Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Back to the drawing board and how many bags of sugar?

i've no photos to illustrate this post so these were seen on the streets of Edinburgh. to continue with my exhibition exploits. yet another 'one of the most inspiring' was 'This is now: From drawing to contexture' @ the Wasps Studios. it showed work by S.T.A.R. (Scottish Tapestry Artists Regrouped) who were all graduates of the tapestry department at Edinburgh college of Art. the exhibition showed the journeys from concept to final product and some of the back up material i found more inspiring than the finished artwork. i tend to work 'small' which has always been a bit of a joke with previous teachers and co-students and much of this back up material was like small 'cabinets of curiosities' which caught my beady eye like a bee to honey. my imagination was captured mostly by Linda Green, Birgitta MacDonald, Jo McDonald and Jo Barker.
all had, except Jo barker, moved away from the 'traditional' sense of tapestry weave. Linda Green used materials such as plastic/nylon and paper as did Birgitta MacDonald whose use of paper, text and maps showed also in her miniature 'books'. whereas Jo McDonald had also used recycled 'books' to weave with, her hanging of knotted paper strips was absolutely stunning. i should also mention Anna Ray's wall of 'knots', an amazing work.
i also visited the Dovecot Studios in their new premises; a refurbished Victorian baths (without the water!) which my husband who is from Edinburgh remembers pre-tapestry. this was our second visit here but the first time the weaving balcony was open. they were showing the work of John Cunningham of 'Mr Gumpy' fame (you can do some homework if you don't know who he is!) around the walls of the gallery so you could look down on the weavers. i wonder if they ever feel like fish in the goldfish bowl!
downstairs at the Dovecot they have two further exhibition spaces. one showed the work of Alan Davie, but as we had to pay to see that we went onto the Jerwood Contemporary Makers show in the other gallery.
work by two of the finalists, Linda Florence and Rachael Matthews were the most appealing.
Linda Florence is well known for her wallpaper but it was the use of sugar that i remember her for. she used sugar sprinkled through stencils to make a pattern on the floor of the V&A's cartoon court, dancers then made further patterns in the sugar! that cartoon court has seen many a strange thing, i speak from experience i used to work there but i think sugar over the floor is probably the ......!
and for all those knitters Rachel Matthews has set up a UFO website for people to adopt unfinished knitting projects! as if any of you don't have enough to do!!!! anyway for any of you who want to know the Hawaiian for 'jumping flea' is Ukelele!

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