Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Not waving but drowning

I'm not really drowning just spluttering a bit. I'm trying to gather together materials, contacts etc... for the dissertation so everyday brings piles of books to my door and e-mails from people. I'm not really complaining as it is lovely to have all this material arriving I just need to edit it down to what I can actually cope with in the time frame. I've even had an e-mail from HEATHER BELCHER!!! offering to help -thanks completely to the wonderful Cathy Unwin.
I'm also trying to pull together the last few things for the Material girls exhibition plus there is a new ERTF venture to be explored, all very exciting but... I really need to concentrate on some serious reading now.Just to put a spanner in the works (literally) having set today aside for just that we had a 'plumbing incident', fortunately now fixed, which means I've spent today sorting cupboards and plumbers instead.
One other thing that is clogging my brain at the moment is that depending on what happens with Kirsty and Uni. there is a big decision to be made.
Now my brain is really feeling sploshy - think I'll just go and have a cup of tea and hope tomorrow brings dry land.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Help and Inspiration

The dissertation is underway but I do feel a bit overwhelmed at the moment. I've started gathering/finding books, contacted a few felt artists of my acquaintance and discovered some new ones (have a look at the work of Yuli Somme- really different). The IFA have already been a tremendous help - I think joining them is one of the best decisions I have made in recent years and I am on the look out for any museums/collections that hols felt (other than British Museum, V&A, Horniman and SOAS) and artsists based around London that I can visit.
I have to write a dissertation proposal and find 'the question' to be answered/discussed but my problem at the moment is finding one from the loads that have been thrown up by my initial research.

I managed to visit the Designer Craftsmen exhibit in the Mall and the GSK one at the RA last Saturday. London was lovely- cold with a dusting of snow and quieter than usual. Both exhibitions were wonderful in different ways. The quality and diversity of the work at the DC is always inspiring and I really wished my birthday was based this time of year when I go as there were several items I would have loved if finances permitted. The GSK exhibition was extremely thought provoking and I particularly loved Gormley's Amazonian Field, Acroyd and Harvey's pieces,Mariele Nuedecker's '400 thousand generations and Tracey Emin's 'I loved you like the sky (yes I know - I loved an Emin piece!!!). There were lots of other things there that moved me and the photography was outstanding. Its given me loads of inspiration for my own work. Even my Art phobic husband enjoyed it- saying it was surprisingly interesting- do you think I may even have converted him slightly?

Finally to relieve the stress of the dissertation, approaching Material Girls exhibition and the fact that Kirsty has started her nursing interviews I spent an hour yesterday making Felt stones- so relaxing. All I need to do now is decide what to do with them.

Friday, 8 January 2010


Had my first dissertation tutorial last night and, tentatively, it went well. Sarah Braddock Clarke was extremely nice and not at all scary despite her formidable credentials. We have agreed that the subject area should be 'felt and modern art' which gives me a great excuse to read lots of books and articles about modern felt artists, the art v.craft debate and track down all sorts of yummy felt things in museums and galleries. All I have to do now is refine the topic and find THE QUESTION (all!!!!) First port of call is amazon today and my reps. in the IFA ( Thanks Cathy for coming on board with help so quickly) then tomorrow (weather permitting) I am going to pop up to London and visit the Designer craftsmen exhibition in the Mall and the GSK exhibition at the Royal Academy.

I've sorted out the remaining problems with picking up the printing (thanks Jill) and the gallery and finished (well nearly) my pieces for the exhibition. The snow even gave me a chance to give a good background to the shot of my Geode. (my collection for this exhibition is called 'Soft Rocks' and explores the internal structure of Rocks).

So from being down and stuck I'm off the mark again and exploiting the snow- what a difference a day makes.

Thursday, 7 January 2010


I'm feeling a bit in limbo at the moment. I was all geared up to a fresh start for the new year with lots of things to get underway when - nothing happened. Well it did, it snowed.

Tuesday was supposed to be the first meeting of AQUA-8 in Shenfield, which I was going to go to a little late after a dental appointment. Unfortunately the 'little filling' turned into something a lot bigger resulting in spitting blood for about an hour and swelling up like a chipmunk (although that was partially due, I found out later when I could open my mouth properly, to the locum dentist leaving the cotton wool swab in!). As I had already missed the first 2 hours I couldn't face the subsequent 1 1/2hrs. trip in the cold, so I went home feeling quite disappointed and slightly sore.

Then I was supposed to visit the Gallery where we are holding our next Material Girl's exhibition to pick up the printing but they are closed until next week and I'm not able to visit the new museum in Romford to be shown round tomorrow either now because of the weather.

Really is it me or are things a little bit silly now whenever it snows? When I was little we used to get to school, the roads were gritted, transport worked and the great god 'health and safety' was more reasonable. Oh dear I do sound like my mum used to!

Finally I was all keen to get going on the dreaded dissertation but I can't do anything until I have spoken to my tutor- Sarah Braddock Clarke (quite scary, she's the author of Techno Textiles etc...)- to get her to agree to what I want to do. Still I'm talking to her tonight so just maybe next week I can actually get going- so long as they haven't declared a second ice age by then and told us all to dig igloos!