Thursday, 26 September 2013

More Italian roof tiles

As many of you liked my previous post showing one of the panels from my Italian roof tiles series I thought I’d post a picture of one of the other panels. Both of them use the idea of tiles in different orientations and both are made using contemporary bobbin lace. They incorporate many different types of threads and ribbons and are backed with handmade paper and newspaper.

Friday, 20 September 2013

In the name of honour

This exhibition at 1 Mayfair considers victims of domestic abuse and honour-based violence around the UK. It doesn’t seem to have been well advertised or to be very accessible and is only open for a few days. When I arrived on Thursday I had to persuade the doorman to let me in to see it and he kindly allowed me a quick look round. I was so pleased he did though as it was a very thought provoking exhibition. The work was for sale so I couldn’t take photos so the image shows a general view of the beautiful building that housed the exhibition.

In the foyer was Lise Bjorne-Linnert’s wall of name tags each one representing a woman who has disappeared and is presumed murdered in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. I first saw these name tapes and took part in the Desconocida exhibition in Epsom and it is sad to see the number of names has increased since then. Several other artists used stitching in their work to represent these women’s issues including Shadi Ghadiran who showed an image of a woman sewing a spider’s web in front of a latticed window to question how women comply with their own imprisonment in the home. Reena Saini Kallat showed a series of images of women knitting letters in red yarn which spelled out the phrase ‘Our bodies are moulded rivers’ a quote from the German philosopher Novalis. It was interesting that none of these works actually exhibited the textiles only images of them. I felt Lise’s work was stronger because of the physical presence of the textiles.

Other powerful images included those of Asoo Khanmohammadi who displayed photographs of the kitchens of Iranian suicide victims most of whom are young married women aged 15 to 34 years. These images of ordered domesticity were titled Ilam (the place where the photos were taken) and Absence. She also exhibited a photograph entitled Bride which showed a woman dressed for a wedding but wrapped in bubblewrap to consider the commodification of women. Another interesting series of photographs were those in a triptych by Mandana Moghaddam showing a pregnant woman lying in a room with water pooling on the floor around her. The water gradually rose around her and eventually submerged her indicating the overwhelming experience of childbirth. This was a moving exhibition which deserved to be seen by more people.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

More Fans

As promised here are some images of the contemporary fans that caught my eye at the fan exhibition in the Museo del Ricamo e del Tessile in Valtopina, Italy. The image above shows Elementi by Maria Bissacco. The theme of the exhibition was the four elements (air, fire, earth, water); some people depicted all four as Maria has done, others chose to concentrate on one.

Another of my favourites was Vento di mare woven by Patrizia Casini incorporating double cloth in which sequins were trapped to give the impression of seafoam. She also had a companion piece to this one entitled Lingue di fuoco in which her subtle use of colours and beads beautifully depicts the tongues of fire.

The theme of Fiona McPeake’s fan was coral. I love the way she has manipulated the leather to form a fan like shape. The exhibition at the Museum runs until December so if you are visiting Perugia it is well worth a visit. It includes an excellent exhibition of antique fans as well as the contemporary ones. They are beautifully displayed and there is a lavishly illustrated catalogue to accompany it all.


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Cloth and memory {2} seminar

I managed to get to Salts Mill to see the Cloth and memory exhibition on Friday, having been away when the private view was held. I chose Friday because there was a seminar about the theme of memories and cloth and a tour round the exhibition with Lesley Millar, the curator. The seminar was held in the room that had housed my installation last year so it was full of cloth memories for me and I also found a small red thread that I’d left in a corner as part of a mini-installation. Some of my counting marks also remained on the walls and over tea one of the other delegates (having realised I was the culprit!) said she’d been puzzling over them wondering if they had been left by the original spinners and weavers. The seminar began with Lesley asking Celia Pym about her work which involves darning into sweaters she has hand knitted. Celia explained that his process of replacing and putting back together echoed the initial feelings she had experienced on her site visit to the Spinning Room at Salts Mill. The discussion then progressed to other projects Celia has worked on and her admission that she likes to wear other people’s clothing. This led to reminiscences from the other participants about occasions when they had worn other people’s clothes and the reasons for doing so. The discussion then extended to types of cloth and the feelings and memories they engendered for the participants.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Fans at the Valtopina Textile Museum

The recent lace and embroidery exhibition in Valtopina also saw the opening of a fan exhibition in the Museo del Ricamo e del Tessile. It consists of a beautiful selection of antique fans and a parallel exhibition of contemporary fans in lace and embroidery. They were beautifully displayed - some on the flat round forms you can see in the picture above, others in cases on the wall.

Some like this one by Ewa Szpila were attached to open round frames so you could see both sides. This image also shows the beautiful catalogue on a stand next to the fan.

And some antique fans were displayed in a very Japanese looking arrangement of acrylic fan shapes and poles on the wall.

I’ll post pictures of some of my favourite contemporary fans another time - and of course my own silk paper one.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Valtopina exhibition

I’m just back from the Lace and Embroidery exhibition at Valtopina, Perugia, Italy where I was exhibiting as a guest of Maria Bissacco. It was an amazing experience. I had lots of visitors to the exhibition– over 200 on the Saturday afternoon alone. Trying to explain my work in Italian was a challenge but people were very helpful and we managed. As well as the exhibition I was involved in, there was an interesting exhibition of fans, both antique and contemporary, in the Museum, and examples of beautiful lace and embroidery in other venues. I’ll blog more photos when I’ve had a chance to download them all.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Italian roof tiles

This is one of the pieces I am taking to show at the lace and embroidery exhibition at Valtopina near Perugia, this week. I thought an Italian city would be an appropriate setting for my Italian roof tile series which is made up of five panels of coloured contemporary lace based on drawings of roof tiles I have made over several visits. I am also showing some of my large silk paper hangings as well as bags and necklaces. I’m looking forward to seeing the other exhibitions too – I’ll post images next time.