Tag Archives: stitch

Retrospective • An Archive of Work 2015

A Gallery of Work made in 2015

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.

image of Portrait of a Lincolnshire Lad 2015

Portrait of a Lincolnshire Lad 2015

I also managed a commission of Great Grimsby Ice Factory.

image 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.

image of Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries

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.

Exhibitions 2015

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

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Woman with a Fish '09

Retrospective • an archive of work from 2009/10

Woman with a Fish Solo Exhibition 2009
This exhibition was an observation of the Grimsby fishing Industry from a personal perspective. Many of the pieces in this exhibition tell a story, of experiences and memories from my childhood, of the ‘then’ and ‘now’ and sometimes the journey in between.

Woman with a Fish ’09 ( featured image above)  is the second version I have done of Woman with a Fish . The first which is much smaller was on tour in Europe from March ’08 to November ‘09 with the Embroiderers’ Guild ‘ Art of the Stitch’ International Biennial Exhibition .The original idea came from an illustration done by my husband David Pitcher in the 1970s when he was a student at St Martins School of Art in London. I felt it was such a great idea and as the original illustration had been lost, I felt it was both a name and an image worth reviving. My pieces ‘ Closed’ and ‘ East End Chair’’ are actually closer in composition to the original but this one shares its name. This piece portrays my maternal grandmother Annie Jane Smith standing outside her terraced house in Columbia Road, Grimsby. She is cradling a fish in her arms. The fish symbolises the great importance of the fishing industry to the town and what it meant to be part of it . Grimsby was at one time the largest fishing port in world, the‘ Klondyke of the East Coast’, alas no more.

A Mug of Ship’s Tea • below

In the 1950s Grimsby’s fish docks were very familiar for me as my father Fred Stone worked there as a fish merchant and as a young child I remember being taken on board a trawler by him and meeting the crew who showed us around the ship. It made a huge impact on me as I was fascinated to see how the men managed to live and work in such a confined space for their long and dangerous trips at sea and it is one of my earliest memories of the fish docks. I have a vivid memory of being given a drink of milky tea in an enormous enamel mug and when I went to school the following Monday we were asked to write a story about what we did at the weekend . My story went like this. ‘ At the weekend I went on a trawler with my Dad and I had a mug of ‘ship’s tea’. That memory is captured in this piece of work which shows me with the mug of tea and my father, Fred standing by a trawler with the crew looking on in the background.

a mug of ship's tea.jpg

A Mug of Ship’s Tea 2008 • 30 x 46 cms

Life on the Coast Exhibition 2009/10

The touring textile exhibition ‘Life on the Coast’ was designed to preserve a record of the artist’s childhood whilst capturing a glimpse of social history, and celebrating the lives of some of the people involved in the fishing industry.
The project which was supported by the National Lottery, through Arts Council England began at the Campden Gallery in Nov/Dec 2009 and continued during April 1st to May 31st 2010 at concurrent exhibitions at the Fishing Heritage Centre and Gate Gallery, Grimsby

All the work in this exhibition had some connection to my life and environment . Combining hand and machine stitch my work is often figurative, usually narrative and sometimes has a surreal sense of humour. I use thread and stitch as a means of mark making and all its facets; line/colour/texture/tone,the stitches multiplying until the image is complete. My family have close connections with the fishing industry as my husband’s grandfather was a skipper and my own father was a fish merchant so I spent many hours ‘down dock‘ as a child and I have always loved the much underrated Lincolnshire coast where my family holidays were spent. The exhibition was divided into two parts.

At Play
In the 1950s many families from Grimsby holidayed along the Lincolnshire coast from Humberston Fitties down to Skegness . It was commonplace for the father to carry on working whilst the womenfolk and children were on holiday. In my family my Dad used to take us to Chapel St Leonards on a Saturday, go back to Grimsby to run his business all week and then collect us again the following Saturday. In my husband’s family his Dad ferried them to the Humberston Fitties one at a time on his scooter and then commuted every day to Titans to work as a sign writer.

Haille Sands Fort

Haille Sands Fort

The Humber Forts are two large fortifications in the mouth of the Humber estuary. They were built in 1914 to protect the entrance to the estuary. They stand 18 metres above the water and have a diameter of 25 metres. There was accommodation for 200 soldiers. They took three years to build and construction finished at almost the same time as the First World War. During the second World War they remained as a deterrent and were regularly attacked by enemy aircraft. During this time a netting was put up to prevent enemy submarines traveling up the estuary to Grimsby or Hull.
Haile Sand Fort is around the low water mark between Humberston and Cleethorpes on the coast of Lincolnshire

At Work
In the 1950s, Grimsby was the largest and busiest fishing port in the world and was known as ‘ The Klondyke of the East Coast’. As a result of the Cod Wars with Iceland this industry has been in decline for many years. The port is still home to the largest fish market in the UK although most of what is sold is now brought overland from other ports or even overseas in containers.
The Braiding Room hanging (below) portrays several women braiding nets . Amongst those depicted here are Maureen Brown ( in the fore ground) , Ivy Venney, Marie Alcock, Edy French, and Beattie Kinnaird. In memory of Maureen Brown on whose original photograph this hanging is based.

The Braiding Room

The Braiding Room

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

 

Image of The Unknown Statistic

From Conception to Creation

Read about the making of my piece ‘The Unknown Statistic’ at Textileartist.org

detail of the Unknown Statistic

Detail of the Unknown Statistic

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

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.

image of study for double take

‘Kilter Kelter’ at Cupola Gallery, Sheffield

Well, what I thought was going to be a quiet month turned out not to be so! I was contacted out of the blue by Cupola Gallery in Sheffield to see if I had any work available for their next exhibition ‘Kilter Kelter.’ The exhibition on a recycling theme is an intercontinental collaboration between Cupola Gallery in Sheffield and Spaza Art Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa and runs from 26 July to 8 September 2013.

 Image of Loaves and Fishes

I work a lot with recycled clothing and upholstery fabrics as a base for my stitching so I was delighted to be asked to be part of this exhibition. I also recycle images from my family and friends’ photo albums. ‘Loaves and Fishes’, made in 2010 is portrait of my Grandparents Harry and Annie Jane Smith. The title refers not only to their religious bent (they were both staunch  Methodists) but also to the fact that Harry was a Master Confectioner and Baker who ran the village shop in Saxilby, Lincolnshire for many years. The ‘Closed’ sign refers to the demise of the village shop with the advent of supermarkets and my signature fish on Annie’s lap refers to their hometown of Grimsby, once the busiest fishing port in the world. The piece is made from applied recycled fabrics with hand and machine stitch. Even the wool used for Harry’s jumper is recycled, unravelled from an old cardigan!

I will also be showing some small studies including two pieces made from tray cloths embroidered by my Mum, Muriel May Stone.

images of study of 2 girls

study for the girls they left behind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Kelter’ is a local Yorkshire slang work for rubbish and ‘Takataka’ is Swahili for rubbish. So ‘Kilter Kelter’ meets ‘Take Takataka’ and on the opening night 26th July from 7.30 pm Cupola will set up a large screen and live web link so artists can share ideas and talk to each other across continents. Some of the smaller African Art works will also be available to order via Cupola.

Exhibiting Artists from the Spaza Art Gallery. https://www.facebook.com/Spaza.Art Jacob Ramaboya, Andrew Lindsay Dionne Macdonald, Gift Mangena, Justin Wells, Karel Miles, Imbali Arts, Hiltrud Aliber, Evil Jon, Stacey Macdonald, Bethuel, and many others.. I am particularly intrigued to hear that they have a sound piece. Recycled sounds!”

Cupola’s exhibiting artists include: Inguna, Susan Waters, Karin Walland, Jason Heppenstall (HeppoArt), Gavin Darby, James Lake,  Lawrence Simonson, Ros Ingram, Klaus Pinter, Evelyn Albrow, Sue Stone, Sue Carter, Josie Beszant, Kimberly Werner, Hayley lock, Ella Robinson, Anne Menary, Aiden Spencer, Rachael Bennett

Work ranges from dresses made from salmon skins and old maps and elegant reclaimed steel scuptures, stunning portraits made from cardboard boxes to amazing paper and textile collages, miniature paintings on bottle tops and jewellery made from old colouring pencils.

Wise words from Karen Sherwood is the Founder, Director and Curator, Cupola Contemporary Art. “Next time you go to throw something away, just consider that thought and talent can transform almost any object into a thing of beauty and wonder.  I hope you enjoy both exhibitions, even if you can only experience one of them ‘virtually’!”

http://www.cupolagallery.com/