Category Archives: Inspiration

Japanese Restaurant , Barcelona

Inspiration for Stitch – Part 3 – My Travels

My 5 Favourite Locations to find inspiration for stitch.

My travels at home and abroad provide me with inspiration for my stitched work. I am an avid photographer and I collect hundreds of images on my travels. They are collected as an aide-mémoire for future work and I have built up a library of images including interiors, exteriors, tiles, the usual, the unusual, the smallest of details that can so easily be overlooked.

Here are my current top 5 favourite locations but no doubt they will change as I discover new places on my travels. My next stop is Seville where I hope to find inspiration in its beautiful Moorish architecture.

1. Amsterdam – unusual shop windows, bicycles and graphics.

Shop window, Amsterdam

Shop window, Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Shop window, Amsterdam

Shop window, Amsterdam

2. Newcastle – some glass blocks caught my eye.

Glass Blocks, Newcastle

Glass Blocks, Newcastle

Glass Blocks, Newcastle

Glass Blocks, Newcastle

3. Barcelona – Gaudi Mosaics, Parc Guell & Dali Museum Barcelona

gaudi,mosaics,barcelona2

Gaudi Mosaics, Parc Guell

Gaudi Mosaics, Parc Guell

dali,cutout,barcelona

Cardboard cutout of Salvador Dali, Dali Museum, Barcelona

4. Southwold, Suffolk – In and around Southwold Suffolk, UK

Graveyard,Southwold1

Graveyard, Southwold,Suffolk

Rope, Netting, Southwold, Suffolk

Rope, Netting, Southwold, Suffolk

door Southwold

Door, Southwold, Suffolk

5.London – In and around E1, E2, EC1

wall marks london

wall marks,london

Cobbles, London

Cobbles, London

graffiti london

Graffiti,London

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Inspiration for Stitch – Part 2 – The East End of London

In this second post about my inspiration I take a look at the East End of London, and my love affair with the Grimsby Street area. The street is situated in E2 and shares its name with my hometown. In the early 2000s both my sons lived in London so I was a regular visitor. My younger son, Sam lived in Hackney at that time and had come across Grimsby Street E2 when visiting a friend nearby. The next time I visited he took me there and it was love at first sight.

Here are some of the images I fell in love with. They may seem strange. It’s quite rundown, but an art school education taught me to look and to see beauty in the smallest detail and to enjoy the ‘out of place’. When I look at these vistas I see my next piece of work.

The images above inspired pieces that depict the then, the now and the journey in-between. The first pieces I made were East End Chair and Closed pictured below.

East End Chair is a portrait of my Grandmother Annie Jane Smith sat in an abandoned armchair nursing a fish. My hometown of Grimsby is best known for its connection with the fishing industry and the fish represents the prosperity the fishing industry brought to the town.

Closed depicts the demise of the Grimsby fishing industry. The closed shop sign represents the end of the town’s prosperity after the Cod Wars in the 1950s and 60s.

This series made in 2012 combine 2 or more images to represent the passing of time and the transience of life. A Girls Day Out, East End Girls and RIP Grimsby St E2 version 1 & 2.

East End Girls combines an image of my grandmother, Alice Ann Stone, her daughter Madge and my Mum Muriel May Sone with an image of 2 abandoned east end sofas. It’s 128 cms wide x 104 cms high.

A Girl’s Day Out for Hilda, Nellie and Ida combines an image of 3 Grimsby sisters Hilda, Nellie and Ida with an image of Grimsby Street E2 graffiti by graffiti artist Stik.

RIP Grimsby Street E2 versions 1 & 2 chronicle the knocking down of part of Grimsby Street E2 in the run up to the 2012 London Olympics. An analogy between 2 different eras and 2 different environments .1930s Grimsby girls meet London 2012

The ever changing images of street art are fascinating. I have now been documenting the area for more than 10 years. Part 3 of the inspiration for Stitch posts will look at my documentation of the South Bank and more recent pieces inspired by the East End.

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.