JUNE 02, 2023
This blog is a short review about the exhibition I recently took part in at the LCB Depot, Leicester.
I was very pleased to exhibit in my first Design Nation (DN) initiated exhibition. It was the Leicester DN group who came up with the great idea of a collaborative piece and I, from Northamptonshire, along with Phiona Richards were invited to join them. What a talented and friendly bunch of creatives they were too! We were also invited to have other work alongside second year students from De Montford University.
The collaborative piece consisted of ten pieces of work by the below ten DN makers:
Planning the layout.
Additional works featured in the exhibition.
This piece we titled COMMON THREAD… and the common factor that ran through all the pieces was a 5cm tonally darkest area of the work from left to right. Not till the day we put it all together did we know exactly what everyone was bringing or in what order to put the ten pieces of work! There were quite a few different techniques and different materials in the pieces – metal, felt, weaving, ceramics, paper and glass. I think we all feel it was a great success and it had a strong and flowing rhythm across the wall in the entrance area of LCB.
Final installation: Common Thread
Making the piece, Winter Journey, for COMMON THREAD gave me an opportunity to develop a particular way of working and a challenge how to mount it! I had started to create tapestry woven pieces a while back and then develop a way to keep the weave open so one can still see the warp. This gave me the exciting opportunity to stain some of the warp areas to create a further design element in each piece. However, the piece for COMMON THREAD needed to have a more complicated tonal variation within it than I had done before. I used my painting abilities from my art college days to create a far more painterly approach to the staining of the warp, giving a range of different tonal areas. This created a more subtle and gentle feel that worked well with the soft alpaca rovings that formed the warp.
This is one of the ways of working that I want to continue to develop but only using natural plant dyes. I also want to concentrate on wall hangings at present, both large and small using as far as possible materials from my own garden and field – both alpaca fleece and natural dyes. I have almost finished quite a large wall piece of this nature that I hope to have in my autumn exhibition. I’m moving away from making wearables and becoming more sustainably conscious about the way I make and live.
I was pleased, but finding a way to mount it on a board so that it could ‘butt up’ to the adjoining works was more of a challenge. I ended up threading cord back and forth across the back of the board taking in the wrapped round sides of the work, to pull them tight. Other methods I had tried previously had not worked, and the board had to be mirror plated to the wall.
So all in all I was very happy to take part in this. Thank you DN Leicester group.
Now onto the next things – making more work, dyeing more alpaca fleece, tending to my plants for dyeing AND starting to think about Northants Open Studios in September plus an exhibition in November in Birmingham! Oh, and before that a trip to Finland with Nordic Textile Art and to Sweden to see a curator friend of mine. It’s all go, and hopefully will be a lot of fun as well as interesting!
Framed wall pieces from the exhibition.
Warp and Weft
Warp and weft are the two basic components used in weaving to turn thread or yarn into fabric. The lengthwise or longitudinal warp yarns are held stationary in tension on a frame or loom while the transverse weft is drawn through and inserted over and under the warp.
A sliver of cotton, wool, or other fibre (in my case alpaca fleece), drawn out and slightly twisted, especially preparatory to spinning.