What a fabulous day out at the Museum of East Anglian Life today – Carol, Lorna and ex EAST member June Carroll and myself went for a day out to see the exhibition Fabric Fields and French Knots. This exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the Museum of East Anglian Life. To celebrate they have teamed up with members of local Embroiderers’ Guild groups in Suffolk and Essex to create new works inspired by the museum collections.
Among the artists exhibiting is our own Carol Dixon, along with such familiar names as Jan Lovell, Susan Cranwell, Malelaine Nightingale, Vendulka and Olivier Battais, Mary McIntosh to name just a few.
The exhibits are housed in various buildings on the site as well as in the Abbot’s Hall Gardens. You definitely need the little guide to find all 68 pieces and even after three hours we still did not get round it all, so make sure you allow plenty of time when you visit. For more details go to www.eastanglianlife.org.uk
The photographs below show a selection of the exhibits which hopefully will give a taster and make you want to go along to have a look.
The first exhibit below is to be found in the conservatory in the main Abbot’s Hall and is a joint effort.
Below if a detail from the tree above.
Winter Hedgerow by Carol Dixon
Winter Hedges by Madelaine Nightingale
Gypsy Caravan by Vendulka and Olivier Battais
Country Faces by Madelaine Nightingale
Steam Power byJan Lovell
Footplate Jan Lovell
Cedric – Suffolk Sheep by Susan Cranwell
Frieda – Suffolk Sheep by Susan Cranwell
Allan – Suffolk Sheep Lamb by Susan Cranwell
Edges by Madelaine Nightingale
Celebration Stitch by Gay Macbeth
Since the end of July up to 10th September there is a sculpture exhibition at Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum in Coggeshall (postcode for satnav CO6 1TG) and so far I have been four times. There are over 250 sculptures in the gardens which are made from all sorts of materials from Portuguese and Carrara marble, Zimbabwean springstone, bronze, bronze resin, marine grade stainless steel, galvanised forged steel and blown glass, Welsh slate, aluminium gauze, wood and willow to name a few and many incorporate movement whether by floating or wind power. They are all amazing but the few I have selected to show here are chosen on the basis of material, one of which is my favourite, the fact that the subject of one had his tercentenary last year (and the Embroiderers Guild did a project inspired by his work), one in particular made me smile and the last one I chose is very impressive.
The two photos above show pieces by Carole Andrews from Kent and the materials she has used are an aluminium gauze with copper or steel support. The aluminium gauze has been manipulated and pleated and trap in the gauze is some sort of resin or plaster. Detail pictures below.
The sculpture shown in the photos below is by Pam Foley from Northamptonshire and made from iron resin. However, it looks like the figure has been wrapped in some sort of scrim like material and, in fact, this piece is titled Wrapped. I think it has the look of a Giacometti figure and is my favourite sculpture in the exhibition.
The figure below is of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown by Laury Dizengremel and is described as being made of “resin for bronze”. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was the inspiration for Embroiderers Guild exhibitions across the country last year which was his tercentenary.
The two sculpture below were chosen for humour and scale. The photo on the left shows Fork in Pollen by Mark Reed from Norfolk and is made from cold cast pewter and fibre glass. We wondered if he suffers from hay fever – say the title quickly. The sculpture on the right is titled “Close” by Paul Vanstone and are made from Portuguese marble on Italian marble bases.
At the end of July I was lucky enough to be able to attend this year’s TSG summer school in Grantham – the tutor I chose was Jean Draper and the title of the workshop was “Stitching Lines – Leaving Spaces”.
“Line, in all its varieties, whether drawn, painted or stitched, is a very important element in design, giving us the ability to create a wide range of effects. Of equal significance are the spaces left between lines – the negative shapes – which add strength and cohesion to our designs.”
On the first day Jean gave a talk about lines and spaces and gave each student a notebook, which we were encouraged to use, a small wire wrapped shape and a piece of foam board. We were asked to fill the space within the wire shape with bars, weaving and wrapping etc.
The piece of foam board had pins inserted around the edges around which we wrapped threads which were knotted together to form a net which could be filled or layered with more pieces or used for weaving and filling in other ways. Jean showed us some of her wonderful examples.
On the second day we covered sheets of paper with charcoal which was then erased with a putty rubber to draw one of the objects we had taken with us – I used a shell. The patterns on the shell were fantastic, I am not sure that my interpretation did them justice.
The charcoal was followed by pen and wash drawings, being instructed to use just pen and wash and not to draw with pencil first. I found this quite difficult, I think I would need a lot more practice to be successful with this method.
We then did exercises using cut paper to encourage us to look at lines and spaces in between, learning to look at the size of the spaces as well as the lines.
Using the work we had done we experimented with the cut work and ink drawings.
Finally, we worked on our own ideas which has given me some great inspiration to use on work which I am doing at home, ideas which I will certainly use. A very interesting few days so many thanks to TSG and Jean Draper.