Anne Griffiths :: Contemporary Textile Art
New Distance Learning Course
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!
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.
t has been a busy and exciting month, and my highlight was the trip to New York and the excitement of the opening party at Mmuseumm . The new seasons exhibits, including collections showing the evolution of the coffee cup lid and promotional gifts to doctors from pharmaceutical companies, were extensively covered in the press and I got a couple of mentions too in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The cornflake installation itself (on the top row) was pretty hard to photograph but here I am inside the tiny museum!
There is of course, so much to see in New York and I chose a relaxing walk, down the Highline, a disused, elevated freight railway track, which has been converted into stunning gardens and a park running through Manhattan from 32nd Street down to the Meatpacking district which ends up at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The museum had relocated to Greenwich Village and reopened just a couple of days before my visit so was pretty busy but, 'America is Hard to See', the inaugural exhibition was well worth it. A retrospective of about 20 of the themes that have been tackled by American artists since the beginning of the 20th century. These ranged from the prosperous life and entertainments that followed the First World War, Abstract Expressionism after the Second World War, through Vietnam, Aids and most recently, reactions to 9/11 and the war with Iraq.
Not everything was political, and there was plenty of social history including this portrait by Robert Henri of the glamorous Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, artist and the founder of the museum. Henri has transformed the traditional format of the reclining female nude or Venus, into a portrait of the 'modern' woman. So modern in fact that Whitney's husband, Harry Payne Whitney, forbade it to be hung in their home as he did not want his friends to see a picture of his wife 'in pants'.
On my return, I spent a very happy day spent in Enfield with the Embroiderers Guild, teaching handmade Japanese stab bound and concertina books. I think it is fair to say that everyone went away with at least two beautifully made books and lots of ideas on how to take the techniques further. I love this one with the marbled paper covers, coloured endsheets and coordinating threads and beads, so sorry I can't remember who made this one.
I am also really pleased that I have been invited back to the Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycrafts show at Westpoint, Exeter from September 24th-27th after a couple of years away. I will be taking my sewing machine and demonstrating free machine embroidery as well as bringing the samples from the Distance Learning course together with a couple of new panels, which I hope to get finished. It would be lovely to see some friends from previous years, so if you are going do come and say hello. I will also bring samples for the "Gardens" residential week at Bodrugan Barton farm in Cornwall.
I have been doing some planning of the programme for the week, and although there may still some way to go, we will as usual, combine hand and machine embroidery, and creating backgrounds. For those who have been before, we can experiment with transfer paints and others can join in with whichever of the different ideas appeal.
You could choose one particular flower and work exclusively with the shapes, colours, textures and history associated with it, the rose or tulip are good examples, but also the poppy which has been used in the commemorations of the first world war. Perhaps you could also look at the Victorian language of flowers. Alternatively, think about a vegetable garden or allotment - growing your own is in the media all the time at the moment and this could be combined with favourite or handed down recipes. My final suggestion is to look at the minimal Japanese Gardens. I will bring my kimono's which were all based on haiku, have a look in the gallery if that idea appeals, you could always make your own miniature kimono!
If you are interested in coming, do give me a ring and we can talk about ideas that would suit you personally. As there will only be a maximum of 12 people, there will be lot of time and scope for each person to pursue their own projects.
I am feeling very guilty that in all my excitement over the last month or so I have forgotten to mention the completion and unveiling of the Ashbury Map project.
It was back in April that the frame which measured nearly 6'x 6' and made from pale oak with 5mm thick toughened glass was hung in the village hall and the map installed. Once the wooden frame surround had been attached to the wall, the map was lifted into place supported by a rod which was passed through sleeves on the back and then inserted into cups. In this way none of the rods show. Once this all this was in place, the glass cover was inserted onto the frame. We were grateful that local architect Roger Baker had checked the walls would actually be able to support the considerable weight!
The map was unveiled on 19th April at the opening of the newly refurbished hall and over 200 residents attended. I think it was fair to say that this was a truly worthwhile use of the Redcliffe Homes money and the village now has a work that is not only valued by the community but has brought residents together in a way not possible with other 'Percent for Art' projects.
Finally, there are three new Distance Learning Units to show, Unit One from Anne Middleton, Unit Three Beth Irvine, and Unit Six from Pamala Page who has finished the course, congratulations Pamala, it is a huge achievement to get through all this work and keep day to day life going especially when that life revolves travelling between USA and Mexico, I love your fish!
Well back to work now, hope the weather is as lovely wherever you are today as it is here in Oxfordshire.
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