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Anne Griffiths :: Contemporary Textile Art

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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.

March 2014


t will officially be spring this weekend and I spent the best week of the year so far in Cornwall where the lambs were being born in the barn next door to our studio as we worked on paper making, printing, bookmaking and stitching as well as the serious business of eating cake.

The time flew by and some fantastic work was achieved by everyone that came. I know there are an awful lot of images in the gallery but it was hard to cut down on selecting them given the diversity of the wonderful pieces created. I think this picture of Linsey in her space amongst her paints, brushes and printed fabric backgrounds sums it all up perfectly!

Dates for the next couple of courses will be October 31st which will be a repeat of the "Trees" course but the season will be completely different so always something new to see and think about. On March 13th 2015 I am planning a new week on handmade books, with one or two different book structures shown each day. If you are happier, spending more of the time on textiles it is certainly possible to work on either the theme of "Beachcombing" or "Trees" and I am very happy to do a combination of the subjects.

I have just finished an interesting project for Scarborough Crematorium making a bier cover. The crematorium has some beautiful oak furniture made by the historic Robert Thompson Furniture Company, the Mouseman of Kilburn, who from the 1920's “signed” his pieces with carved a mouse. To reflect this, I decided to take corn as the theme for the covers.

There are two similar panels, front and back where a selection of gold dyed silks are applied onto a blue silk background and free machine embroidered with gold metallic threads. The base is dark blue velvet.

The next project will be to make a cover which will be used for children's funerals. Something that I hope will provide a little more personal feeling on what is such a terrible occasion.

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, the distance learning course has now been running for a year and congratulations must go to Nicky Villalard who is the first person to complete the course in just a year. Samples from her final unit can be found here together with her second assignment, a casket, which took Klimt as a design source.

Debbie Carter has just completed Unit Two. This unit included looking at colour collage, automatic patterns, couching and cable stitch.

As the machine embroidery course has now gone through a full cycle, I have been considering writing some similar modules on Creative Computing Design and using these techniques for textile projects. There will probably be four units covering the basic design elements line, texture, colour pattern and form together with using layers.

We will use the software package Paintshop Pro as it is considerably cheaper and easier to use than Photoshop and I have never found there was something I needed to do that was available in Photoshop and not Paintshop Pro. There will also be suggestions as to how to use some of these techniques for image transfer, printing and embroidered pieces which you may like to follow. This might be useful for using your photographs in stitch or you could also use other techniques such as patchwork. Here is a sample of one design (top), and how it has been transferred to paper and then quilted. If you are interested in this kind of course, email me and I will be able to judge whether it is worth going ahead with the units.

I have managed quite a few exhibitions this month, Hannah Hoch, Dada artist whose work was predominantly paper collage, David Lynch, William S. Burroughs and Andy Warhol all at the Photography Gallery, Richard Hamilton retrospective at Tate Modern and Martin Creed at the Hayward Gallery. I will be revisiting the Richard Hamilton soon as it was such a huge exhibition and will write something next month but it is an amazing exhibition by one of our really great British artists.

Of the three exhibitions, at the Photographer 's Gallery the David Lynch “Factory Photographs” was the most disturbing. As with all Lynch's work, the viewer is left to his own interpretation, and these pictures made me feel nostalgic for a way of life and method of production that is no longer recognisable in today's factories where robots have taken the place of humans and laboratory conditions have replaced the oil and grease of yesteryear.

Growing up in an area of North West America where there were no factories, his childhood experiences of visiting Brooklyn with his mother fuelled his love of urban architecture, dirt and the manmade. These black and white photographs from Germany, Poland and New York, are moody, taken in autumn or winter, the graininess of the photographs make you feel as if the soot and dirt has somehow embedded itself on the surface of the glass. Accompanied by a soundtrack, also written by Lynch, the exhibition has a feeling of machines, smoke and fear, the smell of the oil and of nature reclaiming derelict wastelands and the abandoned remnants of a lost world. Of course all this is a reminder of the ominous qualities of Lynch,s films from which his love of photography developed.

Martin Creed's sprawling retrospective “What's the Point of It?” currently occupies every available square foot of London's Hayward Gallery including the lift and the toilets and love it or hate it, this is not a space for the faint-hearted.

As the artist who won the Turner prize in 2001 for “The lights going on and off” the whole exhibition is in this ambiguous style of positive and negative, on and off, up and down.

The exhibition begins with the monumental neon sign MOTHERS gently rotating like a giant clockwork hand, threatening to knock you down should you dare to stand up. Many pieces you will feel as if you have seen before, he is master of appropriating the work of other artists, be it the iconic “Fountain” of Marcel Duchamps or the ironic humour of Richard Hamilton.

Upstairs, you are confronted by a wall devoted to 1000 different broccoli prints, yes, made in exactly the same way as you might make a potato print with children, so what is the point of that? In his installation “Half The Air In A Given Space” you find a place to relax and loose yourself in a room full of balloons and take a break from the strain of it all. That is, until you begin to worry about popping one of his balloons and releasing some of his “precisely measured and captured air”.

Whatever your feelings about the point of Martin Creed's work he is without doubt one of the most interesting of current British artists and worth investigating further.

With that, I shall retire to sit in the sun and contemplate the point of 1000 broccoli prints and a room full of balloons! So until next time...

Best wishes,

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Contact Information

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

tel. 0845 643 1511 - local rate call