Wednesday, 31 October 2018

UK tour 2018


In addition to the Fabricated Narratives exhibition, during my visit to the UK I lead workshops and speak to groups about my work. So far this has encompassed Norwich Embroiderers Guild, The Granary Studio (Winchester), Art Van Go (Knebworth) and East Surrey Embroiderers Guild. The workshops are exciting as always for me as I watch participants learn new skills and create works based on my suggestions, but in their own style. 
As usual, please bear in mind that these are the partly finished works, not completed.


In Norwich we worked on ‘Slash and Burn’. Using metal fabric as the base and adding layers of melted chiffons to this, then revealing the metal fabric by cutting away with scissors and soldering irons. These lovely surfaces are ready for stitching and beading in just a day. Even more impressive was that these were created without samples as they had decided to hide from me until I returned from the workshop - oops, but in actual fact, it worked so well, I may consider it again!



Slash and Burn workshop at Norwich EG
Slash and Burn workshop at Norwich EG

Slash and Burn workshop at Norwich EG

Slash and Burn workshop at Norwich EG

Slash and Burn workshop at Norwich EG

Slash and Burn workshop at Norwich EG

Slash and Burn workshop at Norwich EG
At the Granary Studio we pursued ideas which involved more consideration of negative spaces and repeats to create a surface design with a 2 day version of my workshop ‘The Space Between’. These patterns and lines were then interpreted in print, metal fabric and wires. Again, 2 days is only just time to begin to discover the direction a piece might take, but we were well on the way and I was very pleased with the journey. I will be back at the Granary Studios in November 2019, do contact Sue  if you are interested in booking.

The Space Between workshop at The Granary Studio

The Space Between workshop at The Granary Studio
The Space Between workshop at The Granary Studio

The Space Between workshop at The Granary Studio





My thanks to Denise who brought in a piece she made on her last workshop with me 2 years ago. This was called ‘Vain Devices’. In this we examined (mostly) Elizabethan decorated and slashed clothing with it’s over the top splendour, then in velvet, metal, metal fabric and Angelina fibres, we developed an abstract version of the original, concentrating on textures and forms, not whole clothing pieces.

Vain Devices workshop result by Denise

Jane brought her piece to share. This was started last year on the ‘Starting from Seeds’ workshop. Developing a design from forms in seedpods, and interpretation in metal, metal cloth, reverse applique and embellishing stitch and beads. Here are the developments and the finished version:
Nigella seed pod as the starting point in 'Starting from Seeds' workshop

Development drawing


The final piece, a glorious textured mix of metal, metal cloth, velvet, stitch and beads

Starting from Seeds, detail

Thank you so much to Denise and Jane for sharing. It is really brilliant for me to see work which has left the confines of a workshop environment and grown into a personal, unique work.

Rusty and Gnarly


Some new workshop ideas explode into your mind, the excitement of the idea carries you along. Along the way they can become a bit of a monster. Thus it was with some trepidation that after 6 months of trials and development then parring down  options to develop a workable multi-day workshop that I took a trip to Knebworth and to Art Van Go’s studios. Here I was to give the (possibly) unsuspecting participants a whirlwind  ride of painting, spraying, dripping, burning, rusting, and more burning over 2 days with the theme of ‘Rusty and other Gnarly Stuff’. I was also due to run a 3 day version with my Taking Textile Further fabulous ladies the week after. I'd  like to share with you some of the amazing work they achieved.


Both groups dived in with enthusiasm and a degree of trust in both myself and the process they were asked to follow. I often aim to divorce the process from the ‘end game’, allowing the final works to grow through a connection with the papers and fabrics. To develop pieces with a few key words in mind based on images of rusted objects or peeling paint or ‘other gnarly old stuff’ was the aim in this case.
I increasingly find that showing final outcome examples early in a session can create a narrow tunnel vision for some people, so withholding visuals until very late in the day frees  the mind and allows for a more personal creative response to the ideas and techniques offered. However, I also know that this can be a hard journey for some, and am grateful of the trust that is placed in me to allow this to openness occur.

Both at Art Van Go and Taking Textiles Further at Risley we began with a blank, clean workspace and ended up with colour, texture, marks and ideas in paper, fabric, Tyvek, Lutradur, metal and wire before bringing these yummy piles of materials together as responsive works.
Great piles of loveliness! Painted, rusted, dripped, sprayed, burnt and more papers and fabrics from Rusty and Gnarly workshop from Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Great piles of loveliness! Painted, rusted, dripped, sprayed, burnt and more papers and fabrics from Rusty and Gnarly workshop from Alysn Midgelow-Marsden


Drying dyeing in the autumn sunshine at Art Van Go

Drying dyeing in the autumn sunshine at Art Van Go
Great piles of loveliness! Painted, rusted, dripped, sprayed, burnt and more papers and fabrics from Rusty and Gnarly workshop from Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Great piles of loveliness! Painted, rusted, dripped, sprayed, burnt and more papers and fabrics from Rusty and Gnarly workshop from Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Rusty and Gnarly with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Rusty and Gnarly with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Rusty and Gnarly with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Rusty and Gnarly with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Rusty and Gnarly with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Rusty and Gnarly with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Rusty and Gnarly with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Rusty and Gnarly with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Rusty and Gnarly with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden


Rusty and Gnarly with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Rusty and Gnarly with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Rusty and Gnarly with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden


In the end, the course worked brilliantly as you can see above. We developed new approaches, new (to some) techniques and great results underway. I can now sleep in peace having achieved the desired outcome!
Among the added benefits for me is participating and listening to the many supportive conversations through the days and watching the development of new friendships which I know will continue in the future for many of the special people I get to meet. Thank you all for giving your time and sharing with me and the others on your courses.
(I'm not going into details of the  Wolverhampton contingent's  evening excesses, except to say - why wasn't I invited?!!)
If you are excited by the idea of my workshops, please get in touch on the contact page, or fb for my 2019, 2020 (and beyond) availability anywhere in the world.
x

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Fabricated Narratives takes flight


After such a busy time preparing work for the Fabricated Narratives exhibition, travelling to and beginning my travels around the UK to visit lots of groups for talks and workshops, I finally have a short hiatus to sort through the photos and initial impressions.
Most of 2018 has been focussed on developing pieces for Fabricated Narratives to tour with the Knitting and Stitching Show in London, Dublin and Harrogate. The four of us participating in the exhibition also hope to be able to show in New Zealand in due course, but as we have been so concentrated on finalising details for the UK, we sadly have no dates in our home country as yet.

If you want to see more, the website is www.fabricatednarratives.com and facebook is @fabricatednarratives. There is also a publication available from me (message us on facebook), at just £5.00/$NZ10.00 plus p+p.


Exhibition publication for Fabricated Narratives
We have been greatly pleased to be able to work with filmmakers Ingrid Jellick (visuals) and Steve Balaam (sound). It was a fabulous way to record some of our work underway and give a sense of each of us as individual artists.
See what you think … go to: Fabricated Narratives
As ever, the show that you see is only the head and neck of the swan, not the feet desperately paddling underneath. Yet this is also important to acknowledge. Any endeavour involves many more people than the name boards may suggest. To our film makers, publishers, family and friends, many, many thanks for your time and efforts on our behalves. Thanks to the show organisers (especially Helene Marriott at Upper Street Events, Jan and team, Bill and team) who work hard to market, to engage the public and to get them to the show, and who provide invaluable assistance with the gallery space, plinths, electrics, lighting, labelling, information boards etc. , and  thanks to patient friends who are daft enough to volunteer their services during set up are called on to climb ladders, to measure, hammer, disentangle wire, and be quietly supportive in the moments when you think that the show quite simply will not go on! Eternal thanks to Jane and Philip (yet again) (Will you never learn to avoid me?)


Fabricated Narratives, Knitting and Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, 2018

Fabricated Narratives, Knitting and Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, 2018

Fabricated Narratives, Knitting and Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, 2018

Fabricated Narratives, Knitting and Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, 2018

The thousands of visitors who made time to visit the gallery were also overwhelmingly positive, some having journeyed specifically to see us, others voted us as their favourite gallery, and many other comments. 
Comments from visitors to the Fabricated Narratives gallery



Comments from visitors to the Fabricated Narratives gallery

Comments from visitors to the Fabricated Narratives gallery
Next stop Dublin in just over a week, so more views of the work for you then. Each space is different which means the work is displayed in varying combinations which is a really interesting process for me, to find out how one work plays against another and how they can be viewed in alternative spaces.