Category Archives: Travel

Vancouver

A Flavour of Vancouver

In September I had a fantastic trip to Vancouver, Canada to teach at and give a talk at the  wonderful place that is Maiwa School of Textiles.

These images give just a flavour of the trip.

Read about Maiwa  and if you get the opportunity go and see for yourself.

A Focus on Faces – 2 day workshop.

Work by my brilliant students at Maiwa School of Textiles, Vancouver

3 Day Workshop – Every Picture Tells a Story.

All work by my fantastic students at Maiwa School of Textiles, Vancouver

A trip to the Museum of Anthropology, at University of British Columbia, Vancouver

English Bay day and night

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A Residential Workshop at Chateau Dumas with Sue Stone

Sue Stone – Personal Narratives and Creative Characters

4 – 11 August 2018

In August I am delighted to be teaching a workshop at Chateau Dumas in SW France in conjunction with SelvedgeBooking is open now 

In this residential workshop I will introduce you to the many ways of working figuratively. We will look at a series of different artists and the various methods they use to depict the human figure from the substantial and serious to the light-hearted and whimsical.

During the week we will create some characters, and make some small studies using figurative and narrative elements and look at ways to incorporate your own narratives and memories using images and text.

I will guide you through quick & easy ways to get started and share the simple processes I use myself. There will be a focus on hand stitch, layering and appliqué with an option to add machine stitch if you wish.

I will advise you on how to use your own drawings, photographs or vintage illustrations to convey ideas, thoughts and memories. You’ll  quickly gain the confidence to stamp your own personality on your work.

We will take a break from the course mid-week to enjoy a day of dyeing with the original blue dye from the woad plant, grown in the Toulouse area since medieval times. You can bring things to dye from home, pick items up at local markets or buy natural fabric from Chateau Dumas.
During the week there is also a visit to the nearby atmospheric Sunday morning food and craft market in St Antonin-Noble-Val, the medieval town where the films Charlotte Gray and The Hundred Foot Journey were filmed.

The workshop is suitable for all abilities. For those who are worried about their drawing ability I will provide some simple black & white guides and some vintage illustrations as a base from which to work and a collection of my own handling samples to inspire you. By the end of the workshop you will have new ideas with which to work and the necessary skills to develop your own work further.

About the Chateau
Chateau Dumas

Every year, Selvedge hosts several all-inclusive residential craft workshops at Chateau Dumas, a private estate with 18th century interiors, a large pool and glorious panoramic views – set amongst rolling hills in peaceful, scenic countryside less than an hour north of Toulouse international airport. Owned and run by Lizzie Hulme the Chateau is a place you can relax, unwind and be truly creative in.

 

A Girl's Day Out for Hilda, Nellie and Ida

A New Home for Girl’s Day Out

A Girl’s Day Out in the East End for Hilda, Nellie and Ida 
mixed media • hand and machine stitch with acrylic paint
size 128 x 102 cms

Yesterday I delivered this piece to its new home in the North East of England. I was sad to see it go so I decided to revisit how I made it, however, I am very happy that it has gone to such a good home with new owners who love it so much. It was made in 2012 for one of the 50th Anniversary exhibitions by the 62 Group of Textile Artists ’62@50′ at the Holden Gallery at Manchester School of Art.

This is my Artist Statement for that exhibition.
Exploring displacement using old family photographs, images of distant relatives I never knew, cut into to a modern day environs, Girls Day Out enquires into and questions, the sense of belonging/not belonging whilst referencing the passing of time and the transience of life itself.

Hilda, Nellie and Ida were 3 sisters and Ida, the tall, elegant one on the right was my sister’s mother-in-law. This piece combined the then, the now and alludes to a journey in-between. The street art in the background is by an artist called Stik and was found in Grimsby St London, E2 in 2011. The images above are the original images I combined to make the work and those below are of the work in progress.

 

 

tiles at Alcazar real, Seville

A Taste of Seville – Part 2

The Tiles of the Alcazar Real

The Alcázar Real of Seville encapsulates the historical evolution of the city during the last millennium, amalgamating influences starting from the Arabic period, late Middle Ages Mudéjar right through to the Renaissance, Baroque and the XIX century.

The tiles at the Alcazar Real are incredible and they are everywhere floors, walls, ceilings,and also outside in the gardens!. Here is just a flavour of what we saw. Truly inspirational.

Read more about this incredible Palace here 

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Tiles Alcazar real Seville

Tiles Alcazar Real, Seville

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tiles seville

A Taste of Seville • Part 1

If I was looking for some inspiration on my recent  travels I certainly found it in Seville. It has everything I love and in the Spring the weather is perfect for me. It ‘s a friendly city with great food (it’s where Tapas originally came from) and is of a modest size compared to some Spanish cities but it has has culture in abundance. There’s still so much I didn’t see I’ll have to go there again.

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First we visited the cathedral which breathtaking and I even managed to climb to the top of the tower to take in the magnificent views.

Details of the Cathedral, Seville, Spain

Details of the Cathedral, Seville, Spain

View from the Tower

One of the views from the top of the tower. Just to prove I made it up there!

It has a beautiful palace, the Alcazar Real with its moorish architecture, decorative and sometimes quirky tiles  and wonderful gardens. The tiles have to be a post all of their own but here’s some images of the architecture, the gardens and the underground pool which was used during the summer months to keep cool.

Details of the Alcazar Real

Details of the Alcazar Real

Details of the Alcazar Real

Details of the Alcazar Real

Alcazar Real gardens

Alcazar Real Gardens

Alcazar Real gardens

Alcazar real gardens

Underground Pool Alcazar real

Underground pool Alcazar Real

You’ll be pleased to know I did spot some graffiti amongst all this culture in Seville. I love the cat!

cat graffiti seville

Cat Graffiti Seville, Spain

and here are some unusual window displays

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masks

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and finally some dazzling flowers and it wouldn’t be Seville if I didn’t include and orange or two……….

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Fred Harry and Madge Stone

Inspiration for Stitch – Part 4 – The Innocent Victims of War

The inspiration for my work can come from anywhere and everywhere and it sometimes takes on a more serious note. I turned on the radio and heard her voice and the words I will never forget “This is not my War”. They were the words spoken by a Syrian mother whose children aged 5,10 and 12 had just been killed by mortar fire in a war she did not understand. The sound of her voice will stay with me forever.

Some Things Never Change commemorates those children and the many others like them that have lost their lives, or have been mentally or physically scarred by war. The lives of those who have survived war and atrocity are changed for all time.
My Dad and his siblings Harry and Madge were children of the First World War, born just before and during so called ‘war to end war’. I have used their images to represent the universal child. The concrete pillar in the background is inspired by the concrete architecture of the skate park on the South Bank of the Thames and the graffiti of street artist Stik and is covered with cross stitches representing the kisses those Syrian children will never receive.

image of 'some things never change'

Some Things Never Change 2012

grafitti south bank 1
I listen to the Radio and hear his Voice again recalls something I heard on Radio 4. A 10 year old boy was talking to the reporter “You can’t imagine what I’ve seen, what my country has seen”. The Universal Child uses an image of my Dad to represent children affected by war worldwide.

image of the universal child

The Universal Child

image of I Listen to the Radio and hear his Voice

I Listen to the Radio and Hear his Voice.

The Unknown Statistic comes from my research into the First World War during the run up to the centenary in 2014 of the start of the war. A photograph is of some children, unknown to me, but in my husband’s family album was my starting point. I have had this image waiting to be used for many years but it was only when I saw the graffiti in the East End of London I knew how I was going to use it. The children have a poignancy to them. They look as though they are watching someone walking away. I decided to use their images as a way of commemorating all the children left fatherless by the First World War. The exact number of children is unknown as it was not recorded accurately either locally or nationally. I imagined their father was one of the brave Grimsby fishermen whose trawlers went minesweeping the coast with very little protection and little recognition. He walked away and never looked back. It was bad luck for a fisherman to turn around and look back as they walked away to sea. They never saw him again. My own Great Grandfather, Harry Conder died during the first few weeks of World War One when the trawler Fittonia, of which he was skipper, was blown up by a mine in the River Humber. He was survived by a widow and several children. His eldest son Charles Conder died during the last weeks of the war of Spanish Flu, the virus that would be responsible for more than five times as many deaths as the war itself.

image of kids from the family album

Kids from the Family album

east end graffiti

east end graffiti

image of the Unknown Statistic

The Unknown Statistic

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.