Artist Residency Day 13 at Bergby Konstcenter, Sweden.

In the last few days whilst my ‘Häxors Trosor’ exhibition has been open, many of my Swedish visitors have also been keen to make their ‘Green Pledge’. During this time I have also been busy making more from the list of pledges I brought from Newcastle.

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Visitors to Bergby Konstcenter making green pledges.

I have been using local resources to make some of the pledges, including milk cartons, plastic bread and chocolate wrappers. Helen and John the artists who run Bergby Konstercenter have also made a pledge to be hung with the others.

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‘I am making a compost in my garden’.

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‘Here I write my solemn pledge to grow and eat organic veg.’

Visitors to the exhibition seemed to really enjoy looking at the craftsmanship in the environmental textile pennants, from the heavy embroidery to intensively worked beading and the sentiment in the poetry. It was extremely heartening to hear the very sincere feedback.

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A local bee keeper and her daughter looking at the ‘ Life giving bee’ embroidery.

Talking to the visitors, asking them to also make a ‘green pledge’ has made me really think about taking this project so much further. The exhibition of the work produced during the residency is going to Gateshead Old Town Hall in September and October but I feel I would like to continue encouraging people to make pledges, so that the number of pledges made grows past the 50 we have so far.

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‘I will eat less dairy and milk.’

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‘I will recycle more’.

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‘I will try to raise awareness with my friends about the issues of sea creatures’, by Rosie age 13.

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Visitors to the exhibition.

If you would like to be a part of this project, please get in touch. You can just write a green pledge which I will make for you or you can make your own to form part of the growing numbers of green pledges made so far.

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Residency Day 3 at Bergby Konstcenter

An early start down the studio this morning – in by 8 am. The ‘Sea Juggernaut’ piece I am working on is very labour intensive, very much  ‘slow art’. But I do enjoy spending hours beading and embroidering.

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Beaded sea creature.

Later in the morning we went visiting some of the local coastline, islands and artists.

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Albert Engström’s Art Studio

Possibly my favourite place so far is Albert Engström’s artists studio on the edge of the sea at Grisslehamn, which is only about a 5 minute drive from Bergby Konstcenter. It is now  a museum but you can see how the artist  (who I believe died in 1940) felt so inspired to work there. With a beautiful forest walk with glimpses of the sea through the trees, past the unusual optical telegraph communication hub – used in Sweden in the 18th and 19th centuries – then onto the sea. There is a beautiful little cove, with islands, sand and rocks to perch on.

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Geoff and Violet sketching by the sea.

We moved on and drove around the islands up to Singö, travelling over pretty bridges, stopping at Singö church.

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Singö church.

On our return to Bergby, we popped in to see a local artist whose gallery was open this week. Her gallery is called ‘Fru Strids’ ( I need to check the translation!) and her name is Kicki Jonsson. There was work by a sculptor called Annika Alm in bronze and carved stone. Violet was very taken with her work. Hopefully, Kicki is going to pop by when my exhibition will be on next week at Bergby, as she is a fellow textile artist working on intricate embroidery.

 

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Entrance to Fru Struts gallery. 

W. G. Grace portrait – work in progress.

Today is the 100th Anniversary of the death of one of England’s greatest amateur cricket players: W. G. Grace. To commemorate this and my families love of cricket, I decided to make a portrait of the great man. The portrait is not quite finished yet, there are still a lot of little details I wish to stitch further into it. Symbols and visual metaphors which honour and celebrate his life as an outstanding cricketer but also as a physician will be embroidered into his waistcoat and shirt.

Since my last posting on W.G, here are some more images of his progression:

Hand stitched 'cricket' themed 'wallpaper' background.

Hand stitched ‘cricket’ themed ‘wallpaper’ background.

Building up the cricket wallpaper background.

Building up the cricket wallpaper background.

Lapel badge, symbolising W. G. Grace's career as a physician.

Lapel badge, symbolising W. G. Grace’s career as a physician.

W. G. Grace portrait, almost finished - though not quite!

W. G. Grace portrait, almost finished – though not quite!

Over the next couple of weeks, I shall be finishing a couple of other projects off for delivery but hope to find time to do the finishing touches to the portrait, ready to be framed for Ouseburn Open Studios at the end of November.

‘All We Are Saying’ at the Holy Biscuit exhibition.

All We Are Saying at the Holy Biscuit

12th September to 3rd October, 2015.

 

All We Are Saying’ at The Holy Biscuit is an exhibition of local artists, who have teamed up with artists from Sunderland, Gateshead, Newcastle as well as in Liverpool, Germany and the Netherlands to create a multi-sited ‘Call-Out’ for Peace, throughout the months of September and October. The philosophy for the exhibitions is apolitical, non-religious, non partisan or nationalistic, and (as far as possible) zero budgeted and non profit making. It is only through the imagination, passion, enthusiasm and commitment of Sunderland artist, Barrie West, who started the ‘Call Out’ that so many artists, makers, creatives and other peace aware individuals have come together to make this such a momentous creative event.

 

As part of this exhibition at the Holy Biscuit, there is work from textile artists, print makers, painters, photographers and silversmiths. Leading up to and during the exhibition people are also being asked to be involved in making a ‘Peace Square’; a small textile piece which will be sewn into a larger ‘Peace Blanket’. So far there has been contributions from as far afield as Sri Lanka, America and Germany and well as from nearer to home across the North East of England.

 

As well as being open to the public between 12th September and the 3rd October, two special events are being held:

Saturday 19th September, to coincide with World Peace Day, visitors to the exhibition will be encouraged to make peace doves using fabric, papers and ribbons.

Saturday 3rd October, there will be a special celebration day for the Peace Blanket and visitors will be able to see all the squares sewn together.

 

All We Are Saying would like to say a very special thank you to The Holy Biscuit for sponsoring the room hire for this event and for being extremely supportive throughout the exhibition’s development.

All We Are Saying at the Holy Biscuit has been curated by Louise Underwood

The Brownies visit for the opening of 'All we Are Saying'

The Brownies visit for the opening of ‘All we Are Saying’

The opening night for ‘All We Are Saying’ was a great success. Many people, young and old, found the different ways the artists had responded to the ‘Call Out’ fascinating and thought provoking. There was music by two local young folk musicians, Zak and Ethan Younger Banks who helped set a lovely relaxed tone whilst playing their acoustic guitars, accordions and sometimes assisted by their sister Erin on the flute. The artists had backed cakes and biscuits, to make a truly relaxed affair.

Preview night.

Preview night.

Also as part of the evening, visitors also made origami cranes which were placed within the gallery.

Origami crane making.

Origami crane making.

In total eleven artists exhibited at the Holy Biscuit but across Sunderland, Gateshead, Germany and the Netherlands many, many more artists have been involved in the whole.

Within this blog post, I shall try and give you a flavour of the exhibition and artists involved at the Holy Biscuit:

Gaynor Devaney

Exhib 18a

Gaynor Devaney's work: Dreaming of Home.

Gaynor Devaney’s work: Dreaming of Home.

Michelle Follet

Exhib 16

Michelle Follet's piece: 'Silent'.

Michelle Follet’s piece: ‘Silent’.

Jayamini de Silva

Exhib 5a

Jayamini de Silva's: Tranquility, Medley and Affection.

Jayamini de Silva’s: Tranquility, Medley and Affection.

Exhib8a

Esen Kaya

Esen Kaya: 'The Conversation'

Esen Kaya: ‘The Conversation’

Kath Price

Kath Price: 'The White Bird Soars and Swoops'

Kath Price: ‘The White Bird Soars and Swoops’

Louise Underwood

Louise Underwood: 'Peace Talks'

Louise Underwood: ‘Peace Talks’

Margery Robinson

Margery Robinson: The Lovers

Margery Robinson: The Lovers

Patricia Bowles

Patricia Bowles: 'Symbol'.

Patricia Bowles: ‘Symbol’.

Michelle Johnson

Michelle Johnson: 'Remember'

Michelle Johnson: ‘Remember’

Exhib 1

Rob Patrick

Rob Patrick: 'Paveway'

Rob Patrick: ‘Paveway’

Angela Sandwith

Exhib 14a

Angela Sandwith: 'Ritual'

Angela Sandwith: ‘Ritual’

Each of these pieces have very deep, thoughtful and emotive responses, which hopefully I shall have the opportunity to document fully along with the Peace Blanket.

The Peace Blanket has now over 60 squares to be sewn together and if you are interested in being a part of it, then we would like the pieces to be in by Thursday 1st October.

This exhibition would not have been the amazing success it has become without the help, support and guidance of Barrie West, Margaret Graham, Colleen Fernandez, all the fabulous artists involved, The Holy Biscuit team esp. Gemma, Sue Thompson, Zac, Ethan and Erin Younger Banks and all the wonderful people who have made a peace square.

‘All We Are Saying’ Peace Squares blanket update.

Just a quick update, showing you some of the lovely new peace squares we’ve received over the last couple of weeks for the Peace Blanket which will be part of the ‘All We Are Saying’ exhibition at the Holy Biscuit, in Newcastle upon Tyne in September.

To date, we have over 40 squares (many I still haven’t shown you yet!) that have arrived to us from around the World, to be sewn into the blanket but I also know there are many more making their way to us.

There is still time, if you would like to be involved, check out the details at the below all these beautiful Peace Squares.

Maragret's craft group 2 Margaret's craft group 1 Peace 1 -Margaret's emb group Peace 2 Margaret's emb group Peace squares delivered 2 Peace squares delivered Sylvia Sinclair 1 Sylvia Sinclair 2 Victoria leeks Margery Dove 2 Margery Dove Margery Tree

Call out for squares:
We would love people to submit squares to be stitched into our blanket. These can be made in any textile media, including crocheted, knitted, embroidery, beaded, fabric painted, patchwork and quilting. They can be as detailed as you have time for and we are very happy to encourage as many young people and children to be involved in this, too. When designing your piece, please remember that this is an optimistic and positive project and we do not wish to offend anyone with the wording or imagery. The squares should be 20 x 20 cm, with an extra 1cm for seam allowance.

These squares can either be made in the gallery during the exhibition in September or can be posted to:
Blanket for Peace,
The Holy Biscuit,
1 Clarence St,
Shieldfield,
Newcastle upon Tyne.
NE2 1YH

Please send your squares before the end of September to ensure their inclusion in the ‘Blanket for Peace’.