Imagined journeys: new work in progress August 2021
Hand and machine stitch with applied fabrics.
Combining images of unknown people from the family album with images from the Alcázar Real in Seville, Spain; symbols of heritage combine with memories to make the composition and bring together an imagined journey to another time and place.
There’s still a fair way to go but it seems to be coming together!
Made in Grimsby • The documenting of a small lifestyle clothing brand called Anywear. 1975 • in an Edwardian shop premises, womenswear was designed & made in Grimsby from cloth that travelled from far and wide. During the lifespan of the business the need to become more commercial had replaced the ‘one off’ designs. By 2002 the designer had had enough of designing other people’s clothes and Anywear closed its doors.
Materials :linen and recycled clothing fabrics, cotton and linen threads
Techniques: hand and machine stitch, appliqué, piecing, drawing
Which Way Now? (below) aka A Self Portrait in Turmoil is perhaps an indication of my frame of mind during lockdown.
size:132 x 59 cms
The Girls who made the Suits version 2 (below) is an experiment in texture and pattern
3 new self portraits (below) for the ongoing self portraits now numbering 67. 2 are replacements for portraits that have gone to new homes numbers 26 and 27 and a new one number 67.
A Book Before Bedtime (below) was a commission for the Grimsby Fishing heritage Centre – GFHC in a Box project supported by Arts council England
Made in 2020
Size: 54.5 x 40 cms
Materials: Acrylic gouache, pencil crayon, cotton and wool threads on cotton calico
Techniques: Hand embroidery, painting
A domestic scene from the 1950s when every night my Mum would read me a book at bedtime. We would sit on the settee with me ready for bed in my pyjamas. Our 1950s living room had heavy, dark utility furniture, a patterned carpet, patterned cushions, antimacassars on the settee, and faded patterned wallpaper with plaster ducks flying across the wall. Always a handbag, letters to post, and a favourite photo of my older sister on the side board and always a pair of shoes underneath the sideboard. The wireless set (radio) has a particular significance in capturing the atmosphere of the times. It was via the wireless that we would hear the news, both good and bad, of triumph and of loss. On the wall a picture of my Dad, Fred Stone working on the old pontoon on Grimsby docks in the 1950s with his brother, my Uncle Harry.
I am very proud of my Grimsby heritage and the close ties my family had with the Grimsby fishing industry in the 1950s is often reflected in the artwork I make. I was born in 1952 and as a child I spent a lot of time ‘down dock’ with my Dad, a Grimsby fish merchant. ‘Down Dock’ was a community within a community.
The passing on of knowledge has always been an important part of my artistic practice so when the chance to be involved with this project arose I was honoured to be able to take the opportunity to revisit my roots and make a piece of work for the Fishing Heritage Centre Collection and I welcome the chance for my work to reach a new audience through the loans boxes.
This Life Matters (below)
Work size w 190 cms x 35 cms
Portrait sizes 2 x 17 x 21 cms, 2 x 18.5 x 23.5 cms, 3 x 21 x 26 cms
‘This Life Matters’ is a series of 7 small portraits which focus on the inequality spotlighted by the Covid 19 pandemic. Each representative of the global community wears the same white t shirt with a slogan ‘This Life Matters’, a nod to Katherine Hamnett’s ‘Choose Life’ slogan t-shirts of the 1980s, Each has their own word embroidered at their side which indicates their circumstances or mindset: Displaced, disenfranchised, disconsolate, dispossessed, dispirited, disabled, and lastly disappearing. Each life is as important as the next.
A series of new teaching samples (Below) made in 2020
Narrative, Strip Weaving & Portrait – hand stitch & mixed media
Portrait of Anne Morrell (below)
hand stitch 26 x 30 cms
A commissioned work to accompany the article Roots in Two continents by Brinda Gill for Issue 95 (July /August) of Selvedge magazine
Brooklyn: Recollection, Return and Repartee (below)
Techniques: hand stitch, machine stitch, appliqué, painting
Part of a series of work called From Grimsby* to Greenpoint & Beyond this piece Brooklyn: Recollection, Return, and Repartee recounts the artist’s memories of return visit to Brooklyn in March 2019. The viewer is taken on a journey during which flashbacks and glimpses of everyday life, are encapsulated in the ‘mind’s eye’ of the artist; attempting to capture of the essence of a specific New York borough and recalling the brogue of Brooklyn in the form of sights, experiences and written word.
Meandering lines plot our paths and the conversations twist and turn; from small talk on the subway to bantering with tall statues in Banker St, taking in gibberish and graffiti in Greenpoint, a powwow at Prospect Park, books at the Brooklyn public library and the buzz of Brooklyn Museum on the way.
The references in this piece include a homage to the street artist ESPO aka Stephen Powers & artist Deborah Kass
The next 62 Group exhibition ‘Ctrl/Shift’ opens on 21 July 2018 and I am delighted that my work ‘From Grimsby to Greenpoint & Beyond’ has been selected to be shown at MAC, Birmingham.
The exhibition is grouped into four main thematic areas but could equally have been split many other ways. There is also a Project Space in which samples, tools, photos, short films and other materials will shed some light on the making process. We hope that the works will delight, provoke, entertain and educate; and inspire others to explore this most powerful of media, textiles.
The exhibition concept has been developed in partnership with the 62 Group and independent curator Liz Cooper.
The exhibiting artists are:
Imogen Aust, Caroline Bartlett, Heather Belcher, Eszter Bornemisza, Lucy Brown, Penny Burnfield, Nigel Cheney, Daisy Collingridge, Isobel Currie, Flox den Hartog Jager, Catherine Dormor, Dawn Dupree, Caren Garfen, Emily Jo Gibbs, Ann Goddard, Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor, Hannah Lamb, Debbie Lyddon, Sîan Martin, Jane McKeating, Sumi Perera, Shuna Rendel, Vanessa Rolf, and Sue Stone
The Ctrl/Shift Private view is on Saturday 21 July at the MAC and I have attached an invitation, with details, as you are all welcome to come and celebrate the opening with us and to meet some of the artists. Admission is free but booking is essential. Book Here
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.
Detail of From Grimsby to Greenpoint and Beyond 2018 – photo by Yeshen Venema
63:63 – 2016
Pop Stone * Family Tree 2016
The Unknown Statistic 2014 – photo by David Ramkalawon
RIP Grimsby St E2 – 2012
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.
Portrait of a Grimsby Girl 2014 – photo David Ramkalawon
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.
Image of Grimsby St E2
3 Sisters walk down the prom in Cleethorpes
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.
Most of the year 2015 was taken by the making of 63 • a Self Portrait made up of 63 images but I did manage to fit in a couple of other pieces. I began the year by making a partner piece for Portrait of a Grimsby Girl 2014 which was called Portrait of a Lincolnshire Lad a triple portrait of my Dad. It measures 76 x 55 cms and is mixed media : hand and machine stitch with paint.
Portrait of a Lincolnshire Lad 2015
I also managed a commission of Great Grimsby Ice Factory.
Great Grimsby Ice Factory 2015
About 63 63 is a self-portrait 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?
There were several reasons, but the main one was that I was asked to take part in a self-portrait exhibition in 2015 and I was given a 6 metre wall to fill!
For this I had to work to a deadline and that in turn forced me to look at the way I work and helped me find a simplification of my mark-making.
I didn’t finish it in time as my thought process was slower than expected and so it was shown as work in progress. Numbers 1 to 42 were shown.
Numbers 1 to 57 were completed in 2015 and are shown below.
Self portrait age 3 2015 one of an ongoing series of self portraits
Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries
I’m proud to say that Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries 2015 shown above is now part of the prestigious Diana Springall Collection . It measures 25.5 x 30.5 cms.
Society of Designer Craftsmen Christmas Market – 14 – 20 December – Mall Galleries, London Illustrative and Stitched Drawings – 28 November – 10 January 2016 , Customs House Gallery, South Shields, Tyne & Wear, UK New Textiles Transformed – 3 October – 7 November – Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, USA Shifting Images – 8 September 2015 – 7 February 2016 FHC, Grimsby, N E Lincs, UK Face the World – 12 October – 25 October Sam Scorer Gallery, Lincoln Festival of Quilts – 6 August – 9 August – NEC Birmingham with Through Our Hands 62 Group • NOW! -17 March – 10 May Upfront Gallery Cumbria Designer Crafts at the Mall – 8 January to 15 January, Mall Galleries, London
It’s been long time coming and we’ve been the butt of many a recent film and TV joke; in fact it goes all the way back to Music Hall days but as you can see from this fantastic new blog who have kindly featured my work, some of us are indeed trying to put the Great back in my hometown of Great Grimsby.
Woman With a Fish, AKA Sue Stone, is a totally unique and original Grimsby voice. An artist and maker who works in hand stitch, machine embroidery and mixed media to juxtapose often gritty modern urban scenarios and graffiti art with between the wars, homely, nostalgia. The medium of thread making the contrast both jarring and engaging. It’s also funny, but in an odd sort of a way, as opposed to rolling round the floor in err… stitches. The quirky humour coming from a meme sewn into all of Stone’s work, which is the fact that at least one of her subjects is always carrying a fish. An all to common occurrence in this part of the world.
Big fish, little fish… hey we forgot the cardboard box again.
She is current chair and exhibiting member of the 62 Group of Textile Artists and Fellow of the Society of Designer Craftsmen. Born in Grimsby, Sue Stone studied Fashion at St Martins School of…
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
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
The girls go to London Town 2014
Double Take 2014
Shopping trip 2014
Murals Day Out 2014
The Girls who made the Suits 2014
3 Girls and a Fence 2014
Family Gathering 2014
The Boys Go to London Town
mixed media • 122 x 92 cms
A Group of small studies made in 2013
Study for East End Girls 2012
Auntie Madge 2012
Study for Double Take 2012
Study for Some Things 2012
Study for Tea Party 2012
hand stitch portrait
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 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 .
I Listen to the Radio and Hear his Voice 2013
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
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