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Anne Griffiths :: Contemporary Textile Art

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New Distance Learning Course

I

have just added details of a new Distance Learning Machine Embroidery course and I am really excited! Sometime ago, I wrote a 1 year 7822 City & Guilds course for Distance Learners. Although I am no longer affiliated to a college and cannot offer any kind of certificate the syllabus and delivery is the same. The course is now up and running and you can see images of work completed by the first students here!

Email anne@pocketmouse.co.uk

Newsletter

M

y newsletter follows, if you would like to sign up to receive it by email then please use the form at the bottom of the page.

It has occurred to me though that some of the programmes and exhibitions I refer to may be finishing by the time you get the newsletters. I do usually try and put links to them on my Facebook page if you would like to hear about them earlier.

Old newletters may be viewed by clicking on the archive list below.

Of course I am always glad of any news or comments that you would like to make so please do email me.

May 2015

I

am writing this on the plane as I travel to New York for a holiday and to see some non textile work which is being put up in possibly the smallest museum in the world. Mmuseumm is located in Cortlandt Alley between Franklin and White Street and is housed in a disused freight elevator. It is dedicated to collections of many different types, and my collection of cornflakes will fit in perfectly I hope! The Mmuseumm will open this season in a couple of weeks time, and there should be some images to see on their website of this and the other collections they are featuring.

I have always been interested in expanding my work beyond just textiles and recently I have been doing quite a lot on different themes and in other media. This piece, a "mock" collection, attempts to parallel those of 19th century naturalists butterflies or bird's egg collections. It has a quite complicated cataloguing system involving a numeric representation of size, colour, shape, texture and distortion and I am really excited, and ooking forward to meeting the guys at Mmuseumm and seeing how they have put the display together.

Back to the real world though, and news of a couple of visits I have made this month. At Weston-Super-Mare Embroiderers Guild, I taught an Illuminated Letters workshop. We used tomato puree tubes and wooden printing blocks to make a letter and then painted a background with fabric paints and bronzing powders before hand and machine stitching the letters. Some great pieces were made and a happy day spent.

I was also made very welcome at Andover Embroiderers Guild where I talked about my residency at Diamond Light Source. At every "Diamond Stitches" talk I recommend a visit and tour of this fascinating facility, if you are interested, then the latest dates are available on their website. There is no charge for the visit, however you do need to book as places are limited.

As far as workshops coming up, it is now time to think about summer schools. I will be at Oxford Summer School 27th July - 1st August 2015 teaching the Beachcombing course again. Obviously we are not near a beach in Oxford, but this was a fun week last year and I think we all have collected plenty of material on previous holidays to use as inspiration. Oxford Summer School is a wonderfully stimulating week with over 30 workshops in every craft imaginable, so do have a look at the website for information on all their courses.

The following week I will be in Buckingham where the theme will be Embroidered Gardens. This is a new summer school so I am really looking forward to making lots of new friends.

It may be early to start mentioning Bodrugan Barton next March, but the dates are 4th-11th March and there has been quite a lot of interest already. Some people will be returning for the fourth year, so it isn't too early to book. The week will be similar to Buckingham, with a theme of "Gardens" but as we will have more time, we will be able to look at additional topics such as "Fruits and Vegetables" and "Trees", and also include some work on bookmaking and playing with text for anyone who missed out this year. The programme is still to be finalised buy if you are thinking of coming do give me a ring to discuss any particular interests.

Only one Distance Learning parcel this month, a Unit Three module from Vicky Sander whose development from photograph, via drawing and collage to this stitched piece is wonderful. I am expecting some new Units in the next few days so do check the webpage for updates or have a look on Facebook.

There are some great exhibitions outside London at the moment that I am definitely planning on visiting. At the Fitzwilliam Gallery in Cambridge there is Treasured Possessions from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment which explores the idea of luxury and Francis Bacon and the Masters at The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich, The Hermitage in St. Petersburg has leant a number of artworks which are included alongside the work of Bacon and this will be a very special exhibition.



This month I have visited Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector at the Barbican which looks at the collections of Post War artists.

Andy Warhol, who famously collected everything that crossed his desk and faithfully deposited his "Time Capsules" in storage crates is represented by his collection of cookie jars. Arman, whose bug developed from working in his father's antique shop and whose African masks are shown alongside his accumulation, "Home Sweet Home" 1960, in which dozens of gas masks are presented in a frame, warning of the ever present threat of gas attack.

Other artists shown include Damien Hirst, Peter Blake and Edmund de Waal of "Hare with the Amber Eyes" fame.

This exhibition is only on for a couple more weeks, and if like me, you are a collector of everything, some might say a hoarder, it was fascinating to see what other artists have collected and how they have used it to inform their work.

There is also a fantastic exhibition of pinhole photography "Salt and Silver", at Tate Britain. It shows images taken by the inventor of the pinhole technique, Henry Fox Talbot as well as developments pioneered by other photographers such as Jean-Baptiste Frenet.

As a recent explorer of this technique for taking pictures, I am now used to being stared at as I erect my tripod and position my simple black box on top. For anyone that hasn't tried it before, an image can be created by making a hole in a light tight box or tin, making an 'aperture' from a piece of tinfoil with a pin hole in it and exposing a piece of light sensitive paper. Very different from the high tech equipment we have become used to but I love the quality and feeling of the images that you can achieve with this technique, and while still very much a beginner, am considering how the pictures could be used on both fabric and other materials. This is one of my first images taken at The Vyne, a National Trust property in Wiltshire.

Nearly at the end of my flight now, looking forward to seeing some exhibitions in New York, all of which will be in next month's newsletter. Enjoy the spring, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,

Contact Information

Anne Griffiths Textile Art
4 Gabriel House
Newbury Street
Wantage
Oxfordshire
OX12 8DJ

tel. 0845 643 1511 - local rate call
anne@pocketmouse.co.uk