Ebb & Flow • Behind the Scenes

image of Portrait of a Grimsby Girl

Portrait of a Grimsby Girl

The opening of the 62 Group Ebb & Flow exhibition is getting closer but the project itself has been almost two years in the planning. 

It started with an invitation from Grimsby Minster to show our work in the Minster which is a busy and vibrant resource for the people of North East Lincolnshire, an “architectural gem” tracing its history on this site for more than 900 years. I soon realised, however, that because we are such a large group of very diverse artists that there would not be enough suitable hanging space and display for smaller 3D work in the Minster for all of our work to be shown.

A second venue was sort and we were offered the upper floor, the mezzanine, of the Muriel Barker Gallery at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre was purpose built and opened in 1991. Its permanent exhibition tells the story of the Grimsby Fishing Industry in its heyday in the1950s. The white-walled space at the Fishing Heritage Centre contrasts nicely with the grandeur of the Minster.

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Lucy Brown
All at Sea

The Ross Tiger, GY398, is an ex-working 1950’s trawler and the largest item in the heritage collections. Lucy Brown, one of our exhibiting members has made site specific work to be shown on board the Tiger. The image left shows Lucy’s ‘sea bags’ which will be installed around the living quarters on the Tiger. Once the venues were in place we worked on the detail of the project and funding bid to Arts Council England by Grimsby Minster which was successful. This enabled us to work with freelance writer and curator, June Hill who has been on hand to advise the group throughout the project and who will be opening the exhibition on 13th September. It also helped the group to put together a full education programme and to produce a full colour catalogue with professional photography which will be on sale at both venues.

Details of our education programme can be found here. Many of our members visited Grimsby in February when we were given a tour of both venues and of the museum collections store. All of our exhibitions are selected by a selection panel of 5. The panel is different for each exhibition and can include a representative from the venue. The selection process has now been completed and 37 pieces of work were selected for the exhibition made by 28 artists.

Photography

Photography Day at the Minster

This week we also completed the photography for the catalogue which is now in the design stages. The catalogue will be on sale at both venues.

The photographer for the majority of the pieces is David Ramkalawon who came to Grimsby from London for 2 days to photograph work at both venues.

The snap left shows David photographing work in Grimsby Minster. 

Next week the hanging process begins. Watch this space for more ‘behind the scenes’ glimpses of Ebb & Flow.

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A Feast of Textile Exhibitions in Grimsby

Grimsby, my hometown in North East Lincolnshire, UK will be hosting an exhibition of work by the 62 Group of Textile Artists in Autumn 2014. The ‘Ebb & Flow’ exhibition, which is supported by Arts Council England, has been 2 years in the planning and the will run concurrently over 2 very different venues. The first is the Grade 1 listed Grimsby Minster is often described as ‘ an architectural gem’. The second is the purpose built, white walled Muriel Barker Gallery at Grimsby’s Fishing Heritage Centre on Alexandra Dock. These 2 contrasting venues will give the group the scope to show a variety of textile related work from many different disciplines.

The 62 Group was formed in 1962 and has no premises or paid administrators. It does, however attract professional members who are willing to give up some of their time to serve on the 62 Group committee to insure the smooth running of the Group. Membership is achieved by a 2 stage selection process and members can’t relax even then as each of the 62 Group exhibitions are also selected. It is this rigorous selection process which ensures the quality of the Group’s exhibitions and has helped to establish the Group’s international reputation for professionalism.

Textile enthusiasts will not only be able to view the 2 ‘Ebb & Flow’ exhibitions between 9th September to 2nd November 2014 but will also be able to see a fantastic exhibition called ‘Sleigh Belles’ on the Lower floor of the Muriel Barker Gallery. This exhibition, which is part of the ‘Unlocking the Collection’ series of exhibitions is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Joan Sleigh was a textile teacher at Grimsby College who collected good quality costume and accessories all her life and this extensive collection was donated to the North East Lincolnshire museum collection . It will be an exhibition well worth seeing.

The Fishing Heritage Centre will also host an exhibition of textiles by Jan Dowson’s C&G students in its Café Gallery. Jan Dowson is a local teacher of textiles who has recently been awarded the City & Guilds Medal for Excellence for her teaching of textile art and mixed media at NEL Community Learning Services at Thrunscoe Centre in Cleethorpes. Jan was also 1 of only 4 people to be shortlisted for the prestigious Beryl Dean Award for Teaching Excellence this year. Her student’s work is always fresh and vibrant.

All 4 of these exhibitions run concurrently. In conjunction with their exhibitions, the 62 Group will offer a programme of talks and workshops. More information about the Education Happenings which will accompany ‘Ebb & Flow’ will be announced on our ‘Ebb & Flow’ Facebook page as soon as we have the dates confirmed.

image above is work in progress by Sue Stone

 

Figurative Textile Workshop – Unlocking the Family Album

A couple of weeks ago I travelled to Durham to deliver a figurative weekend workshop to the very friendly and welcoming ‘Embroidery 15′ group. Many of the group had never worked figuratively before so I was pleasantly surprised by the resulting work. The workshop started with my presentation about the way different textile artists use the figurative image and by looking at my own handling collection which comprises of lots of small samples of different techniques that can be used for figurative textile work. We continued by experimenting with composition in collage and finally started to work with fabric and thread, mixing hand and machine stitch with appliqué and paint.

Here is a selection of the student’s work that was produced over the weekend.

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student's work

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A new art fair inspires the North

I have just finished sorting out my work for the Same but Different Art Fair which has been organised by the Bowery Gallery on Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th April 2014 at Temple Newsam Walled Gardens in Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK. I will be showing lots of small studies  one of which is shown. Read more about SBD Art fair.

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It’s always challenging finding a box into which it will all fit but that is done and I can now move onto my next deadline and my next box for the ‘Beside the Sea’ exhibition at Bilston Craft Gallery in Wolverhampton which runs from 12 April – 14 June 2014. I will be showing some of my ‘Life on the Coast’ series at this exhibition including ‘Bathing Belles shown below.

Read more about the exhibition.

Steve Thornton

10 Things to be Proud of

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Our hometowns and familiar environments can be taken for granted and I have to confess that I am guilty of doing this to a certain extent. Something happened just recently to make me look at my own hometown, Grimsby, N E Lincolnshire, UK  through fresh eyes. So what was it that made me do this? Well, the 62 Group of Textile Artists came to town for a Members’ Research Day.

Later in the year the group, of which I am the current chair, are having an exhibition in the town which will run concurrently at two very different venues, the first, Grimsby Minster is an “architectural gem” tracing its history on this site for more than 900 years. The second venue is the Muriel Barker gallery at the purpose built Fishing Heritage centre which opened in 1991.

I decided to try and find 10 things about my hometown which would fill me with pride. The town was once the largest and busiest fishing port in the world and was known as the ‘Klondyke of the East  Coast’ and in the 1980s it was also known as ‘Food Town, Europe so the obvious place to start was with food so here goes.

1. Grimsby Traditional Smoked  Haddock.

In 2009 Grimsby Traditional Smoked Fish was awarded a Protected Geographical Indication from the European Union. This means that only fish produced in Grimsby using the traditional method can be called Grimsby Traditional Smoked Fish.

Find out more : http://gtfsgroup.co.uk/

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2. Grimsby Fish Market

Grimsby is of course famous for it’s fish, Grimsby Fish Market is the focal point of the local industry and its importance is recognised by the UK and EU Fishing Industries.

Find out more : http://www.grimsbyfishmarket.co.uk/

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3. Local Fish & Chips

When I was a child we ate fresh fish 2 or 3 times a week . Fish so fresh it still tasted of the sea. Today the Captain’s Table fish restaurant in Cleethorpes serves sustainable fish which tastes just as fresh. In my opinion better the Magpie café in Whitby and I’ve tried both.

Find out more : http://www.thecaptainstable.co/

4. Lincolnshire Sausages

The John Pettit’s butchers has been making sausages for over 100 years. Their Lincolnshire sausage, is  still made to an original family recipe dating back to 1810.

Find out more: http://www.johnpettitbutchers.co.uk/category/sausages

5. Grimsby Minster

Grimsby Minster is known for being the only parish church in England to have its own Choir School, St James’ School. The building has been changing and evolving over many centuries.

Find out more: http://grimsbyminster.com/

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6. The Fishing Heritage Centre.

Opened in 1991 the FHC has a permanent exhibition depicting the Grimsby deep sea fishing industry in its heyday of the 1950s. It also has a temporary exhibition space. Over the last 5 years it has housed the ‘Unlocking the Collection’ series of exhibitions. The current one ‘ Treasures from the Collection runs until 21st April 2014.

Find out more : https://www.facebook.com/FishingHeritageCentreGrimsby

7. The Museum Collection of N E Lincolnshire

For about 10 years I volunteered to work with the fantastic costume collection.The collection represents the history of North East Lincolnshire, from its geological origins to the modern day. It currently consists of approximately 60,000 artefacts across Archaeology, Natural Sciences, Local and Social History, Costume, Art and Maritime History.

Find out more : N E Lincs Museum Collection

8. The Great Grimsby Ice Factory

This grade 2* listed building was was built in 1901. Its purpose was to supply ice to preserve fish on its journey from the deep sea fishing grounds to the nation’s plates. It closed its doors in 1990. The Great Grimsby Ice Factory trust are fighting to save this fantastic building.

Find out more : http://ggift.co.uk/

To help to save this important building donate : http://ggift.co.uk/make-a-donation/

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9. The Dock Tower

For 137 years Grimsby Dock Tower has dominated the town’s skyline and is a well known landmark. The 309ft high tower has played a fascinating role in the town’s industrial history.

Find out more :  Dock Tower

10. Cleethorpes

Most of my life, apart from a brief sojourn in London, I have lived within 6 miles of the East Coast of England. Its huge skies and vast beaches are second to none. Cleethorpes developed as a fishing village but with the coming of the railways in 1863 it soon became a popular seaside resort. The town adjoins my hometown of Grimsby.

Find out more : Cleethorpes history and heritage

Now I have taken a fresh look at my hometown and surrounding area why don’t you do the same. It’s amazing what you’ll see.