Saturday 24 October 2020

Next stage for the drawings

 Looking at all the 'play' ideas I've been making during the summer, it was time to resolve a few and give them some refinements to resolve the ideas. I started with the drawings made with the inks made from plants - dandelions, buttercups and nettles. These drawings showed the rhythm of walking around the same space repeatedly on a daily basis. Often this was a short walk around the garden, then progressed onto longer walks along local footpaths, following hedgerows.

You might remember the process for making inks from plant material from my previous posting 'Stitching and Rooting' last June.
I coloured some threads and fine cane as well as painted shapes onto paper to reflect the repetitive rhythm of walking round the same small area.

To make  it easier to add hand stitches, the drawings were perforated with threadless machine stitching.

Hand stitches were then added using strong linen thread that was stiff enough to make loopy effects with loose tension.
Rows of perforations were made through the drawings, making small holes for easy hand stitching afterwards: stitches to reflect the rhythmical lines made by the grasses and the small shapes of leaves and flowers.
The compositions shows the paths into the garden and the circular movement of pleasurable walking round and round each day. This piece is called 'Round and Round the Garden'.

A similar process was used to develop a second drawing, producing another resolved piece called 'Round and Round and Round Again'. Two drawings were placed close together to give a suggestion of the continuation of the painted circle lines.

Holes initially made by machining into the drawings and hand stitches added afterwards. Continuous lines made by couching down 'cords' of dried bindweed.

Wednesday 7 October 2020

Grand Opening

Myself and two fellow artists, painter Pauline Lerry and photographer Lesley Roberts set up a small exhibition in Bridgwater Arts Centre to help them celebrate the opening of the doors after a full closure during our Covid19 summer.

The inspiration for the work on show is the wonderful Wetlands and Wildlife area, Steart Marshes, a local place beloved by people locally and of national importance in its management of wildlife and wetland environment. I was taken on a routine data gathering walk across the mud flats by a scientific research group and saw areas of the wetlands not open to the public.

I learnt how important marshes and wetlands are in conservation as mud sediment absorbs more carbon dioxide than a similar area of tropical rain forest. This surprising fact shows how important areas like this are to the planet, so I gilded my fabric fragments with gold paint to show off it's newly acquired status for me.

'Hidden Treasure' is composed of fabric fragments that have been coated in mud from Steart Marshes with added touches of gold paint.

I was pleased with the situation of a large piece, 'Marsh Cradles' as this high-relief piece was highlighted by the shadows cast over these linear structures.


A close-up detail of 'Marsh Cradles', showing how the shadows enhance the linear features of the willows structures.

'Marsh Cradles' is displayed on one side of a large pillar in the gallery and is show here alongside two paintings by Pauline Lerry that seem to complement the textural quality of the textile.