May Newsletter

May Update

May has been a very productive month – nothing quite like a deadline approaching and some better weather to get me out in the workshop every day.

We have used our membership to the Newt to get away from work and enjoy a break. We live only 5 minutes away so its the perfect place to pop when you need to get away and relax. I can highly recommend a visit. The landscaping and buildings are exceptional. The attention to detail everywhere you look is fabulous. You can read more about visiting here.

Art Quilting Studio

I am over the moon to have been selected to be the Series Showcase feature in the autumn edition of this wonderful magazine. I first bought a copy of this magazine when we were in Florida back in 2013 – it was one of my first introductions to the world of Art Quilts and very important at the time in demonstrating the exceptional work people were making. Eight images from my Somerset Levels series of work will be featured along with an article I have written about my work and its inspiration.

Project – BTO Red & Amber list

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) publish a list of threatened birds, the list can be seen here. Its really quite shocking to read the birds included on the red and amber lists – so many birds common even when I was a child are now facing declines of 70-90%. This document inspired the idea of hand printing and stitching a list of some of the birds that were once common in Somerset. I have printed the names on old cotton sheets and will be hand stitching birds tracks across each piece in red or amber thread. I have sourced an old Scythe and I hope to hang these pieces from the blade. So many of the losses are due to loss of habitat and industrialised farming and I felt the use of an old and largely obsolete tool such as a Scythe would be a good symbol to hang the work from.

A special message

We received a lovely message from one of mums very special friends this week. Mum worked with Alison Jones for many years and they became very good friends despite the age difference (Alison is nearer my age). They enjoyed a number of holidays together including India and a quilting based trip to the States.

Mum enjoyed wearing bright colours and loved life – she was not one of life’s shrinking violets! Alison sent a beautiful picture of the Kaffe Fassett quilt she has made in mums memory “The bright  colours and happy patterns remind me of Ann and all the laughs we had together”.

Thank you for sharing Alison!

Work in Progress

Time is getting ever nearer to the September exhibition now! Work is at various stages of completion. Seven completed pictures are awaiting framing, scanning and colour balancing in readiness for prints and cards.

I completed the Pintail piece, this week and enjoyed painting the reflection on the backing fabric. There are now just two more pictures to complete, an Egret and Bittern. I have pieced the background of each and the threads are now selected ready for stitching to begin on the Egret. There is quite a lot of experimentation in this piece to achieve the wispy feathers in the photograph. The Bittern I am rather foolishly leaving until last as its feather pattern is going to be a challenge!!!

Painting Pintail reflection
Completed Pintail – based on a photograph by Gary Faulkner
Egret photograph, selecting fabrics for raw edge appliqué base. Based on a photograph by Steve Waddingham
Raw edged appliqué complete and ready for stitching.
Bittern pieced with painted outlines complete – based on a photograph by Ray Seagrove

Book of the month

I have just finished this wonderful book and cannot recommend it highly enough. Filled with information and suggestions for change its incredibly educational but not an easy or comfortable read. The state of nature in the UK is at crisis point and change is needed right at the top to support our farmers. This is far from a straight forward argument or solution but utterly thought provoking in terms of what can be achieved. We cannot expect farmers to make some of the changes necessary or recommended without support, as one farmer told the author “You cannot be green when you’re in the red”.

Travelling down to visit a friend in Devon last week I found myself viewing the beautiful countryside very differently. The lush green, farmed land is now nature poor compared to the rich diversity found on brown field sites – as the author states ‘Brown is the new green’. The chapters look at so many elements of nature and I read with wonder about Oaks, earth worms, fungi, insects and beavers to name but a few. Finishing the book I have come away with heavy heart at the uphill battle nature faces.

Exhibition News & Dates

SAQA Virtual GalleryExhibition – ‘Plurality of Voices’

May 1, 2021 – June 30, 2021

Group exhibition with CQWest

Unfolding Stories 4 – Click here for details

Lansdown Gallery, Stroud, June 30th to 12th July 2021.

SGFA Annual Open Exhibition

Monday 5th – 10th July 2021

Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1

Click here for details

Solo Exhibition

‘Thriving & Declining on the Somerset Levels’

Ace Arts, Somerton, Somerset

September 11th -25th October

Click here for details