Very pleased to be selected to exhibit at this exciting artists’ book fair this year. I do hope that you can come along or, if not, that you can explore my ‘books’, lots of them including handmade lace, on this site in the near future.
A small lace swing drifts in the breeze; a crow knitted from black and white wire hovers, wings outstretched, beneath a dark-spread tree; glass fish gleam from the moat.
The grounds and gardens of Mannington Hall, already lush with midsummer flowers and foliage, are alive with art, overflowing from an exhibition room into the parkland, rose garden, ruined chapel and moat of this fairytale-like estate.
The tapestries, figurines, plaques, bowls, sculpture and jewellery, are the creations of members of the Norfolk Contemporary Crafts Society, and unlike in a standard exhibition, have evolved from the landscape they inhabit.
In the heritage rose gardens, hundreds of historic roses are grouped into themed areas, showcasing the plants of periods ranging from medieval to 21st century. Rare roses bloom in blowsy opulence, scenting the air and colouring the walled garden every shade of pink and peach, crimson and gold …
There is an orchard area too, and here Beth Walsh has made a swing out of linen thread. Suspended from an apple tree it is inspired both by the rose gardens and a painting Beth loves. She is a lace-maker, and visited Mannington with the rest of the exhibitors last summer, returning in the winter to choose a tree to hold the lace swing she created as her response to the experience.
“I enjoyed the challenge of making a piece of lace which would be outside all summer,” said Beth, of Sheringham, who began making lace 26 years ago. “I had three young boys and went with them to the library and there was a lady sitting there looking extremely peaceful and self-contained and she was making lace.” Her calmness so appealed to Beth that she learned how to make lace herself and now divides her time between making lace hangings, and researching the painting and sculpture of lace.
Her swing drifts in the breeze, among the flowers and foliage of Mannington’s roses, smaller than real life, fashioned for fairies.
This, the second major exhibition by liminal, a group of four artists inspired by lace, will be held at West Ox Arts, Bampton, Oxon. from 2nd to 23rd July 2016. It promises to be a stimulating exhibition demonstrating how lace can be used as a source or a means of making contemporary art.
My work for this exhibition continues my interest in ‘sense memories’. It combines a series of work reflecting personal visual memories of time and place with another set of pieces reflecting my interest in the sensual experiences of times past, specifically Louis XIV, the ‘Sun King’.
This is an exhibition organised by Norfolk Contemporary Crafts Society (www.norfolkcraft.co.uk) in which I am exhibiting a new piece of work. The exhibition runs from 12.06.2016 to 28.08.2016. Since I am making a piece to hang outside, this long duration presents certain challenges!
My piece, at present at the making stage, is inspired both by the rose gardens at Mannington Hall, Norfolk and by Fragonard’s ‘The Swing’. It will be a ‘swing’ made of lace reflecting the intimacy, delicacy and colours of both the painting and the environment of the Heritage Rose Garden. Please come and see it together with lots of other exciting work by other members of the Society.
I have recently sent off my pieces for Lace is more: new ways of lacemaking, to be held at Whitchurch Silk Mill, Hampshire, October 2015 – January 2016. I am delighted to have been selected for this exhibition and was pleased to have been challenged to make pieces relating to silk. I chose to make two silk ‘cocoons’, the ground of which was open enough to show their contents.
The source material for the two contrasting but complementary pieces was based on the concepts of Bridal and Mourning. The original lace ‘wrapping’ the cocoons is based on mid-nineteenth century lace designs, when the Whitchurch Silk Mill was at the height of its production. I wanted to get a sense of the lace unwinding from the cocoon like the silk thread from which the pieces are formed. The scraps of silk, all produced at Whitchurch, represent by colour the memories of a wedding and of mourning the loss of a loved one – pastels for the wedding and the sombre colours of Victorian mourning dress. The pieces are enhanced by the use of perfume – rose oil for the Bridal and lavender for Mourning, both of which have personal impact. To me, textiles and smell are often very evocative of occasion and of emotions on that occasion and this is what I wanted to convey here.