Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Exhibitions & more exhibitions.

Last Sunday was the end of the 'Lines in the Land' exhibition at the Beetroot Tree for which I had made a set of work and Big Ant made a video. That means that this week is set up week in the main area and it is the remarkable African textiles from the collection of John Gillow and the South West Chinese Tribal textiles and thread books from Martin Conlan's collection which form the backbone of the display - always a pleasure! It is more than the textures, more than the remarkably contemporary patterns and designs, more even than the unusual materials and dyes used in the textiles - mostly it is the smell! There is a distinct aroma to antique textiles, especially I think, those from Africa and the East. The smell is that of the fibres themselves - I can't describe it, but if you have ever handled Kuba cloths and the like, you will know what I mean!

The 2 Continents exhibition during set up week
Ndop Cloth from Cameroon
Human Hair Jacket from Cameroon













John has sent examples from Uganda, Tunisia, Cameroon, Ghana, Congo, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Benin.
Martin Conlan concentrates his collection on the Miao, Dai, Dong and Yao tribes from South West China.
He has also sent a mixture of modern clothing including shirts, aprons, trousers and jackets made with local styles and hemp cloth. 
In a few days (give us a chance to get it sorted!), check the Beetroot Tree exhibitions page for more details.

Art Supplies for Sale

And ... over the weekend Stevie (who oversees our art materials at the Beetroot Tree) and I were at the Uttoxeter quilt show with an art supplies sales table. This the mad dying session in the previous post - and the scrim sold so well we need to do another pretty soon, before our next outings. Find out where we are selling art supplies here (click the 'Out and About' Tab).

Jennifer Collier
Waxed Boots
It was lovely to catch up with friends and meet new creative textile people - just a couple to mention here:


Jennifer Collier has established a reputation for her waxed teabag creations, has just opened a new studio space (Unit 12)and spent a very busy weekend supervising her 'have a go' waxed teabag card making, which both Stevie and I managed to go and join in with.
Annette's' work
Annette in conversation
We were next to the delightful Annette Emms whose 'Pixie Boot' article in Stich magazine a while ago inspired my Mum to make us all pairs for Christmas. And as it happens -she liked our scrim and the 'tacky bead mats' which are also one of my favorite gadgets. These bead mats were one of those 'wow -I need one of those' items from the first time I saw them!
African Collar by Lillian Owen

Detail of collar
 Another treat from the show was to catch up with Lillian who had attended one of my Day Schools (Fossil Evidence - using silk papers, stitch and reactive metal paints) and the techniques suited her project so well that she made this piece - and was the only person to sell her work from the embroidery section -well done!




I was also working hard on finishing the Thread Booklet for the Living Threads Group Exhibition. Which I did (just), and took to leave the team there setting up. I'll get you some images when that is all ready. It is usually a varied exhibition of traditional and modern, quilts, lace, wearable etc.

After all of that I was quite pleased to get a good walk out with the dogs, luckily they missed the hare streaking across the field behind them. The weather has been beautiful, warmer than Greece the last two days the weathermen say - long may it contine - there is plenty to do in the garden before the May Day Bank Holiday and the garden being on show for the annual 'Arts and Gardens Festival' around the village, so back to the weeds now ...



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