Sunday, 21 February 2010

Photos from my exhibition

Here are some photos from the installation room at my exhibition the 37 steps.  There are a number of hangings, digitally knitted and then felted.  The images projected onto them are images from the same series of images that are on the hangings.  I've then photographed it and then projected the photograph of the projection (are you still with me?!), and kept going until the image became unrecognisable.  The whole series of projection lasts about 12 minutes. 
This is what I wrote about it for the leaflet accompanying the exhibition:

What should art be about? Much as I love art about exotic places and imagination, I want to make art that relates to my life. And much of that life is spent pounding the pavement and corridors. To record this, I spent a day taking a photograph of the ground every 37 steps I took.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37… photo… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37… photo…

The resulting images were in some ways as I expected, unframed and random, often slightly blurred, with a deadening repetition of grey pavement, tarmac roads and floor tiles. Welcome to my life. However, there were also some unexpected instances of beauty: a small pink petal mixed with the dust around cobblestones; an interesting pattern from the cracks in the paving slabs; the linear repetition of a series of stairs. All things I had not noticed in my quick jog through the day. I don’t take time to look at the texture of the tarmac; I just check for dog mess and carry on. Yet if I look on my daily grind as if I were on holiday; if I hadn’t dismissed it as dull; if its familiarity had not made me immune to it, I could find things of interest to enhance my day. Why don’t we look?

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37… photo… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37… photo…

Layering image over image, reality blurs. As we march through life, our minds simply could not cope with processing everything we see, so the brain must tune out many things we abstractly see in passing. Does the brain retain something from it; like a grainy snapshot, quickly merging into another? Or does it decide not to remember anything, let alone the exact details of that spot on the pavement, even though the image has been seen daily?

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37… photo… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37… photo…

I'd love to know what you think of it.  It is definitely more interesting experienced in person, but this will hopefully give you an idea.  I'll post the work from the other room later this week.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Exhibition opening

My exhibition is now open!  The Private View was on Friday evening and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, particularly our little monsters.  They were allowed to stay up late and eat crisps.  Heaven!
This is the view you are meant to see of exhibition previews: lots of people looking at the work in an interested fashion.  However, I thought you may prefer to see what the children thought of it:
The installation of knit and projection made a great room to run around in when it wasn't too busy...
They were fascinated at watching a video with me on it - I still haven't plucked up the courage to watch it!
However, my work must have inspired them as there were several pictures of the ground on the camera.  All three of them took pictures, including the two year old for the first time:
This is her parents at the end of the evening before she stuck her fingers on the lens. 
I'm really pleased with how it all went and I even sold a couple of pieces.  It has been rather strange today as I haven't worked for the first time in ages.  It was nice to spend time with the family, but I also started to feel that I will have to start participating with the housework etc...  So I better come up with some other work to do soon!

Monday, 8 February 2010

The aftermath

Having finally finished all 37 of the pieces needed for the exhibition, I thought it was time to be honest and let you see what my studio is like.  This first photo is of my scraps box - now a pile - just from this project.  It takes up a good third of my work table.
These are just some general shots of my studio, showing why I really need to spend some time tidying up and organising.  However, I never seem to quite get round to it and I still have to finish installing the exhibition, organise the workshop that I'm running on 27 February relating to the exhibition and I have some new ideas bubbling as well as some older ones ready to resurface...  I don't think I'll ever properly tidy it.  If I do, I'll definitely share the photos as I will be so shocked and pleased with myself!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Triumphant 37

Triumphant as in I'VE FINISHED ON TIME!  I actually managed to make 37 pieces in 37 days that I am happy with and which (to me) look great on the gallery walls.  Hurrah!  I've still got a bit of sanity left and the family have been fed (just) and are wearing almost clean clothes (shame about the ironing).  I'm sad to have lost my excuse to bury myself in my studio and make - it has been so much fun.  Now comes the small matter of making the exhibition work... then onto the next project. 
For those wanting details, this is hand dyed felt and painted fabric (it originally was a pale marbled effect), with some machine stitching.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Trembling 36

In my rush to get to the end, I have buried or lost my fabric pastels somewhere.  They must be in the studio as I used them earlier in the day, but I can't find them.  So I couldn't add the colours I wanted.  The base fabric is the same as no.34, but using the wrong side - the marks the pastels made are more subtle this way.  So in the end, I changed colours for the lines and added a layer of chiffon to pull the piece together.  Tremblingly close to the end of this project now - won't you be pleased when T disappears from the blog titles!

Friday, 5 February 2010

Tailored 35

For some reason, this makes me think of a flag!  I think felt flags would be so much nice than the tacky manmade fibre ones you get - not that I own any flags.  Perhaps it is the fabric that puts me off!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Tantalising 34

The pattern on the fabric came from rubbing a paving slab.  I deliberately didn't use a frame to do the embroidery so that the top would pucker along the lines. Only three left to go for the exhibition!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Tenuous 33

I got a bit carried away playing with the fabric to make this one, so it has some additions not in the original image - artistic interpretation - obviously!  I haven't had so much fun making for ages.  I've really got into a creative mood and I think the pieces are becoming simpler, but still with strong design (I hope).

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Exhibition Invite

I was really excited this morning when I arrived at the Tolbooth in Stirling to see a huge poster with my name on it and an enormous picture of my work.  There were also piles of cards of invites to the exhibition waiting to be sent out.  So here it is - an invite.  The image on the card doesn't have the flash mark - it was dark when I took it and it is on lovely thick shiny card.
The preview is from 7-9pm on Friday 12th.  Also mentioned on the card is thefree workshop I am running on Sat 27th Feb, but you need to book for it as places are limited.
Of course, even with all this excitement, it was back down to earth as I started installing the exhibition today.  Unfortunately my 37 pieces cannot go on the floor as I have originally intended.  I knew they may be subjected to some damage and was okay with this, but then the curator, Emma remembered about the state of the floor after the normal private view with red wine split everywhere.  Oh.  So now they are going on the wall.  This changes how they are going to be viewed, so they need some more work...  back to the cutting and ironing boards!

Tiresome 32

This is hand dyed felt with lots of twin needle sewing.  Only I couldn't find the right twin needle and so had to search for ages in my mess to find it.  Then the bobbin kept running out and also the lighter blue thread hadn't fed properly for lots of it and was all twisted up on the back.  I backed the piece with iron on vilene to try and keep everything in place.  Hence tiresome!
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