Monday, 21 June 2021

Exhibiting again!

 It has been a while since I've taken part in exhibitions but now I have two pieces in MOMA Machynlleth in 'Women's Art in Wales - A Personal View' curated by Jill Piercy and another in 'Oriel Lockdown' in Aberystwyth Arts Centre. The works in MOMA are A Sacrifice Too Great and Leitmotif with Street Violence showing in the Arts Centre. This latter exhibition will open on 21st June and run until 5th September 2021 while MOMA re-opened on 29th May and current exhibitions here will run until 4th September 2021.

Arthur and I visited MOMA last Wednesday and there is a lot to see with four exhibitions running simultaeneously! It is a big gallery and we're going to go back again as we didn't have time to see quite everything. 'Women's Art in Wales' is in the Owen Owen Gallery (where my works are hung) and the Bridge and a catalogue to accompany 'Women's Art in Wales' should be out in a couple of weeks' time. We took some photos of my pieces on gallery walls again! The exhibition is really well hung, being sensitive to both colour and theme among the works. All four exhibitions are dedicated to art by women so we're filling the galleries!

A Sacrifice Too Great


A gallery view with Leitmotif

Gallery view including both pieces

We also took some views of each other by the works.

Two photos 'visiting the exhibition 2021 style'!

Then two photos as we always used to take them!

The gallery has restricted opening times and Covid rules mean there has to be a booking system but this can be done either online via the link or by phoning the gallery on 01654 703355.  At present they are open Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday mornings. There is a lot of information on their website.

It was so good to see exhibitions again and say hello to friends in MOMA we haven't seen for quite some time! It's a lovely gallery and well worth a visit. 

I'm also looking forward to going to the Arts Centre again. It will be interesting to see the exhibition and how the centre looks now after they had to do refurbishments because of flooding. As with MOMA, there is an appointment system for visiting the centre.

This is a detail from Street Violence

So exciting to be a part of exhibitions again!

Besides stitching, I'm also writing an article for a journal on textiles and the thesis is progressing! I love doing my stitching but I also enjoy writing and it's great if people find an interest in reading what I write as well as what I make. The other string to my bow, so to speak, is music and as well as working on my singing and playing  -  mostly guitar with some piano  -  it's a great pleasure for me to continue to work with my son, Ed, on musical compositions and arrangements. My practice times are often shorter than I would ideally like because of my physical restrictions but it's so good to be able to express myself musically as well as through art and writing.

I find one creative activity feeds another and am so fortunate that I have such encouragement from my family in what I do and I give unceasing thanks to my husband, friend and partner, Arthur, who does so much for me in this life!

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Looking from both sides

 I am still working towards my PhD Final Exhibition, now scheduled for 7th February - 4th March 2022, and on my thesis. There is a particular piece, a long hanging, that I am currently stitching that I'd like to share with you. I am calling it simply 'Father, Forgive' and there is an important image within it that I'll just talk a little about here.

Image from the base of the nurse's cape.

This is the image of a girl holding the wrist of an injured man, seen as stitched on the nurse's cape, which image I had already used in my piece 'Continuum'. I decided to stitch her again on the cape as I felt it important to show how compassion had not been killed by the violence that sewed seeds of fear, tension and mistrust in the population and, of course, the nurse's cape is by itself a symbol of healing and compassion.

As is my wont, I used a hoop to enclose a small area of the cape to achieve the stitching and it was when I was looking at the back of the stitching after much of it was done that I was struck by the power of this rear of the stitches.

Girl seen from rear of fabric

For me, the stitches here have a raw quality not evident from the front that somehow lends the image a greater universality than the more obvious image of the young woman. The empty, open cavity of the mouth and pits of dark fabric that signify the eyes act to emphasise the horror of the moment of violence.

On the new hanging, I am using this rear view printed out digitally in different guises; solidly as here against the deep, dark navy of the background, ghostly and pale with an ethereal quality given to it by the transparency of organza fabric and, printed in a smaller version, set within a larger rectangle of cotton silk-painted in red.

The hanging will be long, floor-length and is designed to witness not only to the conflict of the Troubles but also to point to the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation without which the Peace Process could never have happened. Peace and the continuing path of reconciliation need now to be preserved within the uncertainty of the current political situation brought about not by the Covid-19 pandemic but by Brexit with all its problems surrounding the border and much more.

More images will follow as the hanging progresses and there is also an article I wrote on my work for a Special Issue of Contemporary Voices; The St. Andrews Journal of International Relations which will be due to be published fairly soon  -  news on this in due course.