Wednesday, 12 May 2010

PDP and thoughts

This has been a really worthwhile module, although it has often irritated me as it "stole" my stitching time, but it has been a great discipline enabling me to really focus on who I am and what I want to achive in the future, after graduation. Unlike the young ones, I shall not be looking for a work placement, as I want to establish myself in a studio as an independant artist, by focusing on the future and sourcing information on exhibition spaces, and I now have a much clearer idea of what I shall need to do. I have joined the Eastern Region Textiles Forum so will be able to get together with other artists for joint exhibitions, seminars, forums etc. At present some of the members are involved with a project for the Warner textile Archive; but for this evening, I will continue to check through all the work in my PDP file, to make sure it is all in order for tomorrow. Earlier on I uploaded my projects onto the Artsthread website, so gradually everything is being completed.I still have to do my own photoshoot and a collection of A2 samples so there is no time to spare, but all is going according to plan, albeit with yet another very late night!

Quilt Fragment...a work in progess

This is the start of my last piece for the collection. It was inspired by the quilt exhibition at the V&A, and is made from the 100 year old white embroidered fabric that I used for the "Woman" dress. I have been hand quilting it onto a piece of vintage white blanket and adding some antique lace.It is working really well, and I think it may be one of my favourite pieces from the collection. It will purposely look like an unfinished piece...a fragment, and at the bottom, a pair of vintage gloves will be sewn in honour of all the hands in the past that have quilted comfort for themselves and others. The mother of pearl crucifix will be added, and embroidered around with just a little old lace running down one side of the fabric. I want to get on with it, but PDP hand-in is on Friday, so stitching has had to wait.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Reflecting and Looking to the Future

This is a time of much thought. After almost five years the degree is almost seemed to go slowly, but the last year has really flown. It is an exciting time of change, and whilst I know I will miss the camerarderie and atmosphere of the art school environment, I am excited by the future. I now know why I like the things that I like, who I am and why I work in the ways that I do. My work must always have a deeper meaning, and I cannot just make something for the sake of it. My final project has also been theraputic in that it has enabled me to come to terms with a certain, extremely hard time in my life and draw from those experiences to create the work I am currently involved with....I feel as if I could not be in a better place artistically, mentally and spiritually as it is my faith in God that has seen me through all the different journeys in my life.
I hope so much to be able to secure a studio at Cuckoo Farm, so that I can carry the work forward in a professional and artistic environment,whilst being able to exhibit to the public, so I shall write my application letter this week...I just need a few more images of my work to send.
This is not the end...but very much the beginning of another journey...but in the meantime there is much work still to comlete for the degree, so this part of the journey is not quite finished yet.

The Contrast

There was an outcry against the poverty of working class women, working at home in the 19th century, and many artists used this subject matter in their work.In this image one can see the poor woman collapsed over her work, and whilst one of the young ladies shows some concern for the seamstress, the gaze of the other is clearly directed to the unfinished gown now laying in a heap on the is an image which well reflects the name of my project.

Presentation: Exquisite Poverty-Fragments

A page from my sketchbook: children from a wealthy family in contrast with those from a very poor family.

Presentation Day

This is a day when the air is alive with tension or hysterical laughter as we all await our turn to do our presentations. I am amazed at the diversity of the work and the time which has been put into everyone's collections....I am sure that this is one of the best group collections of fashion and textiles work that I have seen and I know it is going to be such an interesting one to visit, for those outside of the art school.
My own presentation was well received, and I have been told by friends that it went well...I hope so! There is always something you remember afterwards that you had meant to talk about, and only remember once it is over. Here are just a few of the slides:

48 Hours of First Time Journalism

Last Thursday, I agreed to enter the Graduate Fshion award for Journalism...I had left it rather late to make the descision, and the work had to be received by Monday 10th, this week. On agreeing, I had assumed that the finished writing would be sent by email, so it was a shock on realising that it was the actual wriiten work which had to be sent in.
The only way to do it was to work through the night, which I did...noting that Bird Song was at 4.27am, and that by that time I was feeling slightly sick! I am very glad that I finished it, as it was a real discipline; also, knowing now that I was able to actually produce 1500 words on a new subject overnight has shown me that I can write. However, I do not think it was the best work I could have done, as I was tired and limited for time, so I am not expecting to win an award, but several lessons have been learned by this experience, so it was well worth the "pain". This came in the form of a two day migraine afterwards! it is not necessarily about the imediate reward, but the journey involved...and I did enjoy the writing experience.

French knots on the silk, subtle embelishment that won't detract, and the lovely mother of pearl cross.

Antique Collar with Embroidery and Flowers

Here is the first of the A2 size mounted samples....collages really. I have had the collar for a long time; it is a damaged victorian silk and machine made lace piece in coffee and cream, to which I have added some stitching and french knots in aqua blue. The floral motifs are also Victorian, as is the mother-of-pearl crucifix. They both add to the aesthetics of the lovely collar piece without detracting from it. All have been hand stitched onto strong off-white good quality cartridge paper and would be suitable for framing. I have had a quote for a box frame for this piece, and it is £45, which I think is reasonable for the size.

Five Garments Complete

It is so encouraging now to see the dresses, bolero and cape collar lined up and ready to go. The two shawls which will make up the 6th outfit will need to be mounted on vintage hangers, for the Colchester exhibition, so that is still to be addressed.
I am also waiting for a day with good lighting so that I can do the photo shoot of the whole soon as I have this, they will appear,here, on the blog.
Now I have started work on a collection of A2 mounted samples for the large portfolio.It would be wonderful if I could make 10, but stitching the fabrics onto the thick paper is quite hard on my old arthritic hands (lol)...I may have to settle for 5 but I shall see what time and the hands allow...number one is on the way.

The "New Idea"

This came to me one night two weeks ago, and has changed a little...not in shape but in purpose. Inspired by the Quilt Exhibition at the V&A, it is almost like a quilt fragment.I am quilting the beautiful 100 year old hand embroidered cloth onto a fragment of white wool blanket...the stitching in navy and madder around the beautiful white embroidery on ancient cotton images as yet, as no photographs taken, but that will happen this week, so it won't be long.This piece is a joy to work on and very will probably be displayed laid over something old...made of wood, rather than is not commercial, and I can hardly wait to work on it again, but this is for the evening only, as there is so much else to do in the daytime....I may be at uni. only twice a week, but am working at home for 6 days out of the seven.

Where does the time go

I can hardly believe that it's a fortnight since I wrote here...but then it is a manic time with so much to do. I feel a bit like a runaway train...running on pure adrenolin and cannot stop, but in a good way...I am not anxious or stressed, even though there is so much to do, as I am really enjoying my work. The collection is going just how I had wanted it to..even before I knew what form it would take; every piece reflects the meaning I had hoped for, and each piece relates to the other.