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Thursday, 29 March 2012

Quilting Arts - my artist profile

Quilting Arts magazine has published an Artist Profile article about me and my work, in their current issue, April-May 2012.  Here are a couple of the double spread pages:

I am really chuffed with the article!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Thursday, 22 March 2012

A late Wednesday picture....

It's just past midnight, so officially it is Thursday...

This is the Somerset Tree, a whole sculptured oak which stands in the new Taunton Museum, in the refurbished Taunton Castle.  It is a most beautiful piece!  All the things sculpted on it reflect objects in the museum or relate to Taunton's past.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Radstock Museum Patchwork and Quilt exhibition 2012

Today I went to see the third bi-annual Patchwork and Quilt exhibition organised by Midsomer Quilting at Radstock Museum, Somerset (near Bath).

It is a beautiful little museum, with lots of very interesting things to see, reflecting the history of the town, which used to be a mining town.  There is a Victorian classroom as well as small Victorian shops.

The quilt exhibition is mostly in the upstairs floor.  Over 200 quilts are arranged in quite limited space, but very successfully used by Chris Howell from Midsomer Quilting.  Quilts are arranged in two rows, above and below, to make use of the very high ceiling.  There are both traditional and contemporary quilts, from very big to very small quilts, and some beautiful old quilts.

It was very well attended and I know quilters come from all over the world to see it.

I contributed two quilts - the first one, Finding the Way (with my Talisman) (which is a SatNav), was very well placed next to a strinkingly beautiful and deep coloured 1836 quilt made with hexagons, Great-Grandmother's Silk Garden Quilt.  The quilt was made by Anna Maria Cradock, who was married in Hemington, two and a half miles from the Museum.  It was lent by her great-granddaughter, Sheila Walker.

The third quilt on the photograph is Blue Hawaii by Helen Grist, made with Hawaiian fabric she bought there when her husband took her to Maui for their 25th wedding anniversary.

My other contribution was Login Shakespeare, a quilt made with curved square-within-squares log cabin technique, and with the names of Shakespeare plays screen printed in the centre of each;  and a corresponding quote from each play printed on one of the logs.

These are some of my other favourite quilts; first, Pointing to Somerset by Barbara Webber - a beautiful, very small quilt - I wouldn't mind having it!  It is all made with small folded points, in rainbow colours.

Another favourite is a fabulous Celtic Knots quilt, designed and made by Chris Squires, hand appliqu├ęd and hand quilted.

I was very impressed by this very original tumbling blocks quilt.

I can't remember who made it, and although I have the catalogue I can't easily trace it as I don't remember the name or number.  Apologies!

There was a lot to see - I will have to go again some time.  The exhibition continues until 31st May.  Check the museum website for hours of opening, which are restricted - mostly in the afternoons, 2 - 4 pm, but some days it opens for longer. It is closed on Mondays, except for Bank Holiday Mondays.  Tea room available!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

My exhibition tour reaches London

And so to London.

First we went to Tate Modern and saw Alighiero Boetti, an Italian artist who has really interesting approaches to the grid, placing letters and numbers in them - and then they are embroidered!  as well as his large maps of the world.  The embroidery was done by Afghan craft embroiderers.  His images are very 'quilty'.

At Tate Modern we also visited the exhibition of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.  Her work is very colourful, although I cannot say it appeals to me that much.  I am a bright-colours person, but hers are too much on-your-face for my liking.  I like colours that glow - and that could be found in her two installations:  one, a room which was kitchen, dining room, sitting room - all painted very dark and covered in bright spots - and illuminated with black light, which mean that the bright spots really glowed.

But the greatest experience was the last room in the exhibition, an installation titled Infinity, where you walked into a room full of small round hanging lights, though a path surrounded with mirrors.  The lights changed colours and the effect of being inside them was magical!

Next we went to the Royal Academy to see David Hockney's exhibition of Yorkshire landscapes - large, colourful paintings, and also prints from his iPad drawings.  Magnificent!  The colours are resplendent, and the iPad images totally fascinating.

Finally we went to the Private View of London Quilters' bi-annual exhibition at the Swiss Cottage Library, Quilts in the Library.  High quality as always, and a variety of traditional and contemporary work, reflecting the composition of the group.

And afterwards, we came back home!  It was a week packed with visual treats as well as social meetings with all friends - all in all, a great pleasure.


Wednesday, 14 March 2012


After a much longer gap that I anticipated, I continue writing about my 'exhibitions tour'.

The next stop after Bletchley Park was Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of Shakespeare.  We did a tour of the new theatre, which has been rebuilt over the last few years, and in the evening we went to see a play - not a Shakespeare one! - but The Heresy of Love, written by Helen Edmunson, about Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a Mexican poet and writer of the 1600s, who became a nun in order to keep her intellectual independence, and although first supported by the church and nobility was eventually destroyed by the church and the inquisition.  Fascinating, very powerful stuff.  In fact years ago I saw an Argentine film about the same story, directed by Maria Luisa Bamberg, and titled "I, the worst of all", which were the words she had to write when she 'confessed' to have been wrong to believe that she, as a woman, could use her intellect.

Here is my almost 'wordless Wednesday' picture, taken in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The next day we went to Leamington Spa, which is still in Shakespeare country, about 30 minutes' drive away.  There we visited Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery, a beautiful building in a park - it used to be the old spa - with a large, beautiful temporary exhibition space, where Annabel Rainbow is organising an exhibition next October to January - Through our Hands - at the request of the museum.  She wants to bring art quilting to the attention of the general public, and to this effect she asked some well known quilters to join her in the exhibition - I was very lucky to be asked to join the group.  The other artists are:  Sandra Meech, Elizabeth Barton, Elizabeth Brimelow, Bethan Ash, Linda and Laura Kemshall, Dianne Cevaal, and Eszer Bornemisza.  I am delighted to be in such amazing company!

Then on to London - to be continued....

Good night!


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Monday, 5 March 2012

My exhibition tour

I have just come back from a one-week 'exhibition-plus tour' around various English towns.

First stop was Bletchley Park, the National Codes Centre, where messages coded with the Enigma machine were deciphered during World War II, as well as a place where other secret work took place.   It has now been reconstructed and it is a fascinating place to visit.

Last weekend there was a quilt show in The Mansion (the central house), organised by the local region of the Quilters' Guild, and it was a fantastic success.

I have always been fascinated by secret codes, and have heard a lot about Bletchley Park, so I made a quilt for it, inspired by the Enigma machine, using a technique of applying letters to fabric that I have not used before.

The quilt show was a great excuse for visiting Bletchley Park.  The quilts were fabulous and the place is fascinating.  I took one of the tours, which take you round the site and explain how it was set up and the kind of work that was done there, and show you some of the deciphering machines.

Below is a photo of the real Enigma machine.

Will continue tomorrow!