Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Happy New Year

So that was Christmas was it? actually considering the events that have led up to Christmas this year it wasn't too bad. Now the turkey has been consumed,the champagne drunk and the Christmas cake crumbled and life can nearly return to normal, whatever that is. Today is the husband's birthday so that requires more food and then there's NYE tomorrow which as usual is being 'celebrated' here so even more food to do (& eat) for that so I think a serious diet will be in force in January.
And I can't wait to clear the decks- I enjoy decorating the house for Christmas but I even more enjoy ripping it all down again as it means next stop SPRING!
But before then I have to get to grips with my dissertation - oh help, perhaps I say with Christmas a bit longer.
Happy 2010 to you all!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

I know it is really annoying for some people and I feel really sorry for all those people who have had plans that have been messed up by it but I love the snow. It's never quite lost that magical feeling for me and I love the feeling of walking through it all wrapped and cosy (except for that end of your nose that sticks out and always turns bright red and drips!) The dogs have been enjoying it too although Kit Cat keeps eating it-not sure why. It could be a bit of a problem if it persists on Tuesday as it is my Mother-In-Laws funeral but at least the church will look beautiful.

Assessment has come and gone and I was pleasantly surprised by marks which I thought might be a bit awful given the dreadful semester I've had- but they were actually quite good esp. for my 'shoes'- I did enjoy doing those. So after Tuesday I can get on with sorting out Christmas without worrying about work - well until January at least.

It will be a very quiet Christmas for us this year but that's nothing unusual as we have very little family but at least it will mean we can enjoy it should it be white Christmas as the song says 'when you've no place to go- let it snow, let it snow,let it snow'.

To everyone out there in blogland may you have a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful and peaceful New Year.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Sad Times

My Mother-In-Law has passed away. Because of her long and distresssing illness in some ways it is a relief but it is always sad when somebody leaves you esp. for my Husband, Father-In-Law and Daughter. Safe passage Vera.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

All Done

I've Finished! 2 modules completed over one semester amidst all the chaos that has been my life for the last couple of months. I'm so relieved that I can now get on with just sorting out the family and not having to worry about fitting in study. I've even got to the stage where quite honestly I can do no more and it will just have to do- probably not my normal attitude but then at the moment my life isn't exactly normal. So Hip Hurrah it's done and I've just got to utter a prayer that the assessment isn't too awful and I pass. Then I have completed level 2 and am into level 3 and 18months away from completely finishing!!!
Anyhow I have some time out over the next couple of days as I'm off to lunch with my oldest friend today who I have known since I was 11 who no doubt will be administering a bit of TLC and an AQUA-8 meeting tomorrow to sort out our next year's programme.Then on Tuesday I've got to dig the house out from under 2 months mess- I might be sometime.....

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Happy 18th Birthday Kirsty

All Grown Up

I don't really remember too much about the 25th November 1991, I spent most of the time quite out of it in a hospital bed.That's because what I thought was a kidney infection about 6 months earlier actually turned out to be a baby girl. After 14 years of trying, 2 lost babies and being told it was very unlikely I would ever carry a baby to term I had actually produced this child. I had spent about 5 months in and out of hospital to get to that point but she was stubborn and hung on in there until she was delivered by Cesarean section about a month early.
So today she is 18 years old . She hasn't had the easiest road to adulthood not least suffering a serious back injury when she was about 2 and pneumonia in her first year at school. But as usual she's hung on in there and pushed through.
She has become a beautiful,gentle, kind and hardworking young woman. Oh She can still try the patience of a saint at times and argue for England but if she is wrong she'll always admit it (and I still get a cuddle sometimes.).She has a huge army of really good friends to make up for her lack of family and a fierce ambition to be a nurse in her heart. We are so very proud of her.
So Happy 18th Birthday Kirsty- may this just be the start of a wonderful life.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Wool and Wonders

Just a quick post today as I am about to whizz off to the V&A museum for a tutorial with my personal specialism tutor. Assessment is getting rather close now but fortunately I have only one thing left to do on my Fine Art Module and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will get the go ahead to round up the other module as in my mind it has reached its conclusion.
No hospital visiting tonight as its Kirsty's tutor consultation evening at college although M-I-L unfortunately continues to deteriorate & my Father- in-law has been told to expect the worst.
To escape all this doom and gloom I did have a couple of little (semi-educational) weeks over the weekend. Friday was a trip up to the V&A to see the Maharajah exhibition with some ERTF girls. Really yummy (I do like a bit of bling) and far too much to see at one visit so if I have time I might creep in again today as I get to go in free as a member. We then had a lovely chatty lunch (I love their lunches) , a few moans, more than a few laughs and it was so nice to get out.
We were aiming to go out again on Saturday to begin some preliminary research for my dissertation (gulp) but the dreadful weather kept us Hornchurch and Romford bound, swapping the hospital visiting etc so we could go out on Sunday instead.
Sunday the weather was glorious, everything bathed in a golden autumn light.We visited Lavenham in Suffolk and all I'm going to say about my proposed dissertation at this stage is - Baa!
So I now feel refreshed and more upbeat.Mind you I have got that tutorial coming up........

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Lest we forget

Things feel a little low here at the moment. Mother-In-law continues to deteriorate and I feel sorry for my husband and his Dad as its such a strain watching her fall.
Today I have just watched the service to remember the fallen of the 1st world war at Westminster Abbey. It made me remember my own family.
My Dad served in the RAF in WWII - he survived but his best friend Reggie, a rear gunner, didn't. I still have the last letter he sent to my Dad. (Martin's Dad was in the Navy, Tank Landing craft- we invaded it he was there- North Africa,Sicily,Italy and of course D-Day on Juno beach) He never talked about it much until recently- I think it was too painful. .My Aunt served with SHAFE and my granddad's close cousin died in the invasion of Sicily.
But it was those of my family who served in WWI that I feel the have some desperately poignant stories.
My Grandad was gassed and buried alive on the Somme. It was whilst convalescing and shell-shocked that he met he met my Nan who was a VAD. During WWII he worked on the railways and was once again buried in a bombing raid during the London Blitz.His shell shock returned and he was a mute for a long time after this (my Mum was an ace lipreader) He was a wonderfully gentle man who I loved very much and he never let on to me what he'd been through.
But probably the saddest story came to me by accident after my Mum passed away (6years ago this week). I was looking through a box of old postcards, photos etc... and found a lot of postcards written to my Nan from her cousins. They were full of arranging to meet up, cahtty news and things they did together- they were obviously all very close and very young. The next thing I found was a picture of Bradwell War memorial - All their names are on it.
I feel I should honour them today. I loved my family and I am very proud of them. They are all gone now- I miss them.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

This week has been a jumble of degree work, domestic disasters and health issues but I did manage to escape yesterday for a field trip with some of the AQUA-8 girls. The topic we have chosen to work towards for our first exhibition is Water, Water (seemed appropriate considering our name) so we decided to visit the Rainham Marshes RSPB reserve (an SSSI) to gather some inspiration.Unfortunately we got rather more water than we wanted as it poured down but I did manage to get some quite good photos and am looking forward to developing some of these ideas.
When I got back and looked at the photos I realised that many looked as if we were way out in the wild- in fact the eurostar thunders past on one side along with all the trains into London, the Thames is just over the other side and you see the tops of ships passing by above the embankment and on the remaining sides it is surrounded by housing, containers and rubbish tips so the RSPB site is a little gem amidst it all.
The degree is trundling along. I'm more into the practical side now thank goodness but will have to return to some contextual work next week if I am going to be ready in time for getting the work assessed.
My mother-in- law's health continues to deteriorate rapidly (Dementia and physical) and I am quite concerned about my Father -in-law with all the stress but now the NHS wheels are slowly grinding into motion so I am hoping the appointment with the consultant tomorrow will help.
Poor little Teddy picked up a nasty bug last week and looked very sorry for himself (as did my carpet) and even sorrier after a trip to the vet meant 2 injections and a 'light,bland diet for a week'. Fortunately he now seems on the mend.
On the domestic front -last weeks joys include the Internet breaking down (now thankfully fixed) , the lights blowing up in our dark kitchen (still unfixed so meals are a bit hit and miss by the light of a low lamp) and the Fridge & Freezer aren just hanging on by a thread but because the seal isn't that good now the cat(s) have learnt how to open it with their paws which is annoying and not exactly hygienic. Oh well you have to laugh really - its either that or sit gibbering in the corner, and this weekend I escape again to the ERTF conference on textile conservation- perhaps they could conserve me a bit while I'm there!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Its been another of those 'where did the weekend go!' times but it has been quite productive.
I managed to buy a cheap pair of ballet shoes to use in my Fine Art Module, I've tea dyed the silk and printed silk fabric for new linings in all of the shoes and I've even made a start on the embroidered roses for the silk bindings.

On the other module I've finished creating the embellished fabric from wool, silk fibres and plastic for the inner cylinder (The melted plastic went a bit hard which meant I broke 3 needles! not something I do that often but really annoying) so I've just got the 2 outer ones left. I also managed to create the subsidiary sample for the second site piece (sounds complicated doesn't it? - well unfortunately it is).
I've also written two proposals -one for each project- so all is ready for my 2 tutorials this week,gulp!. During all this I had an email from the JCS office asking me if I was OK because they had seen my blog. At least its nice to know they are keeping an eye on us.
On the home front I caught up with the housework and some friends. Walked the dogs (Kirsty came too- she must have been bored) and Martin checked on his mum and dad, things are no better but then they won't be but at least for the time being they are stable.
Finally I started to put togther all of the AQUA-8 girls staements, CVs and images ready to create a pack tobe sent out to galleries.

I think its a good job the clocks did go back this weekend as it gave me a whole extra hour now if I could just conjure up a couple more I might even get the ironing finished.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Hi Folks - I'm back, in more ways than one.
I've finally gotten a bit bolshy and decided that I need to do this course in a way that makes sense to me- and guess what ? that seems to be fine with the powers that be (for the moment anyway). I need to exercise the mantra 'simplify' all round and by doing so the work does appear to be stronger so maybe that is the right direction to go. Anyhow I have the 2 module goals sorted out now plus an idea for my forthcoming dissertation that will feed into my final exhibition in a way that is really ME.So even though I did moan about one of my tutors by being really irritating she has actually set me on the right track.
Thanks to everyone for your supportive comments- I won't give in (with luck).
I also think the fact that my mother-in-law is quite seriously ill does rather reflect on our mood in general at the moment so it is easier to focus what's wrong with the course than that.
I'm now off to source a pattern for some 'golden Lotus Shoes' and a pair of ballet shoes. (don't ask! but hpoefully all will be revealed in time)

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

I HATE THIS DEGREE COURSE!!!! ...That feels better.
I must have been totally insane to ever undertake it because it doesn't seem to matter how hard you work ... you're wrong. Whatever your own belief system ... you're wrong and even when you toe the line and do exactly what they tell you and the module says- guess what?... You're wrong. Ahhhh!!!! I feel like I'm getting nowhere, am producing work of no value and most of all they keep pushing me (not in a good way) to do things that just aren't me. If you read the blog 'fan my flame' you can probably tell that its not just me as Gina and I are both doing the same degree course -just at different stages. There is just one good thing - I've only got 18 months to go.
On a lighter note Ally Pally was great and an especial well done to the girls from EAST who produced a really wonderful display and to the delightful Cathy Unwin who makes everyone feel so welcome on the IFA stand. I'll post a couple of pics tomorrow as I am now off for some serious chocolate therapy before I do the ironing.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

I'm so tired I am almost falling asleep at the computer but if I don't blog now nothing will happen until next week at the earliest -so here goes, short and sweet.
I'm so busy with both modules at the moment that I feel I only just about have my head above water. Two days ago one tutor said she wanted to see all my sketchbook up until now for an interim assessment which meant tidying everything up so it was presentable and getting it off to Derbyshire (which is a bit worrying with this postal strike business as all my ideas and work is in it). Then the other tutor wants me to meet up with her in London next week for the same purpose which means time out from studying to get up there and making sure that I have something substantial to take with me.
On top of this I have all the usual household problems/work to contend with and the fact that my mother-in-laws dementia has now reached crisis point and we are just hoping that the doctor will do something tomorrow as I am not sure how much longer my father-in-law can cope.
On the plus side we had our second Aqua 8 meeting on Monday. There is a lot of enthusiasm in the group and I think it could really go somewhere, I just need to summon enough energy to really engage with it all. And, all being well, I get to go to Ally Pally on Sunday for some serious Textile therapy.
I hope this entry makes sense as my brain has now completely turned to mush and I am going to bed. Night,night.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Strange Days

arghhh!!! That's better! its been one of those weeks. Nothing major but a lot of small annoyances esp concerning the degree. Its so strange - This semester I have one tutor who fills me with enthusiasm and fires me up to work, she respects my views and approaches whilst ever so gently pushing me out of my comfort zone and in the right direction. Whereas the other tutor makes me feel like rubbish, every opinion I have is wrong (even my personal beliefs!),and if I produce something which isn't exactly how she would do it she denigrates it making me feel like giving up (which I wouldn't give her the satisfaction of doing!) - she also ends each tutorial by saying 'enjoy it after all its your journey' -what a load of****.
On the plus side the ERTF exhibition is now finished and as far as I can see has been a roaring success. I even made some money by selling a few bags and things which has more than covered my exhibition costs and given me something to spend at the Knit and Stitch. I also think the exhibition which drew in over 800 visitors will increase our membership in the area.. It feels so odd that the forum which I dreamed up and put into action with the help of a small band of intrepid friends just over 2 years ago has grown up and is 'out on its own' so to speak. I feel a bit like a mother hen who has watched its egg hatch and wander off into the blue and probably doesn't even know I was its mum.Oh well que sera,sera... at least it looks like we did a good thing.
The pictures in this post are from the start of the module I am enjoying. I'm looking at the Chinese concept of footbinding contrasting the beauty with the pain and these are images from the first pages of my sketchbook. I'll post more as it develops and hope you enjoy the process.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

who stole last week?

I just don't know where the time is going, everything seems to be so hectic at the moment. Of course I have 'got my head down' again studying and juggling 2 modules this time is causing my head some confusion but I am hoping that will sort itself out as time goes on. Along with this I seem to be zooming all over East Anglia at the moment. Last week I visited Cambridge for the Private View of the ERTF's first exhibition. Mary Cozens Walker opened it for us and said some lovely things about my work. I thought she may have forgotten me, as I was a student of hers, but she came straight over and gave me a hug and talked about the work I was doing with her and how I'd progressed. She had her daughter with her (another old tutor of mine) , Kate green ,who said I had made an indelible impression on her. Now this may not be so good- one would like to think that they remembered you because you were an excellent student but possibly I just made such an impression because I made their lives hell! anyway they both seem to have forgiven me if I did so alls well that ends well.
Saturday I was off to Suffolk to collect my last module's work from its second marking- this box full of stuff is now extremely well travelled but has made its way safely back again much to the Cat's delight as she enjoys sleeping on/in it. Although this module was a bit of a drama the marks were definitely worth it now I just have to keep that standard up.
Yesterday it was back up to Cambridge to steward. The exhibition looks very good and I've posted a couple of pictures so you can at last see my pieces in situ. I would like to put more up as the work there is excellent but I'm never quite sure what to do about this without getting the artists' permission. Its been extremely busy- we had over 60 visitors yesterday which isn't bad for a Wednesday and apparently they were inundated over the weekend esp. as the exhibition was closed on Sunday morning for a private event put on by ERTF with Michael Brennand Wood.
So that's about it for now. More studying this week, up to London for induction day for JCS on Saturday (must remember to take all the stuff for the presentation I'm giving) and then back to Cambridge twice next week. I think by the end of September I will be glad just to be back to studying.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The End of Summer

Today Autumn has truly arrived. The light has changed from clear Summer blue and taken on those golden tones of Autumn. This time of year always gives me mixed emotions- I don't like Autumn much as I hate the feeling that everything is dying , but I love Winter when things are hunkered down, all cosy, waiting for the first signs of Spring. However I love the colours that appear ( usually round here for a nano- second until the wind whips them from the trees) and I love the feeling that the lassitude of summer is over and we can all start to move again, I hate the feeling of being static.
And the moving on has started in earnest. Yesterday Miriam collected my pieces that I am exhibiting at the ERTF exhibition in Cambridge plus some smaller items I have made for the shop as a test run. We are sharing the load of this exhibition as its not the easiest of places to reach from where we live- she is taking the work, I'm collecting and we are going to steward together. The exhibition starts next week and details can be found on the ERTF website.
We also visited an exhibition by one of the Loughborough graduates we met recently at the gallery where we hold the Material Girls exhibitions and whilst there the centre manager has asked us to run a session(s) for the local teachers to help them with their textile teaching, so that's something else to add to the list along with actually getting the work done for the MG exhibition in February!
Finally I found out this morning that I have the first tutorial for my new semester tonight even though the latest one hasn't been marked yet and they also want me to do a presentation at induction day. So there will be no 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' in this house , I'm off and running again.
ps. My Kirsty has never had the easiest of roads academically although she has always worked really hard but at long last its paying off as she had her AS level results recently - 2 'A's and a 'B'!
I am so proud of her!all those hours of hard slog were worth it. She is so desperate to be a nurse so fingers crossed she gets similar results in her A2s next summer and she achieves her dream.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

lots of completions

Whoopee ! another module sent off to the assessor. As I have been moaning on about (sorry about that) I have had to get this 'professional practice' module completed ahead of time because of my tutor's holiday colliding with when she was expected to do the assessment but I've managed it - now I'm praying it won't get lost in the post and I've actually done enough to pass. As you can see from the photo it was quite a big parcel stuffed solid with folders full of writing - a lot of hard work but quite instructive and I do feel that I am a lot more knowledgeable now about the business side of the artworld.
Unfortunately my desk now once again looks like a large bomb has hit it so I plan to spend tomorrow digging it out ready for the next onslaught.
I am going full time on my degree now so effectively (all being well) I should knock a year off and be ready to graduate in just under 22 months time meaning the whole thing will have taken 5 years instead of 6. It also means I will be having 2 modules a semester instead of one and therefore my somewhat intermittent blogging may well become even more so after September.
I have also finished mounting up my work for the ERTF exhibition in Cambridge as well as doing some bags, cards etc.. for the shop and they should be ready by the end of next week. So you can see I am clearing the decks all round.
Perhaps, slightly insanely, I have also become part of a new exhibiting group called Aqua-8 (if anyone visits 77belle you might have seen this mentioned) This will give me a chance to do some work that is not entirely restricted by the degree and a chance for some social contact to keep me going during those last modules. You could call it my relaxation work I suppose.
As I have no textile images to post this time I thought I would put up an image from my recent trip to waterperry. These panels came all the way over from Africa and were made by (I believe I've got this right) Zulu women. It is entirely constructed of beading right down to the use of bugles and rocaillies. and it was absolutely amazing - and I think I work hard at my pieces!

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Hi honey, I'm home!

Well I'm back from my travels. Not that I travelled very far -just down to darkest Dorset but it was nice to have a break and I love Lyme Regis. I've spent the last few days trying to catch up with everything that has been put on hold and I know I will be working flat out next week to complete my module but that's life.
The week was quite educational. The weather was.... well suffice it say it could have been better but that just meant we had to find things to do that didn't involve sitting on a beach (I didn't even get my paddle but I did manage to dip the toes last week on a quick trip down to Kent). Kirsty wanted to visit Hardy's cottage as she loves the 'Tess' story (can't see it myself -she's the sort of 'heroine' I feel like giving a good shake!). The cottage was located in the middle of a wood so I felt a bit like Goldilocks when we walked to it but was very pretty and had a lovely quilt on one of the beds but no porridge
I also spent a really good morning with feltmaker Mary-Clare Buckle (see Textiles Now by Drusila Cole).I was supposed to be interviewing her in advance of my dissertation but we ended up trading ideas etc... in her studio. She is producing some amazing things combining felt and UV lighting that are very effective. My 15 min interview ended up taking well over an hour and a half and I will be keeping in touch. The family had to drag me away in the end.
My final 'textile foray' (although there was a side trip in pouring rain to look at the willow and wetlands - very appropriate- centre which has seeded some ideas) was to Killerton. Not behind the scenes this time unfortunately as there is nothing like a national trust costume collection all to yourself, but they had some very interesting work wear on show. Its always annoying that you can't get images of the costumes unless you make a special appointment and they NEVER have the postcards you want.
Now its back to reality.
ps. I am in shock- both pieces of my work was selected for the Cambridge exhibition.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Isolation, Desperation and Inspiration

Its been a funny few weeks and not in the Ha,Ha! way. I have had my head well and truly down trying to get this module up to a reasonable stage before I get my first week away for over a year. I had already worked out that because of this and the fact that my tutor will be away I need to have the completed work to her by 19th August at the latest which severely cuts down the time I have available to complete it (assessment normally is in September).Coupled to this was the fact that I had some problems to iron out with the Uni. which were causing problems and the last few weeks have really driven home just how isolated my life with distance learning had become.
So last week in desperation I managed to get the family to come out for the day. We visited Snape Maltings in Suffolk where I knew there would be the TAGS textile exhibition on and it was a lovely day. I hadn't visited theMaltings before and its a really uplifting place, bright& breezy, as was the gallery and TAGS exhibition. Do visit their website - I didn't take photos as I hadn't asked for permission but the work was very good esp. a piece by Anne Marie Stewart that I really fell in love with. K & M were both kept amused to as we had a walk around the site affording some lovely views of the river and a basking lizard, followed by a trip into the antique shop which has an excellent vintage clothes section. I spend a while wondering if I could afford an Edwardian whitework layette jacket for only £45 (unfortunately in the end I decided I couldn't- Nursing Uni.fees on the horizon!) but Kirsty found a really good condition early 1950s handbag to add to her growing collection of vintage clothes. She really is developing remarkably good taste and a style all of her own (proud mum boast!). We followed this by going a couple of miles further on to Aldburgh. It was so nice to be by the sea again - I felt I could breath for the first time in months.
After that much needed day out I felt more refreshed and actually got my essay to first draft stage this week, got the Uni. problems sorted out, big thanks to JCS ( who now have their website up and running -see link)and as from September I will studying full time(which means I hope to graduate in 2011 instead of 2012 fingers crossed). I also finished my work for the ERTF Cambridge exhibition (small sneak preview above). They are quite large piece measuring in the region of 60 by 150 cms, now I just have to wait to see if they will be accepted.
So one small day out has fired me up again and I feel all inspired - which I will need to be with another exhibition on the horizon plus 2 modules instead of one in the autumn semester.
I probably won't be blogging for a while as I am off to darkest Dorset to do some interviews in the lead up to my dissertation and glean some inspiration for some work - oh and I might even find time during the weeks to dip my toes in the sea.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Feeling hot,hot, hot!

What a scorching week its been- just the time to spend in the garden or by the sea or as in my case stuck in front of the computer....continuously. The volume of work on this professional practice module seems immense and just when you think you might have done enough for an assignment the tutor will say 'it would be really good if you just added so and so'. Don't they realise I do need to sleep at some point. This is supposed to be a part-time course but I've spent 30 hours on it this week- this is really getting silly so I'm going to have a chat with the powers that be.
Other than that the Cambridge exhibition submission date is rapidly approaching so I have been rushing to get work down on the 2 pieces I'm submitting. One is now complete and the other is underway. They are both quite large for me -one measuring approx. 3ft x 5ft but I should manage to get them finished then, knowing my luck they will decide, they don't want them!
I've also made a few little articles to sell in the shop in the hope that I might recoup a bit of the cost - I am posting a couple of pics of these to prove that I am still stitching even though I am lost in theory land.
Finally my poor old animals have really been feeling the heat- the picture is of our Kit Cat looking thoroughly fed up - mind you it was just after poor Andy got kicked out of Wimbledon so he could just be imitating how we were feeling. Well done this year Andy ,role on next year.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Exhibition Excursions

Another week has flashed past. On Saturday I visited the CHAT exhibition in Thaxted(Essex). I always enjoy this exhibition because, not only is it in a very pretty venue, but the work is always inspired. Having said that though I was slightly disappointed this year. CHAT's number were down which may have been the problem but for me it didn't have its usual spark. I think special mention should be made to Helen O'leary's work called 'King and Country' which was extremely evocative, well executed and thought provoking. Of course they allow no pictures so I'm afraid readers will have to track down their website.
On Monday it was my birthday- usually we don't do much but I always refuse to cook so I might get a Chinese takeaway if I'm lucky, but some of the Material Girls had been invited to one of our member's houses. She moved there last year and this was the first time I had visited and it is so pretty. A country cottage with roses around the door opposite a village pub need I say more. We were supposed to be discussing our work for the forthcoming ERTF exhibition (and we did a bit) but really it was just a nice day out with lunch in the pub. It was really nice to do something on my birthday and the weather was beautiful.
Then after working flat out on my module for the rest of the week I met up with some of the ERTF and JCS girls to visit the JCS graduates show yesterday. (again no piccies allowed -sorry)
This year it was held in the Gallery in Redchurch Street instead of its usual Mall Galleries venue. It had a somewhat different atmosphere needless to say- down the road from Brick Lane rather than down the road from Buckingham Palace- and personally I can't say the venue enthused me. There was always a great buzz at the Mall Galleries but I found Redchurch Street rather dead. Shoreditch is supposed to be terribly trendy but it will take a bit to convince me and I was born a Londoner. There were only 5 graduates exhibiting this year and the Mall Galleries are horrendously expensive so that was obviously a consideration but it still seems a shame. Congratulations to all the graduates but a special mention for the wonderful work of Susie Vickery (who produced exactly what I thought she would - wonderful interesting and incredibly executed work) and Andrea Butler.
We them progressed on to the Truman Building to view Loughborough Unis. Textile Show and wow! what an explosion of colour and talent. Brilliant work and sketchbooks so big congrats. to all.
We rounded off the afternoon at Spitalfields market with coffee and chat - which was the best bit of all. It is so lovely to meet up with the JCS and ERTF girls. Distance learning is quite a lonely pursuit and the chance to get together with like minded people is worth its weight in gold- we had a really good time, some moans, a lot of discussion and most of all lots of laughs.
ps. The Julia Caprara School of Textile Art website should be up and running in a month or so and they have big plans. It could be a very exciting future after such a down period.

Friday, 19 June 2009