Category Archives: thoughts

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The Book of Haps

Recently I’ve been getting my knit on thanks the Kate Davies’ Book of Haps.    A Hap is a shawl traditionally worn by women working on the Scottish Islands. The book is fascinating and as well as the 13 modern … Continue reading

Glasgow International Art Festival & the year of fun

With over 200 artists exhibiting in around 75 venues across Glasgow for Glasgow International there was so much opportunity to get lost in art this April.

Those of you who follow my blog will know I’ve declared 2016 the year of fun and I certainly had fun going round the various exhibitions.

I loved all the textiles on show. From skateboarding clams to weaving and national identity it all made me smile.   

   
I surprised myself by enjoying The Circus Between Worlds which was a selection of performances pieces created by artists working in Glasgow and Newcastle . Normally I steer away from performance art but I was curious to see Helen Shaddock‘s piece.  Sometimes it’s good to things that scare you just a wee bit.  

   The festival certainly helped feed my imagiation.

  
    
Some exhibitions are on until 22nd May so there’s still some time to catch them.

February Fun

The days are getting longing and lighter which always makes me smile and awakens my creativity which has been hibernating over winter.

As I mentioned in my last post 2016 is all about fun and this month I ignored the fact I lost my voice (nasty chest infection), sucked on yucky cough sweets and got out there.   

 No your eyes do not device you, that is Richard Gere in Glasgow for an event I attended. He was talking after showing his latest film Time Out Of Mind which is an honest portrayal of a homeless man in New York.

I got lucky and every film I chose during Glasgow Film Festival ticked all the boxes for me from strong characters, beautiful cinematography and great scores it was one of the best film festivals I’ve attended. Some personal highlights were

 
Remember I mentioned fun didn’t have to be expensive? Well, in February BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra put on two free concerts which I was lucky to be able to attend. Both concerts featured contemporary composers and pieces I’d never heard before so demanded my full attention which in turn has sparked ideas for embroidery designs.

I know some of you might be turning your nose up at this, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. If you’ve never experienced a full orchestra live put it on your bucket list. The trick is to find a piece of music you like in their season brochure, go to that concert (watch the Proms or do some digging on (*)YouTube to see the different pieces) and take it from there. 

I think there is something magical about this orchestra. They have a way of stimulating all your senses at once and even at the back of the hall you can feel their passion for the music they play. Go & see them (other orchestras are available in your local area 😀).  It’s been a while since I was able to attend a Knit For Unity session so it was wonderful to get back and catch up with everyone over the clack of the needles.

You should see how many lovely pieces have been knitted or crocheted for those who need them. People have been so generous and I know the hats, scarves, blankets etc will be gratefully received.

If you’re free and fancy knitting (novices are warmly welcomed) pop along to Maryhill Integration Network’s offices, Mondays between 12 & 3pm. As it’s a leap year I managed to squeeze in an extra day of fun. This time I went to the opening of Glasgow School of Art’s Y2 Fine Art Potography exhibition which runs until 4th March.

Having friends on the course I’ve been watching their progress with interest. It was fun to see who’s been influenced by more established artists and refreshing to note that they have maintained their individuality.

Hope your February was as much fun. Now, let’s see what March holds…

(*) yup, this is the piece of music Siouxsie and the Banshees used to come on stage to.

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2016: the year of fun

Don’t  know about you but when I look back at 2015 it seemed a tad meh and not enough yeehar. So this year I’m going to try to balance out the work with fun. January started well, I worked hard but … Continue reading

Streetart inspired by the Turner Prize

A few weeks ago I was going past Tramway, which is currently hosting the Turner Prize exhibition when I noticed some strange behaviour.

Two men were having a good look at the demolished building across the road. With them were several ladders tied to a homemade bike, a generator and some tools.

Today, as I went past again, I was able to enjoy the fruits of their labour.   

   
     
 

*** UPDATE ***

I’ve just found out that this work was a collaboration between Baxendale and Recoat.

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Up #Periscope then save to #katch

This gallery contains 2 photos.

As you know I like my social media & can be found lurking on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter bumbling along, sharing things that I hope are sometimes of interest to you. Recently I heard of Periscope which is a relatively … Continue reading

Helen Shaddock at Hatton Gallery

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Last weekend, along with a friend I escaped Glasgow and headed to Newcastle upon Tyne to see Newcastle Universities MFA Summer Show and especially Helen Shaddock‘s new work.

I’m a bit shocked that I’ve not introduced you to her work before. We both share a love of maps and paper and it has been been fascinating to see her work progress over the years. We may work in very different ways and while she is definitely an artist and I’m more of an artisan (someone who works with their hands) her work has inspired me on numerous occasions. Her love of colour and fascination with form is amazing and never fails to inspire me. Earlier this year she left Glasgow to start the Master of Fine Art course in Newcastle and this was my first chance to see how her latest work.

Along with other first, second year students and some Ph.d students they’ve put on an impressive summer show at the Hatton GalleryHere’s a taster of Helen’s work

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If you’re in Newcastle please seek it out. As you can see here (hint: click on the pictures to get more info) there is such a diversity in work, practice and use of space not only for the artist but for you the viewer. You need to explore the whole building to find all the artists sometimes with rooms hiding round corners or opening up at the top of narrow staircases. At the time Helen asked me if I thought there were similarities in their work. I didn’t think so, but retrospectively I’d have to say movement is the key. Not just because you can see they are on an artistic journey but because time/movement is an element of each piece whether by design or through serendipity.

Apart from Helen’s work the other stand outs for me were Paul Martin Hughes’ kinetic sculpture which had an amazing hypnotic rhythm to it. Mirela Bistran’s textiles and naturally dyed work and Yein Son’s Noctarine 3.12.

Well done to all of you, I’m already looking forward to next year.

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Thank you to Helen Shaddock for letting my photograph her work.

The exhibition at Hatton Gallery runs until 5th September 2015

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Playing with embroidery on Paper

Sometimes it’s fun just to doodle with paper and thread. Next stage is to build up my confidence in sketching with pen(cil) on paper. I know it’s like anything else, the more you practice, the more you can relax into … Continue reading

islands and archipelagos embroidery sketchbook

It’s no surprise that I like my sketchbooks. I’m a sucker for popping in to art stores to see what they’ve got on offer. Often they come home with me and just sit waiting on a shelf for inspiration to strike, teasing me.

My latest sketchbook has just started and is going to be filled with the theme of islands and archipelagos. I’ve made a start with some machine stitched lace which created a beautiful landscape now embellished with french knots, bullion knots, wrapped threads and detached buttonhole stitch. So far it’s all very white but I think colour will gradually creep in.

Here are some of the first islands.

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1-IMG_2819 1-IMG_2817 1-IMG_2816Looking forward to seeing how this progresses and whether or not I’ll be able to close the book at the end 🙂

The Making Room pt.2

 

IMG_7587After having fun trying block printing a fortnight ago as part of The Making Room I was really looking forward to my screen printing taster session.

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This time our tutors were the fab team from Bespoke Atelier who seem to live for patterns.

We met in the exhibition space at the back of All That is Solid and the team chatted to us about the basics of screen printing and showed us some of the screens they’d created based on Alexander “Greek” Thomson’s architectural details.

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There was a lot of head scratching thinking about what we’d like to print onto our tote bags and most of us used a mix of Bespoke Atelier’s designs with masks we’d created to alter the designs. All a bit messy and a whole lot of fun.

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I’m really chuffed with my bag which I printed on both sides. The back echos the print on the front but by using a mask I’ve created something that looks more like a chemical equation. I’ll also add some embroidery to embellish it.

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Bespoke Atelier are taking part in the Southside Art Trail on 24th May which looks like an amazing event and also run workshops.