Gallery of past work

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Exhibition in Ilminster

Covid restrictions notwithstanding, I will be exhiting work in October with the Brunel Broderers in Bloom, at the Arts Centre at the Meeting House in Ilminster, Somerset. This is a new venue for the group and we are very much looking forward to seeing our work in a different setting. 

The exhibition runs from Tuesday 13th to Saturday 31st October and will show a mixture of new work and pieces from the exhbition of the same name held in Cheltenham last September. As well, we hope, as attracting new visitors, this will provide another opportunity to see pieces we showed last year together with further work developed on the same theme. 

The work explores growth and flowering and gardens and each member has approached the subject from their own perspective. The exhibition will show the wide variety of approaches and outcomes developed by the members of the group.

                                         Carla Mines                                                               Liz Harding                                                                      Carolyn Sibbald

Carla Mines has considered further issues of polution and the environment using machine embroidery on disolvable fabric. She has focused particularly on the effects of our casual use of plastic and on the problem of the dense masses of algae or algal blooms which can occur in both marine and fresh water. Liz Harding's work explores colour and growth through machine embroidery enhanced with hand stitched marks on painted organdie. Carolyn Sibbald's folded and cut books and structures, often incorporating delicate stitch, provide a fascinating miniaturised perspective.     

                      Corinne Renow-Clarke                                            Margaret Robbie                                                             Linda Babb

Corinne Renow-Clarke will be showing a series of richly coloured turned-edge appliqués in work that looks afresh at plants we bring close to home. I have continued to explore shape and pattern in landscape, this time through more representational work particularly exploring imagery in the gardens at Chenonceau in France. Linda Babb has based her work on the traditional flower motifs found in the buildings of Marrekesh, seen there on frequent visits.


**A word of warning: because of the inevitable impact of Covid 19, this gallery is operating curtailed opening hours - 10 am till 2 pm and will only be open from Tuesday to Saturday. The café will be serving teas / coffees and a limited selection of sandwiches and cakes during Gallery opening hours. 


Monday, 4 May 2020

Printing and painting

As I said in my previous post, I've been painting and roller printing white fabric with acrylic paint and Liquitex permanent inks, often in combination. This time, I've used a range of cotton and linen fabrics to see how they react to the addition of colour. 


Above and below, various accidental motifs seem to be appearing. Irregular vertical and horizontal lines of ink develop from the roller and circles or near-circles from a brush with both the ink or the acrylic paint.


The accidental nature of this sort of work is what particularly appeals to me. Although it's difficult to see in these photos, the light linen produced especially delicate results. 

In each case, the rollering of paint was chosen particularly to suggest reflections in high rise buildings. I plan to select and cut out sections from these fabrics for small appliqué pieces. 


Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Left Overs

Playing as I do, I took small left over cropped pieces from larger abstracted photgraphic images and rolled acrylic paint over them selectively with a narrow paint roller (brayer). As I was finishing, I rolled the remains of the colour onto strips of an old white cotton bedsheet from my mother's house - this was all about using up left overs, after all! I then experimented.

I stitched a small square from the pile of painted croppings onto the cotton sheeting and added some other rows of stitching to add extra texture. It was interesting how much the parallel stripes of rolled ink suggested the high rise buildings from which the small photographic image had come. They seemed to have come full-circle.


Then, I assembled small croppings from the abstracted photographs. 


In this, it was interesting how strongly the black elements in the photos came through the ink creating depth and a quite different and less static effect which I may explore further.

It's always encouraging when idle experiments and 'what ifs' generate thoughts for what may come next.


Saturday, 4 April 2020

Making marks

I found this card in my stash of images yesterday afternoon when I was searching for intriguing images by other artists to include in my current sketchbook.

It is called The Quilt, which seemed appropriate, and is an original wood engraving by Fiona Hope. Further examples of her work and that by other members of the Society of Wood Engravers are to be found here. I think I bought the card when I was in Scotland and paid several visits to the studios of artists in Aberdeenshire who were exhibiting in North East Open Studios a few years ago - but that may not be the case as I'm not organised enough to annotate my cards when I buy them!


The card has a decidedly textile feel to it and I was fascinated by the range of marks so I set about recreating them with a black Uniball Signo roller ballpen on white paper (thereby inverting the images). I dotted, cross hatched and created thick and thin vertical and diagonal lines and arcs within a hand-drawn grid.


An excellent, idle occupation for a rather chilly afternoon in Coronavirus lockdown. 


Monday, 30 March 2020

Ancient and Modern

I'm working on a larger piece of work combining images of modern high rise buildings with suggestions of what existed before. There is explanation in the last post of what is in my mind.



Here, I've used heavily abstracted and very much enlarged croppings from photos of high rise buildings in Sydney, Australia, taken on a trip a few years ago. I've made marks over and around these images with a fine black Uni marker pen using circles and dots.

These marks suggest possible stitching once the main images are printed onto cloth. Alternatively, I may want to incorporate images printed onto photographic paper into the final piece as this better suggests the shiny surface of plate glass.

I know from past experience that this will give me problems if I want to stitch. It is extremely hard work to stitch through good quality photographic paper and stitches have to be quite far apart so that they don't create perforations or merge into one another and create undesirable holes!

Much to think about then.


Friday, 27 March 2020

Ancient circles

I've been stitching circles.

Circles (usually signifying meeting place, campsite or water hole) and dots (indicating the presence of sacred information not to be shared) are extremely common in the art of Australia's Aborigines as they explore their heritage in a modern context. The simple symbols such as dots and circles, were originally used for sand paintings, to explain things, and in cave paintings or on tools. Often these symbols have different meanings depending on context and local tradition.

I've been exploring and then experimenting to find ways that these symbols can be represented in stitch for work I am developing. I've included here a sample of the pieces. In each case, I've grouped and interpreted them to suit my own purpose.




Below, this whole grouping of circles means star. Again, I've interpreted the image to suit my own ends.


Before the arrival of Europeans, Australia's Aboriginal languages were purely spoken and there was no cultural history of writing. Instead, there was huge reliance on complex oral histories and rich 'dreamtime' recountings to pass on their culture. Now their modern artwork, often on a large scale and using acrylics, uses these symbols to represent their rich spiritual life and their beliefs, their ways of living, their surroundings and the animals and birds that live in their lands.

Kay Tuncun: Kipara (Wild Turdey Dreaming)  1986-87

I find their work fascinating and dramatic - and like nothing else I have ever seen.