…is very interesting isn’t it? I’ve had a few ideas circling in my head for ages, and various wants and needs too, such as an urge during the winter to use more colour, and a strong desire to look at and channel illuminated manuscripts in my work. I saw a lot of these amazing books in an exhibition in the British Library a couple of years ago and they have stayed with me, glowing in their glass cases in the dark rooms.
The colour need seems to have been satisfied with the Khadi paper circles with birds previously shown; they’re almost finished now. The manuscripts are still thoughts in progress, but an innocent activity such as sorting fabrics to put into fabric packs for sale at shows has led me to make some new pieces, without planning to.
These are actually for a couple of shows next year, so there’s no rush to finish them, which is wonderful as I actually don’t like working under pressure at all. I had some fabric I was laying down for the packs, below, and although I would never have chosen these to make a piece of work, I loved what happened and made the happy occurrence into a new piece. It’s about 1.25 m x 60 cm, fabrics on silk noil. I’ve had the silk for years, and actually it has nearly ended up in fabric packs before now.
The piece of work, which I think will be called Dark Tide or Night Tide, waiting to be stitched.
This led to a burst of creative energy, which as usual involved getting out lots of materials. I laid down another three pieces, on silk noil, then put the materials away. I want to enjoy making these, not end up with a great pile of work I feel I have to plough through; been there, done that, time for a change.
This determined plan then failed as I got more materials out later. Still, there we go, strike while the iron’s hot and other ancient but useful phrases.
And below are three more pieces, mixed fabrics and papers, each about 50 x 50 cm. These are probably destined for the Art Textiles: Made in Britain gallery at the Festival of Quilts 2016. The fourth piece is a paper collage, which I will stitch, simply and lightly.
There is a fantastic show on at the Art Gallery here in Birmingham, curated by Jeremy Deller. The show compares and connects William Morris and Andy Warhol, and there are some wonderful pieces on show.
I loved Andy Warhol’s beautiful line drawings, and his larger screen prints of flowers, and camouflage, mentioning just two examples, displayed surreally on huge walls papered with William Morris wallpaper designs. The careers of both artists are explored thoroughly, particularly the large amount of publications they both produced.
There are some large print blocks on display which were used to block print various William Morris wallpapers, and these tools are gorgeous as objects too. The whole show is so well curated and mounted it’s a joy, and all the Holy Grail Tapestries, made by Morris and Co. are also in the show. I’ve seen these quite a lot, growing up in Birmingham, but it’s always good to see them again.