We Made A Tent Rosette

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We Made A Tent, 2011

Hand-made rosette

I was approached by the Fashion and Textile Museum in London following my degree show in 2011, and went on to sell work through their shop. Some of this work was a series of rosettes – commemorative, awards for the little things; signifying important parts of time that have passed. Time that has been lived through. Badge of honour. A cathartic underlining of events. And move on.

I wonder if this is worth exploring again…?

We made a tent. Everything is ok. 

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Little Queen – Embroidery

Embroidery. 2009.

“Little Queen”

Embroidery, 2010

Self-portraiture; this tells a story. A sketch of muddled thoughts, sewn without over-thinking. A satisfying way to work, it is nice to look over old art; funny how it all joins together (and sometimes makes sense).

Faint heart never won fair lady. 

Man is made for something better than disturbing dirt…

Disturbing Dirt, 2012 (E Tann)

Disturbing Dirt, 2012

Embroidery

An embroidery commission from a few years ago. Looking at it with slightly older eyes, I do like the accidental mixture of the domestic and the Gothic; subversion and juxtaposition is always welcome.

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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Tell Me About Virginia Woolf

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Embroidery on vintage doily, 2012 (E. Tann)

New work. Found this doily in a wonderful antique shop in wonderful Rochester, which is just down the road, and full of antique and vintage shops, and OH England’s largest second-hand bookshop! Excellent.

Bittersweet Doilies

 

Important Words. Mementos? Little bits of stories, bits of me. Things are not quite as they seem. Ambiguous. Happy, sad, bittersweet (I hope). And somewhat sarcastic. Find your own meaning, give these words your own significance. Yes, do that. I don’t want to see them any more.

Recently completed series of embroidered vintage doilies, which will hopefully be available to buy through New Blood Art soon.

Cobwebs

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Recently completed embroidery commission. Fairly bloody chuffed with these.

“Man is made for something better than disturbing dirt.” (Oscar Wilde)

“A messy house is a happy home… we must be bloody ecstatic!”

I Am Fine

Embroidery, 2011

I have longed to move away
From the repetition of salutes,
For there are ghosts in the air
And ghostly echoes on paper

Dylan Thomas

I worry that I’m not making art in the right way, that I’m doing it all wrong, I’m going about it wrong. But then again, that is a stupid statement- there aren’t any rules. I wish I could be content painting pictures. Landscapes preferably. I wish I was just really, really bloody good at painting. People buy paintings, people understand what a painting is. I don’t think about what I’m doing, I make something because it feels right. Why is it art?! Just because I say so? But my work has integrity, and it has power, and emotion, and it is real. Maybe none of it’s coherent, maybe I should plan things out. I need a plan. I have so many unfinished pieces of work… I need to find focus. But it’s hard to go back to work on something when the feeling that inspired it in the first place has gone. I want to sew and I want to paint and I want to draw and I want to write and I want to crochet and I want to….. I want to do everything. Yesterday morning I thought I could take over the world, now it’s all a bit overwhelming again and my confidence is running away….. Maybe all my work is about making art. All my work is about me. My work is about everything. Take that, maybe it makes sense that it’s not coherent. Life isn’t that straightforward. Oh it’s all a mess. It’s best to not think about these things too much isn’t it. Life is too short to be unhappy.

There’s some new work up for sale on Newblood. They want me to sew more words on vintage fabric, so that my page is ‘coherent’, and because people want that sort of thing. I suppose I have to play the game and do that. I’m not a textile artist. I don’t think I’m a textile artist. (But I did sell five bits of work through them last week, so that is rather pleasant.)

Embroidery- Works in Progress

Two embroidery pieces that I am working on at the moment. I’ll let you in on their stories when they are finished. I am listening to HIM (I love them, and I aint afraid to say it!) this evening, drinking port and drawing. Good times. But unfortunately I have a cold. Bah.

Sketchbook Honesty

I have sent off my submission for the John Gingell Award to the nice people at g39……meep. £5000 for 6 months and help and an exhibition at the end of it. Yes please! Fingers, toes and everything else crossable are crossed. If I got it, I’d probably be able to take a couple of months off work, to be a solidly art making artist. Oh to have so much time! We will see.

So I’ll be in an exhibition in The SHO Gallery in July. This is the one that I bought a wall for, and came up with big exciting dark crochety delicate felty vulnerable plans for. They haven’t worked out how I’d have hoped. I’m getting somewhere, but I think I was too ambitious. This plan may be a few years in the making. So much experimentation to still be done. It’ll come together one day.

BUT I have another plan. Honesty and secrets. How honest can anyone ever truly be? We only share with people the things we want them to see. We’re all different when we are alone. We all have thoughts that remain in our heads and never leave. We all have thoughts that we are too scared to even write down in a private diary that we know no one else will ever see. Because then we have to admit these things to ourselves. We do, don’t we? I am sure this is universal, but no one would talk about it. Uncomfortable.

I don’t keep a diary, but I do have sketchbooks. (Which are mainly full of words, cos, y’know, I like words. And ladies. Because that is all I draw. I think they are pieces of me?) Anyway, I had the idea to rip my current sketchbook apart, and nail the pages to a wall. That will be honesty. That will be me. Because at the time of filling the pages up, I knew that there would never be an audience. And so there is no censorship, I am being myself. I bloody hope. Nothing will be contrived, or fake, because it is real and I like that idea a hell of a lot. Although this may ruin sketchbooks for me forever, I can’t just keep surprising myself with HEY, PUT THIS ON A WALL, SHOW PEOPLE! Ha ha, na, it’ll be fine. Although it is a terrifying idea, and I think I shall need to warn some people before hand of the content… my sketchbooks contain my head. Not pretty sketches of landscapes and birds. They’re introverted, and scare me some of the time.

Anyway, it is an exciting idea, and I hope I have the guts to pull it off. I THINK it is a good idea. Argh.

Although it is very likely I will change my mind. Again.

A Short Thing

I want to go to bed. But I have words that I am meant to say- the Washington Gallery opening went well- I’d say 75% of the people that turned up were people I invited. Ha ha. It was quiet, but it was nice. It’s on for the next three or four weeks (it got an extension), so do go see it.

I got a ‘Warning; there is content in this room that may offend.’ sign. My work was the only thing that could possibly have meant. So that made my week. May it be the first of many.

I am fairly useless at everything at the moment. Which isn’t very nice. But trudge on and make do and it will all be ok. Or go into hibernation?  (Like a wombat. I think they hibernate? I should know, I had a slight obsession with them a couple of years ago. It came after the Dylan Thomas one. I have an EXCELLENT childrens book about a wombat- Diary of a Wombat. I highly recommend it. Cheery making.) I put a lot of pressure on myself I have realised. It’s never good enough. But I did spend last night making monoprints on my living room floor. I like monoprints. 

Night night dearies, there shall be a much more thrilling post soon.

Embroidery, 2011