Sketchbook Patchwork Quilt Making

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I made this lovely little thing today. I have a feeling that there are going to be a crochet-filled few weeks ahead…………It is so addictive! I have a box full of unfinished bits of crochet and felt, which I am determined to make something beautiful with. I spent so long experimenting with felt making last year, and nothing ever really came of it… One day, one da

WIPsketchbook_2 (640x438) (2)Ah, and what is this? This is the start of something epic (along with my odd-socked-toes). Another unrealised idea from 2012 – my Sketch Book Honesty installation. That never happened. I did approach a number of galleries, but never mind, this is to be a new improved incarnation! I am making a patchwork quilt out of the pages. 110 pages, hand sewn together. Quilts are comforting and cosy and sewing is calming and comforting and lovely… and the pages of this specific sketchbook are… emotional and chaotic and powerful and argh. Catharsis. Making something new and lovely out of not-very-nice-memories. Enough  time has passed that the pages feel like they were made by a different person. Am very excited about finishing this thing. Lovelystuff.

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Washington Gallery Friends Exhibition and Private View

So after having work in middle-of-nowhere north Wales and central London, it is about flipping time the lovely people of lovely Penarth got to have a gander- I did grow up there, after all. So quite excited about this exhibition, mmhmm yup. So everyone is invited to the private view- do come along, it’ll be grand 🙂

I Love Words.

How can anyone feel that they can express themselves adequately without the use of words? I don’t think that I could. I sort of feel that maybe once you start using them in your art, it’s very hard to stop! But the visual is still just as important as the meaning. Anyway.

One more shift at the coffee shop, and then I will have my weekends back, and much more time for making new work. Which is just as well, as I have got myself into a month long summer exhibition at a little gallery in Cardiff. I have a wall, and I can do what I want with it. I have grand plans, oh yes. A big installation. None of these silly little dull things in frames. Something grand. Lots of words, lots of honesty, on paper and fabric, tatty, lacey crochet. Threads and nails and sewing and biros and doodles, and the contents of my skull on a wall. Black, white and cream. Hopefully beautiful and fragile and intriguing and terrifying. Let’s all question the sanity of the artist! I have an idea, and an image in my head, just gotta make it happen…. Trying to get my thoughts in some sort of coherent order at the moment. Could take a little while.

But, it led me onto an interesting train of thought. If we can see something with our eyes, it is solid, it is real, it exists. If we can see something it is true. Visual = truth.  One reason of self-harm is that it makes abstract thoughts and emotions real. It validates them. One see’s proof of what one is feeling, and this is satisfying, and comforting. I am intrigued by the parallels that seem to exist between the creation of art and self-harm. Bear with me. So with regards to making art (and more specifically, from my point of view, making art which involves text), if we make our thoughts into something solid, turn them into part of a tactile object that we can see with our own eyes, this can be comforting and satisfying. Thoughts in our minds could be fleeting or confused and jumbled, but once they are turned into something solid, outside of our skull, they become something else entirely. We can see them and they are part of our real, material world, they exist and they are valid. They are pinned down, trapped, and so are easier to contemplate and deal with and make sense of. They become something we can see, and so they definitely exist. And so is it this process, of taking something abstract, from the inside of our skulls and making it solid and part of our real world, is it this act which is central and very important to the creation of art?

And breath. Oh dear. Words. I fear that I may not be expressing myself very adequately. I’ll get there.And I guess what I’ve said can be thought of in relation to art psychotherapy.

And I shall leave you with a wonderful quote;

“I am a freak user of words, not a poet.”

Dylan Thomas

‘Do Not Think’ at Galeri’s Open 2012; A Successful Mission

I spent last weekend up in beautiful, sunny Caernarfon, installing my work for Galeri Caernarfon’s Open 2012 exhibition. It all went very well, probably took over 6 hours of hammering, but it looks pretty flipping good; I am very happy with how it turned out! Didn’t win the ‘Most-Promising-Young-Artist-Award-Thing’, which would have been so amazing, but I did not mind losing to a beautifully fragile ceramic installation by Katie Colclough. Our works complemented each other quite nicely I thought, with their use of repetition, monochromatic colour schemes and vulnerability. I am very excited about the prospect of making new work now; I shall leave good-old crocheting alone for a little while 🙂

Do Not Think; silk and cotton crochet and embroidery, 2011

 

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Once again, I am crocheting like a mad thing, in preparation for the Open 2012 exhibition in Caernarfon next week! Excited, but terrified, this will be my very first exhibition since graduating last summer; hopefully it shall be the start of something wonderful…

Sold TWO pieces of art this week on Newbloodart, so that is oh so wonderful 🙂

One of them was this tiny bit of embroidery, delicate stitches obscuring words. ‘What am I doing?’ It’s so odd not knowing who buys my work, or why they like it.

My mission this weekend is to get new work up on newblood. Some embroidery and maybe a couple of drawings I think. But it is tricky deciding what! Looking through all my work, there are so many pieces which I would dearly love to exhibit, work which I want people to see, which needs to be up on walls… There are many pieces I would not feel at all happy selling over the internet. 

A recent pen drawing;

Galeri Caernarfon Open 2012 Exhibition

I’ve had my work chosen for a real life exhibition! ‘Do Not Think’ , will be on display in Galeri Caernarfon, up in north Wales, during January and February of next year. I am very, very excited, this will be my first exhibition as an artist, not an art student.  As it is a chance to expand on the installation which I exhibited as part of my degree show. Although it did feature 183 delicate pieces of unique, handmade crochet, it didn’t LOOK like enough once it was all nailed up. So between now and the installation of the show, I am going to be making more. There needs to be a higher concentration of crochet, it needs to be utterly overwhelming and intricate. I really cannot wait to see it all up again.

For a change, I have some recent drawings, doodles, from my sketchbook. My sketchbooks tend to be made up of text, naked women and patterns, and I do think that there is an obvious connection between them and the rest of my work. Well, I should bloody well hope so, it all comes from inside my skull!

Aberystwyth Degree Show 2011

 

I exhibited an installation piece called ‘Do Not Think’, which involved 183 small pieces of crochet (in silk and cotton), and tiny, hand embroidered text.

Do Not Think is about false hope, words which should remain unsaid, and the sometimes futile attempt of trying to stop ourselves from thinking unwanted thoughts. The process of creating this work was as important as the finished piece; both crochet and embroidery keep the mind occupied.

I have never been so content with a piece of work, both aesthetically and conceptually. It is highly beautiful, yet also vulnerable and sinister. The subversive nature of my art, this juxtaposition of beauty and darkness, has always been important, and is something that I wish to continue exploring.