Category Archives: Muriel Barker Gallery

Bushwick, Brooklyn - photo by Yeshen Venema

Remember Me? 24 March to 15 July 2018

Sue Stone: Remember Me?

FISHING HERITAGE CENTRE, Alexandra Dock, Grimsby, N E Lincolnshire, DN32 0RA,UK

Tel: 01472 323345

My retrospective mixed media and textiles exhibition opens on 24 March 2018 at 11 am and includes work inspired by personal relationships, life observations and a pride in my Grimsby heritage. Follow the journey from my first ever figurative piece ‘The Wedding’ made in 2006, to my most recent work made in 2018.

A few images below of work included in the exhibition to whet your appetite.


Exhibition Dates: 24 March to 15 July 2018

Opening Times: (24 March to 31 March) Tuesday to Friday 10 am – 4 pm (Closed Mondays) Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 4 pm (including bank holidays)
(1 April to 15 July) Tuesday to Sunday 10 am – 5 pm (Closed Mondays)
Bank holiday Mondays open 10 am – 5 pm

Exhibition Opening Saturday 24 March 11am to 1pm  Light refreshments available.

Exhibition Walking Tour – Saturday 24 March at 2pm
Join artist Sue Stone in conversation with Alf Ludlam for a walking tour of Sue’s solo mixed media textile exhibition ‘Remember Me?’
The event is free but numbers are limited.
Please book by calling the Fishing Heritage Centre on 01472 323345.





Retrospective • An Archive of Work 2013/14

image of Portrait of a Grimsby Girl

Portrait of a Grimsby Girl 2014

Portrait of a Grimsby Girl 76 cm x 55 cm + Book 29 cm x 26 cm

Statement about work 1: 2014 marks the centenary of her birth. The usual ups and downs of life preceded the diagnosis, in 1978 of a rare form of Leukaemia. In 1979 her family watched helplessly as her life ebbed away. As one life ends another begins. 3 weeks later her grandson, Sam was born.
Materials: cotton/ linen fabric, cotton threads, fabric and acrylic paints, bondaweb
Techniques: hand and machine embroidery, painting, bonding
Photo credit: David Ramkalawon


Portrait of a Grimsby Girl Book 2014

image of the Unknown Statistic

The Unknown Statistic

The Unknown Statistic 100 cm x 70 cm
Statement about work: They stood in the doorway and watched. He whistled as he walked away. He didn’t look back and they never saw him again. The number of children left fatherless by WW1 was not accurately recorded either nationally or locally. Memories fade. Their young lives went on but were changed forever.
Materials: cotton/ linen fabric, cotton threads, fabric and acrylic paints
Techniques: hand and machine embroidery, painting
Photo credit: David Ramkalawon

image of THE boys Go to London Town

The Boys Go to London Town

mixed media • 122 x 92 cms

A Group of small studies made in 2013

image of Do you come here often?

Do You Come Here Often? 2013

As usual my subject matter comes from close to home and I have combined three images. My Mum, my Dad and a church window are the component parts of the composition.
The piece is about my parents early courtship.
He was always a snappy dresser who was a Fish Merchant when Grimsby was known as the ‘Klondyke of the East Coast’. Working his way up he was first a barrow boy and then a filleter before starting his own business. She was a talented tailoress with a rich, and vibrant contralto voice and from a staunch Methodist family.They often met at Flottergate Methodist Church where she was in the choir.
My sister and I have a theory that he only joined the Men’s society so that he could court my Mum. They were married in 1939 when she was 25 years old.

The Universal Child72

The Universal Child 2013

Statement for ‘The Universal Child’ and ’I listen to the radio and hear his voice’

Children are killed, maimed, physically and mentally scarred every day, caught up in the crossfire of senseless religious and sectarian wars
Each stitch on the recycled, linen fabric becomes a symbol of remembrance for the hundreds of thousands of lives lost. The cross-stitches used to represent the kisses those children will never receive.
On radio 4 the news is bad, the words of both bereaved mothers, and victims of horrific attacks are heartbreaking. Those words are depicted by machine embroidered graffiti.
Images of Fred, ‘The Universal Child’ and Harry,’I Listen to the Radio and Hear his Voice’ turn into a device to connect past with present and the materials used to portray them form the common link. The two boys are children of the first world war, the so-called war to end war. Almost 100 years on there is still no end in sight .

STONE,SUE,I hear his voice

I Listen to the Radio and Hear his Voice 2013

detail world tour

Grimsby Girl’s World Tour  Stopover Tokyo 2013

A girl from Grimsby, a tuna from Tsukiji, a holiday in Harajuku combine. Travel through ethereal layers of time and place to Takeshita Street. The artist’s mother was born on 6th December 1914 in a fishing port in the UK. 99 years later this Grimsby girl meets modern day Tokyo.

Linen/cotton fabric, cotton threads, fabric paint. Hand and machine stitch, painting. 59 x 145 cms

Tea Party in Tokyo

A Tea Party in Tokyo 2013

Grimsby, UK, once the world’s busiest fishing port, is the artist’s hometown. East, west, past and present, connect when three sisters from 1920s Grimsby have a tea party in Tokyo. The youngest of the three, Irene, the artist’s mother-in-law was an avid tea drinker all her life.

Linen/cotton fabric, cotton threads, fabric paint.Hand and machine stitch, painting. 60 x 115 cms

image of RIP GY ST version 2

RIP Grimsby St E2 version 2 2013

Retrospective • an Archive of Work 2017

Retrospective • an Archive of work 2016

Retrospective • An Archive of work from 2015

Retrospective • An Archive of work from 2013/14

Retrospective • An Archive of work from 2011/12

Retrospective • An Archive of work from 2009/10

Retrospective • An Archive of work from 2007/8

Retrospective • An Archive of work from 2003 to 2006


63 - 16

63 – A Self-Portrait – Work in Progress

63 is a self-portrait which, when complete, will be made up of 63 images, one for each year of my life so far. So why put myself through all this work, and, to be perfectly honest, the angst of self examination, a replaying of all the ups and downs of life?
Well, there were several reasons, but the main one was that I was asked by Alf Ludlam, the curator of Shifting Images an exhibition of self-portraits at the Muriel Barker Gallery at Grimsby’s Fishing Heritage Centre, to produce something other than a straight forward self-portrait and this was the idea I came up with. I also thought it would benefit me personally because I would be working to a deadline which, in itself, would force me to look at the way I work and help me find a simplification of my mark-making.

63 - 2

63 work in progress 2

63 - 4

63 work in progress – 4

Although I work in mixed media I consider myself primarily an embroiderer, more specifically a hand embroiderer and because I find hand stitching a therapeutic process, I have a tendency to overstitch. I’m hoping that, in this piece, the viewer will find that my stitching have been given more breathing space and as a result more status. My stitch vocabulary is considered and limited. I don’t use many different types of stitches and but I try to get the most out of those stitches by using them in an original way. I was once given some advice by Constance Howard, when I was studying at Goldsmith’s College in London who said that “you don’t need to know a vast array of stitches but you need to know how use the ones you do know well” so that’s what I try to do.

63 - 7

63 work in progress -7

63 - 12

63 a work in progress – 12

I don’t really look at the work of other embroiderers in an inquisitorial way. This is deliberate, an attempt to keep my own work fresh. One of the ways I do this is by mixing different colours and different weights of threads in the needle leaving the eye to mix the colour. You can read about my favourite stitches  here.
I have deliberately tried to be sparing with my stitching of the faces in this piece to produce a more illustrative style. Mood, quality, expression, character can all be changed by the position of each stitch and a lot of drawing and re-drawing, stitching, unpicking and restitching has been done before moving on.

63 -25

63 a work in progress -25

63 -27

63 a work in progress – 27

I am a ‘glass half full’ sort of person but the process of making this piece has, so far, and I am only just over half way there, been an convergence of mixed emotion. The process has, at times, evoked difficult and even desperately unhappy emotions, the reliving of all that teenage angst, hurt, heartbreak, and loss, the business problems and burglaries, but alongside that the uplifting and happy memories of friends and family and an optimism for the future.

Overall it is proving to be a quite cathartic process.

63 - 32

63 a work in progress – 32

63 will be shown as a ‘work in progress’ in Shifting Images from 8 September 2015 to 6 March 2016. – contemporary self portraiture
Working in partnership with Abbey Walk Gallery the Muriel Barker Gallery at the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre will host an Exhibition of of self – portraiture by Lincolnshire Artists past and present.

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 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.