Inspiration for Stitch – Part 1 – The Family Album

Inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere • the usual • the unusual • the intimate • the familiar • the obscure • the unexpected • the exotic • the bizarre • the world within or the world without. Inspiration for Stitch has proved to be a popular choice as a subject for groups booking my talks so I thought I would let you take a look at where I find my inspiration in a series of blog posts.

I will start with the obvious – The Family Album. These are typical of the photos I use for inspiration for my work. Click on any image to see my recent work inspired by the Family Album or go to the image galleries at my website.

family album 2               image of chilren

fred harry and madge stone                    image of Muriel May Smith

girls in berets ( ida spencer)Working with the family album is a way of remembering who I am and where I came from. The inspiration for a new piece of work can come from any aspect of these photographs, these snapshots of a moment in time, from the composition of the snap itself to the character of its subject whether I know them well or they are unfamiliar to me. My mum, my dad, my grandparents, my sister, my husband and my children have all been featured in my work.

muriel may stone

The photos I like best are the small, faded sepia or black and white photos with very little information in them. That gives me the scope to use my own knowledge and imagination to bring in my own detail, colour and texture and to create partial narratives that leave to viewer to complete. My interest in an unknown subject goes beyond the purely visual, I inquire into who they were, their relationships and how they lived.

 Much of my work alludes to the passing of time, merging disparate images from the past with those from the present. The family album provides me with me a rich resource. It enables the use of people as a device to portray the past and allows me to combine their images with my own photos of the present.

I hope you have enjoyed this look at my family album. The next in this series will look at my love affair with the East End of London, graffiti and street art.

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.

image of All at Sea

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.

Stone,Sue_the_unknown_statistic.detail1.lowres

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.

student's work 17

student's work

student's work 1
student's work 2P1090112
student's work 6

student's work 9
student's work 11 student's work 12

student's work 13