I will be exhibiting at Abingdon Museum during Arts Weeks from 18th - 23rd May on the subject of Birds. I also exhibiting at Peachcroft Farm, Abingdon from 15th - 23rd May with other artists, and will be showing a broader range of work.
I have been working on a personal piece concerning my father Derek, who during WW2 was in the Royal Navy Voluntary Reserves and served on a number of ships, but the piece will specifically concentrate on his time in midget submarines. He was also on the Ark Royal when it was torpedoed and later sank and the hussif piece also with include reference to this. This piece is made of two long strips , including hand stitched writing, photographs and cartoons and includes several pockets containing more information and pictures. All the artists at Peachcroft Farm are taking part in a Grass Roots Challenge where we will each produce work that is very different to our usual practise, and may involve using different mediums, and something that is very personal. A challenge indeed!
Additionally I have organised an exhibition on 'Abingdon Treasures' which involves 7 textile artists taking museum artefacts and interpreting them using textiles and paper. The exhibition starts online from 3rd April until the end of June but is likely to be extended in another gallery. Visitors can see the textiles in person, subject to booking online from Tuesday 18th May, subject to Covid rules.
Lockdown has confined us to home with occasional walks to escape. I have loved watching the birds with their sense of freedom, spontaneity and listening to their joyful birdsong! I have embroidered birds in a number of different and diverse ways from using rust dyed background material to create interesting patterns, to having a plain white background with the emphasis of the details of the birds, which I have worked in blue threads only. The rust dyed background material is made from metal I have found on Cornish and Scottish beaches (before lockdown!) and so I have restricted the subject to sea birds, which I felt was in keeping. Another group of work includes pieces with a Perspex box frame where I have drilled tiny holes around the edges and embroidered the birds on to extremely fine silk, which is carefully stretched across the frame on top. These can be clearly seen against an embroidered background beneath. I have a solo exhibition on ‘Birds’ at Abingdon Museum during Arts weeks.
I am also exhibiting my work during Arts Week at Peachcroft Farm, Abingdon and will have a variety of diverse embroidered work on display ranging from very organic textural pieces based on rock formations to small squares worked in a variety of interesting dyed threads and lots of glorious beads!
Additionally, this year the artists who are exhibiting at Peachcroft Farm are all taking part in a Grass Roots Challenge. Recently my sisters and I were clearing out the family home and I was given my Father’s Navy hussif (Needlework roll that included pockets for threads etc and a section for needles) that he had with him during the war, when he served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He was particularly proud of his time serving in midget submarines, but like many did not talk about his time during the war very often, so I only knew occasional stories. I decided to research more about his wartime service and have created a long piece based on his experience, and particularly on his time in midget submarines. The piece is actually two long rolls, but contains pockets in which there are further images or information relating to the war, which people can pull out to see – who doesn’t like seeing what’s in a pocket? The piece will also include cartoons that were specifically drawn for my father by another friend, who served with him in midget submarines, for a special 70th Birthday present.