Monday, 22 February 2010

Back to Normal(?)

At last we've all emerged from the dreaded norovirus and to celebrate I took the coach from Romford to Textiles in Focus on Saturday, For once we had a swift journey which allowed me time to grab a glass of water and a plain biscuit (not that far over the bug yet!) and some threads from my favourite supplier 21st Century Yarns (they knew who I was which is rather ominous -perhaps I do buy rather a lot,oops!) before I spent a delightful morning demoing needlefelting on The Bury St.Edmunds Art Gallery stand for the IFA (great organisation). I also met Liz Cooper , a terrific person and I hope I will be able to work with her again sometime. Did approah her about doing an ERTF exhibition there but mentioned it to the current ERTF Chair who didn't seem over enthusiastic so I think this may be a contact on a personal rather than organisational level.I did offer to do a bit of cover on the ERTF stand as well so people could have break but they didn't seem to want me so Ihad lunch instead.
In the afternoon I attended the Isobel Hall lecture which was interesting but not really me which left just a tiny bit of time to meet up with friend and fellow student Marian Murphy and view her MESCH exhibition before heading back to the coach. The day went all too quickly but I must admit it has taken me all Sunday to recover.
So today it was back to the dissertation with a vengeance and I'm currently reading up on Robert Morris and his Feltworks. It is very much of a chicken and egg situation between Beuys and Morris as to who came first in this sphere. The really annoying thing is that they are/were both male and not working in the textile field and yet it is they that are credited with 'bringing felt into the realm of fine art'.
The rest of today I am going to work on something enjoyable as now the Material Girls exhibition is over I can really get going on some Aqua work. I wonder how I can make a felt sea urchin and get my 'seaweed' to really pop.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


It has not been a good few days. After dismantling the 'Unseen' exhibition last Friday I followed my daughter and husband and succumbed to the dreaded Norovirus. It was not nice and I am still feeling slightly off. Worse- I was unable to give the talk to Enfield EG and I missed my mother-in-law's memorial service at St.Brides in Fleet Street , which has put me in the father-in-laws bad books as he doesn't accept illness as an excuse (he would have liked it even less if I had staggered there considering what I was doing during that time, as well as probably infecting half the congregation!). Kirsty is back on duty in the nursery at Queens Hospital on Friday so I hope she doesn't bring any other nice surprises home with her this week.
Fortunately I haven't got a tutorial for a couple of weeks which will give me a chance to catch up with work once my brain stops feeling like soggy porridge and I have a trip to Cottenham this Saturday which I really hope I will be better for as I have promised to do an hour on the Bury Museum stand for the IFA and I don't want to let anyone else down.
All I can say is - bring on Spring- Please!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

what a week

The last week has just flown by. The exhibition is proving a great success I'm glad to say and there looks like there are going to be quite a few things born from it. I can't believe it comes down on Friday -2 weeks goes so quickly.
Poor Kirsty went down with a nasty sickness bug so the weekend was spent nursing so not a lot of spare time there, however, I have managed to get going again on the dissertation. Sarah Braddock Clarke (my tutor) seems quite enthusiastic with what I want to do and what I have I have done so far -so I've been given the green light to go ahead. And now the questionnaires I've sent out have started coming in and its really fascinating reading every one's take on the subject.
I've also taken on being the level 3 rep. for JCS- we always used to have student reps. on the board of studies with OPUS and JCS are now trying to start up this system again. I remember when I started it was really useful to have a rep. to approach and to keep you in touch so I thought it was only fair to take my turn in giving something back and I'm the nearest geographically so it makes sense.It really isn't an onerous task and I might get to know some of the students a bit better - always a bonus.
This morning I meet with 3 of the Material Girls to run through the talk we're going to give to Enfield EG on Saturday- its amazing how much you forget about when you start looking back but perhaps that's 'just my age'! - but until then its back to the books- after I've fed the animals of course.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Beware! Material Girls at work

and also

I have spent the day digging out the house from the mess of the last couple of days of hanging the exhibition and tonight have a tutorial to see if I am on the right lines with my dissertation. So I rather suspect I will have to 'get my head down' to study again from tomorrow so I thought I would post a couple more pictures from the exhibition to tide my blog over until I can get back to it again.
I also wanted to say that I am a very proud Mum! Kirsty has received an unconditional offer to study Paediatric Nursing Southbank University in London , which she has accepted and all being well this coming September will her taking her first steps onto the wards as a student nurse. She's wanted this all her life and it is definitely genetic as all the female side of my family have been nurses (except me- I'm the black sheep!) so I am so pleased for her. She's a long way to go and the hard work begins now but at least she's on her way. So a big thank you to everyone in blog land who has wished her luck with her interviews - it worked.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Alls well that ends well

After a few sticky moments over the last few months my Material Girls' 'Unseen'exhibtion previewed last night. Death defying feats were required in hanging some of the work involving plinths, great tall ladders and a couple of the 'girls' long suffering husbands but the Private View arrived without mishap and I must admit I am very pleased with the results
We've received an awful lot of very complimentary remarks esp. from the Head of Art at the school who seems to have recruited us to teach some of the girls some new skills when my back was turned. This morning saw us talking to another group of primary school children who actually seemed really interested with our 'find the artist trail' and some of the boys esp. were much enamoured of some super skeletons by Jill Birleson.
We had well over a hundred at the private view with some people travelling considerable distances to attend and it was lovely to see them all- friends both old and new. I really hope they all had a good time - I know we did.
We've even made quite a few sales so will be able to stock up with some new materials to get us going on the next one.
The exhibtion runs for the next 2 weeks finishing at lunchtime on Friday12th February and then comes the tricky bit- a couple of weeks rest and I'll be setting them their next theme and next time we've got to do even better. Onwards and Upwards!