I’m currently on an alternative education MA course called TOMA in Southend, I enrolled on the course to push myself and engage my brain cells a little and its done that. We each have the opportunity to invite an artist to come and give us a lecture and so far we have had some stonkers, Bruce Mclean, Richard Wentworth and Griselda Pollock – by now my brain is engaged and slightly aching. I invited Hannah Leighton Boyce and she talked about her project Instruments of Industry https://www.a-n.co.uk/reviews/instruments-of-industry-interview-with-hannah-leighton-boyce
This piece involves the artist exploring tools and finding their resting pitch and making a music score from the results. Being very process driven, the discussion around tools really got that brain thinking again and I started looking at what is really going on with my tools when I’m not there. I used my kids digital microscope to start examining them and uncovered a secret world of colour and texture I never knew about.
The working surfaces were pitted and scored which, combined with the texture of the surface, created a scarred landscape worthy of Star Trek and contained spills, drips and oversprays of colour that reflects my clumsiness but created jewels and highlights that any happy accident would be extremely proud.
Hannah Leighton Boyce – Tools of Industry
My metal ruler
Colin, dog and I have come to spend a week in Northumberland to walk the Hadrian’s Wall path. We took the Metro to Wallsend where the path begins and the first day’s walking followed the Tyne into the centre of Newcastle. We passed a sign pointing towards Rome, 1,110 miles away, the footings which are all that is left of a Roman bath house, and warnings not to step onto the river bank as it is still polluted from the industrial waste which made the Victorian industrialists of Newcastle rich.
As we looked across the Tyne we could see the old flour mill which is now the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, then to our right upstream, the seven bridges crossing the Tyne appeared, one by one, beginning with the newest, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge which tilts and looks like a large blinking eye, then farther along the bank, the Tyne bridge which is home to a large group of kittiwakes, the furthest inland nesting colony in the world, and what a mess they make! We watched the birds fly around and perch on the nests which they have built on the metal struts of the bridge.
There were a couple of empty benches nearby and we turned to sit on them. I noticed that they had been made to mark the hundredth anniversary of World War I. I photographed them because it reminded me of our EAST “Between the Lines” project. Shown on the back rest of the bench the iconic figures of soldiers rendered in black metal, barbed wire and bright red poppies. Under each arm rest are black helmets and a dedication.
Another memorable piece of public art!
I recently attended several courses with the tutor Amanda Clayton who lives in Stafford.
We only worked in sheer and translucent fabrics in natural colours. She introduced us to at least ten different fabrics including crepoline, mousseline and pineapple cloth. We were encouraged to use at least eight different types of thread in neutral colours all supplied by Amanda for us to try.
After twenty-five years of stitching I learned so much from this very generous tutor and lovely person.