embroidery students complete their final collections for the Bradford summer show and all the excitement of New Designers. You can see a sample of their work HereAmanda Woollard and Denise Jordan also have portfolios on Arts Thread. It has been a great pleasure to see things come together for exhibition and, as usual, the standard of work is wonderful.

While in London I was fortune to steal a few moments at the British Library to see Cornelia Parker's Magna Carta (An Embroidery), which was fascinating to see in person, having heard so much about it. It is such a clever project, but also the scale of the actual piece struck me; that a thing can be so much bigger than it's actual size... not sure that makes sense, but I think I mean the idea, meaning or story of something can be so much bigger than the original object.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

While I rest

A few photos from the weekend, from which I am gradually recovering. Thank you to everyone who visited the Butterfly Rooms during Saltaire Arts Trail, we had the most amazing feedback from visitors.

The last image is of the little artist editions I made to go with the Linear Mapping installation. I have a few left at £8.50 plus P&P so please leave a comment if you are interested.

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.


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