25 November 2013

Val Jackson's talk about her MA Textiles

Mapping the Interface between Two Contrasting Identities

the troussseau

We have been treated to a fascinating talk by Val Jackson, one of our members who has just completed an MA in Textiles at MMU.  Val's area of study was based on her Mother and her two contrasting identities she had as a member of the WAF and then that of a 'typical' wife/mother during the 1950's.  Supported with boxes of artefacts her Mother had carefully stored, Val had plenty to refer to, including her trousseau!

During the two years Val used the Irish machine, multi head and digital printing and was able to extend her skills.  She created banners and lengths of fabric, learnt pattern cutting and styled garments from the time.  Detailed journals and sketchbooks gave a wonderful insight into her thought processes and hinted at the heavy demands of an MA.

We all thoroughly enjoyed the talk and eagerly wait to see what comes next in Val's work.  Congratulations on the achievement and thank you Val.                                                                                

5 November 2013

Grazyna's Sketchbooks

Grazyna's Sketchbooks

At the AGM in September we all agreed to be a little more resourceful and harness some of the creative spirit and talent within group for our regular meetings.  We are always keen to discuss what's on and exhibitions we have seen but we sometimes forget that as individual artists we could share more of ourselves.  This week Grazyna did just that and brought in some of her wonderful sketchbooks dating back to her time at Goldsmith's where she studied Graphic Design.

We were mesmerised by both the size and detail of Grazyna's botanical watercolours and the emotion captured in her figure drawings, they were indeed a privilege to see.
This style of drawing is very demanding and with a growing family Grazyna looked to City & Guilds Embroidery to broaden her skills and develop a freer approach.  Since then she has been an active member of Cheshire Textiles and continues to produce the most amazing sketchbooks.  They might be a different style with less realism but they still reflect Grazyna's skill and creative talent.  Thank you for sharing them.             Jen

Two pages from Grazyna's City & Guilds sketchbook.

31 October 2013

Textile Exhibition
until November 3rd

Sue has just been to see this wonderful exhibition and urges all to go and see it before it closes on Sunday.

23 international artists have responded to an exceptional space, the original spinning room, with some remarkable work ranging from textile based installations to iPad drawings by local people who worked at the mill.

Caroline Bartlett's stunning installation comprises of a series of embroidery hoops with stretched woollen  cloth in which porcelain roundels impressed with stitching have been  incorporated.
Reece Clements felt and mixed media hangings are a direct response to the texture and architecture of Saltaire. Pin striped fabric lengths with laser drawn images have been trapped within the needle punched felt lengths.

Other artists have used knitted, woven and stretched threads to explore the physical space, memories and Saltaire's environment.  The imaginative use of materials combined with a high standard of craft making skills makes this a visually stunning exhibition in an amazing space.  Try not to miss it!                    Sue

1 October 2013

Marc Chagall


CHAGALL - Modern Master

This is an amazing exhibition which focuses on the work of Marc Chagall ( 1887 - 1985 ) during his time in Paris before World War I and the years he spent in his native Russia ( 1914 - 1922 )

The exhibition is made up of a range of brightly coloured semi abstract paintings and beautifully executed pen and ink drawings and watercolours  which incorporate images from his early life in Russia as a Hasidic Jew.

The early paintings show Chagall's brilliance in using colour and a highly personal visual language - with  themes such as love, and suffering alongside self-portraits and images of peasants, music and the theatre.  These recurring themes appear constantly throughout his long career, in fact the last room in the exhibition shows the original stunning large murals which Chagall was commissioned to produce for the State Jewish Chamber Theatre in 1920, 
The quality of drawing, composition, sensitive use of colour and imagery of these murals leave you in awe as you look onto the vast canvases which the Tate have hung specially in a designated space, replicating the original theatre space.

The exhibition closes on October 6th 2013 but if you don't get to see it, look at the Tate's website
www.tate.org.uk/Liverpool or you can see a Chagall and Soutine alongside their contemporaries of the School of Paris at the Manchester Jewish Museum until November 24th  www.manchesterjewishmuseum.com                                                           Sue

25 July 2013

Chelsea Physic Garden

A wonderful little oasis in the middle of busy London. 

Chelsea Physic Garden was founded in 1673 by the Society of Apothecaries and is one of Europe's oldest botanic gardens. Deceptively small but beautifully laid out with all sorts of interesting plants and they are labelled! There is so much for the gardener, historian, artist, photographer and those who just want to enjoy the peace and tranquillity. The garden's old world charm is reflected in the cafe, both in how it presents and serves the food as well as the delicious cakes!

On the line of food I would like to thank Shosh for her hospitality and a fabulous lunch on Tuesday!  We all had a lovely time and have suggested she put together a recipe book!!  Summer holidays until September but no doubt we will all be busy; does an artist ever take a break???

15 June 2013

The Importance of Drawing

Much of my own work immediately after C&G was based on machine embroidery which is why I was particularly keen to see Sue Rangeley's exhibition, 'Fashioned with Stitch' currently at the Silk Museum, Macclesfield.

Meet the Artist
Demonstrations by Sue Rangeley
'Fashioned with Stitch'
The Macclesfield Silk Museum
June 22nd 2-4pm
a special event within the Sue Rangeley exhibition
Museum entrance charge includes the exhibition

The exhibition is beautifully curated by Sue, bringing to the attention the importance of drawing prior to any textile work.  Without necessarily aiming for the 'perfect image' drawing is a time to observe, absorb and record; a personal response.  The expressive marks made can then be interpreted with stitch.

Sue Rangeley is a very accomplished, botanical watercolourist  and the information she gathers through careful observation is translated in her sensitive textile designs and colour palette.  A simple buttercup is never 'just yellow'!  Spools of Madeira threads hint at the number of colours she must use to achieve her rich surfaces.

Drawing sessions are important to us as a group and over the summer months we have plans to visit FLETCHER MOSS Botanical Gardens in Didsbury, Manchester.  No doubt we will be mesmerised by the plants but the aim is to look beyond the obvious, enjoy the process and above all have fun!  Jen

'Fashioned with Stitch' runs until 20th July 2013
01625 613210/612045

2 June 2013

Gordon Baldwin, Objects for a Landscape

Images have kindly been provided by Ruthin Craft Centre

Gordon Baldwin retrospective, touring exhibition 'Objects for a Landscape' organised by York Museums Trust, is now at Ruthin Craft Centre and well worth a visit.  The 148 mainly sculptural, free standing pieces dating back to 1966, stretch out across all three galleries.

Inspired by landscape, music and the work of fine artists like Paul Klee, Baldwin not only creates the most beautiful tactile forms but he integrates the surface with clever use of line, colour and texture as though it were a canvas.

Baldwin is very open about his creative journey, describing how it can take many months for a piece to be completed.  Dealing with the surface is the most agonizing part, often forcing him to revert to process just to get going.  The journey is finally crystalised when the form is given a title.

This exhibition is full of inspiration.  Every piece holds the attention and like a pebble on the beach, it is full of surprises.  The scale is a delight.  An exhibition not to be missed!      Jen

Exhibition continues until 14th July 2013

12 May 2013

Challenging Drawing

Challenging Drawing
Recent Drawings by Tim Dunbar

Waterside Art Centre, Sale, Trafford.

This really interesting exhibition is made up of drawings using scraper boards, photographs and Ipad images and takes a fresh look at drawing methods.  It makes references to mathematical diagrams, renaissance perspective and drawing conventions from the 16th Century.  Source material include iconic paintings such as Guernica, the site of the shooting of Martin Luther King, Homer Simpson and the wreckage of a car bomb from Baghdad.  A range of studio notebooks from this period are also displayed.

The exhibition really does 'challenge' notions of drawing.  Sue.

Gallery talk:
Drawing as a Contemporary Practice
Tuesday 7th May 10.30am

16 April 2013

The work of Dianne Barratt

Dianne Barratt

It is always interesting to hear creative people talk about their practice but we were particularly interested to hear how Dianne had swapped the flexibility of stitch and fabric for the hard and rather unforgiving material -wood. When Dianne was a member of Cheshire Textiles she used the techniques of  quilting and applique to depict cartoon like characters, always with an underlying humorous message. 

It has taken many, many hours to learn her new skill of wood turning and carving and as with Dianne's textiles, her attention to detail and presentation is a pleasure to see. The top image illustrates her wit and humour, central to everything she makes, whatever the material. 

It was a privilege to see and touch the beautiful, tactile pieces and marvel at the wonderful set of hand tools she uses.  Thank you Dianne, it was lovely to see your work.

1 April 2013

Margaret Marsden

Margaret Marsden

It has been a few weeks since the last entry on our blog and the exhibition at Jobling Gowler has now finished.  It was a very special exhibition for all of us in Cheshire Textiles because we sadly learnt of the death of Margaret Marsden only days before it began.  As a tribute to Margaret we agreed to donate a percentage of all our sales to St Lukes (Cheshire) Hospice.

Margaret will be dearly missed; she was a valued member of the group from the very early days, always playing an active role and sharing the responsibilities.  Her work showed an understanding and love of stitch, always full of energy and colour, as the images show.  Jean was a vey close friend of Margaret's and has written a lovely tribute to her on our website.   Jen

14 January 2013

'Conversations with Water' moves on
Jobling Gowler 
250 Park Lane
 SK11 8AD

Monday - Friday 9.00 - 4.30
14th January - 28th February 2013

It was exciting on Saturday to see our touring exhibition 'Conversations with Water' take shape in its latest venue, Jobling Gowler.  Jobling Gowler is a working solicitors office with a main reception and several consulting rooms providing plenty of wall space.  We always appreciate space because it gives the pieces room to breathe and allows the viewer time to contemplate.  Stitched pieces can sometimes take months to come to fruition, each one being original and very often the result of much trial and effort.  We hope you enjoy the exhibition in its new space and the air of tranquillity it creates.   Jen