an artists' view

an artists' view

Monday, 31 December 2012

new years' eve

Winter water.
In 2008 I made paper boats, and sailed them away on the lagoon nearby. This was the first.
I love the way this one seems to be held by the branches of the trees. And the reflections of the trees are so clear on the water's surface.

This is the beginning of a new project. 2013 will be a new challenge, creatively. A new journey is ahead; and this water-course will play a major part in it.

The end of one year, the start of another. 'Let's hope it's a good one.....'
Happy New Year.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

moon jellyfish

Tomorrow is the full moon, so to celebrate that, here are some moon jellyfish that I photographed when I visited 'The Deep' in Hull a few weeks ago. They are transparent, and move around the small aquarium by pulsing their mantles. It was amazing watching them.

Today I've visited an exhibition 'Light & Line' at Barnsley Civic. It's a selection of textile artworks by Polly Binns & Anne Morrell. Their work is very subtle. Binns' is a severely limited colour palette, greys, whites, silvers. They are on the edge of existing, and the workings on the back and front of the fabric play with perspective and space. They were mysterious and contemplative as I stood in front of them. They changed as I viewed them close up, and from a distance.
Morrell's work is more densely worked, with hand stitching running across the fabric. She uses a wider variety of colours, though she also uses white and cream thread and fabric. I was particularly taken by the way she uses removed stitches to create 'gaps', and absence/s. Ghost stitches, if you like.
Binns has created work in response to the Norfolk landscape where she lives. She has inspired me to consider how I can begin to work with the landscape I live in; something I've been thinking about for a few years now. 
I think 2013 may be the start of this project.
'Walk; and work', Polly Binns says. An inspiring thought!

Monday, 24 December 2012

happy xmas

It's xmas eve.
Everything's done that needs to have been done, and I'm sitting quietly, listening to the radio (Jarvis Cocker!) and drinking wine. The presents are under the tree, all ready for tomorrow.
Merry Xmas.

Friday, 21 December 2012

solstice-the standing sun

The sun stands still at the solstice. Last night, tonight, and tomorrow night are the shortest days; the longest times of darkness.
I'm lighting candles, enjoying the lights on the xmas tree, and celebrating the dark.
I made a xmas wreath, with greenery from my tree, and some eucalyptus branches from my friend's garden. It hangs on the gate; evergreens, the symbol of life through the winter.

And below is a photo of the iconic stones of Stonehenge. Taken when we visited Wiltshire last year.
Stonehenge was a place where both the summer solstice and winter solstices were celebrated. Both solstices occur at the same time; just at different places on the planet.
Whilst we shiver in the dark of winter, in the southern hemisphere they are celebrating the summer solstice, their longest day.
I love this planetary sense of balance and movement.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

twinkle twinkle

A star on the tree.
A peace star.
My tree is full of decorations that have been given to me.
Xmas presents; Xmas present.

Monday, 17 December 2012

approaching the dark

In my home studio hangs this star.....a gift from my friend Pauline. An appropriate photo to share at this time of year.
Meantime I'm surrounded by temperamental machines!
My lovely old (70+ years old!) sewing machine, that was passed onto me by my mum, has stopped. Perhaps it too, wants a rest for the holidays? So I borrowed my friend Jackie's sewing machine. A much more up-to-date beauty! After a quick look, I discovered...oh! no foot! So whilst dropping off my machine at the shop, I bought a new foot for Jackie's. Only to try it today....and find that machine isn't working either!
My van, Blanche, is in the garage for her MOT (and more!); and the pooter is playing up, switching itself on and off, at random.
Despite all this, I'm getting 'merry like xmas' as Maya Angelou says it!
The tree is up; the wreath is on the outside gate. And I'm almost ready with the gifts and cards.
The dark is here; and I'm lighting it up, as we approach the Solstice. I sit with tree lights on, candles, and the fire on. It's a most seasonal vibe.

Friday, 14 December 2012

'knitting ninja'

Outside Mocha Moocho, a favourite cafe in Wakefield, is this knitted collage. It's attached to a railing surrounding a silver birch.
I've no idea who 'knitting ninja' is; but they've created a lovely 'art intervention', of knitted foods, in the main precinct, close to the Cathedral. It adds a much-needed splash of colour in this grey winter light. I like the idea; public art created and installed by the 'public'! Good work, knitting ninja, whoever you are!
I wonder if there are more of these, adorning the streets of Wakefield? I'll keep a lookout.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

'boro'; stitching and patching

Inspired by Saskia, Grace, and other women following Jude Hill's stitching web-classes, I've bought a man's shirt, and am in the process of using running stitch (sashiko stitches in Japan) to attach patches of cloth to it. This has the benefit of layering the cloth, to both strengthen it, and give it more insulating properties. I believe this is in the spirit of 'Boro'...if not exactly the technique!
'Boro' is another Japanese term, which refers to the mending, and re-using of cloth. It fits well into my ideas about re-cycling and mending.
This shirt is being made with the cold of winter in mind; to keep me warm. However, I'm a very slow hand stitcher, so it may very well be next winter, before I get the benefit from it! In the meantime, I can stitch away, with no pressure. It is a pick up, and put down project.

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