Gallery of past work

Saturday 21 September 2019

Through the window

I’m collecting photographs of unusual views through windows, some with reflections, as I begin to develop some new work.

At this stage, subject matter is not important. I’m looking for images where intersections, meeting points, shape and line offer the possibility of abstraction and where objects are placed interestingly off-centre. While on holiday in the last few days, I’ve found shapes and patterns formed by doorways and window frames, fence posts, field boundaries and interwoven lines of barbed wire down a wall at the Prison Museum in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.

In this case, each photo was taken from the inside of the building looking out. Looking in detail at the structure of windows and buildings from the outside would provide another interesting perspective. I’ve taken this approach on modern buildings in the past. Perhaps this time I might look at buildings with more history. 

Friday 20 September 2019

A wood and standing stones

Up here in Aberdeenshire for the third visit of the year, on a wet Wednesday, we drove north to Peterhead on the coast and then west to Aikey Brae. This is a small stone circle at the top of Parkhouse Hill just off the B9029 south of Old Deer.

It is reached through a densely wooded copse of pine trees and on a windless day was a place of extraordinary stillness and quiet. I paused several times to take photographs and the only sound I could hear was of fine rain dripping very occasionally through the pine trees.

The trees were packed tightly together in rows to form a dense canopy which shut out much of the light, preventing the growth of any underbrush on the forest floor. This resulted in a pleasing restricted colour palette of coppery browns, umber and acid green lichen.

The stone circle on the top of its hill is in a quiet and rural location and it was particularly atmospheric in the dank and misty afternoon light. It is a recumbent stone circle (i.e. its largest stone is lying down) and is described as ‘the most original, complete and “unimproved” stone circle in northern Aberdeenshire’.  It was built by a farming community some 4,000 years ago, probably to chart the passing of the seasons by plotting the lunar cycle.

In the drizzle, and with the stone damp and covered in lichen, it was easy to imagine that very different past.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

In Bloom in Cheltenham

The Brunel Broderers’ exhibition is now over and work has been taken down. Sadly, we were only at this excellent, well-visited gallery for a week.

Three of my pieces are shown below as they were hung in the gallery.

The work was derived following my currently preferred process. I manipulated the photos shown in previous posts using Photoshop Elements and printed the resulting images onto light cotton before stitching.

This time, for the main piece one metre long, I added in an extra step as I wanted to apply the images to a cotton backing before stitching to give more texture. I chose to use a length from an old white damask table cloth of my mother’s which was too badly stained for use. I applied each of the printed images to Bondaweb and cut out each one carefully before applying it to the cloth. This seemed to give more life to the piece as well as being the only practical way to get all five images onto the cloth.

I then stitched with the chosen restricted palette to develop the imagery of the piece. I used French knots and satin stitch in the main and stretched it around a shallow artist’s canvas.