Current projects

Currently, I am trying to juggle a number of projects, which in an ideal world I’d be able to finish them all asap!

Final 'layout' decision on the Peace Blanket - ready to be sewn together.

Final ‘layout’ decision on the Peace Blanket – ready to be sewn together.

The ‘All We Are Saying’ Peace Blanket is coming on well. Today, I finished hand sewing all the knitted and crocheted pieces together – which we decided will be placed on the first row. All the other fabric rows have now been sewn together, so tomorrow I can piece all the verticals, ready for it’s backing and tabs for hanging.

W. G. Grace portrait- work in progress.

W. G. Grace portrait- work in progress.

I am also hoping to crack on with my portrait of W. G. Grace this week, too, as he was put on hold for the World Mental Health Day hanging (below). As you can see, I have been having a great time with his beard – very different (hadn’t noticed the different ‘textures’ beards had until now!!) to William Morris’s which I completed earlier this year.

W. G. Grace's beard!

W. G. Grace’s beard!

On Friday, I ran a workshop as part of World Mental Health Day in Cullercoats, North Tyneside. The day was for all members of the community and I was working with people to create a large hanging which will be used for similar events in the future. Everyone was invited to sew or design a square to go in the hanging, expressing their thoughts and feelings. It was a really great event and over the next month or so, I shall be taking the finished squares and envisaging their designs, to make the hanging.

World Mental Health Day 2015

World Mental Health Day 2015

The creative process, as many of you will know, is very good for relaxing the mind, reducing blood pressure, for meeting and making like-minded friends and stimulates the brain’s synapses.

World Mental Health day 2015

World Mental Health day 2015

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‘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.

‘Peace Talks’ chairs made for All We Are Saying.

Over the past month, I have been working on part of my piece for the Artists for Peace ‘All We Are Saying’ exhibition at the Holy Biscuit. Until, I have finished the whole process and made all the pieces, it’s still a fluid concept. But, the two chairs I have reupholstered in patchwork signify difference, getting together, comfort and talking. I have used many fabrics from different cultures and countries, patchworked side by side.

Wing-back arm chair.

Wing-back arm chair.

A while ago, I bought two wing-back arm chairs from Tynemouth Market, lovely old stable chairs covered in what looks like an old Welsh textile weave. I chose these chairs for the exhibition as I wanted them to be homely, the type of chairs families would sit on if they were having a family dispute and trying to ‘sort things out’ over a cup of tea. As far away from the large, grand, gilt covered chairs that heads of state would sit in to have their ‘Peace Talks’.

Making patchwork

Making patchwork

The two chars were stripped and using fabrics I had (I’m a terrible hoarder), including clothes my children had grown out of, they were patchworked together. Both chairs has a African seed bead square on the front, which can sometimes be found in other pieces of my work.

Hand stitching the cross sections of fabric.

Hand stitching the cross sections of fabric.

These patchworked panels were tacked onto the chairs and cross sections sewn.

Seat back and wings finished.

Seat back and wings finished.

The last stage I really don’t like doing – pipping the cushion! But as it is a free standing cushion pad, it had to be done.

First finished AWAS chair.

First finished AWAS chair.

The two chairs are the same but different. Like we all are, really.

Second AWAS chair with Wilf.

Second AWAS chair with Wilf.

There are a few little fiddly things I need to do to finish the chairs off, but as long as they are ready for Friday 11th September – preview night- then I’m not too worried!

Next, to continue this piece, I plan to redecorate  small ‘pedestal’ side table. During the preview night and during the exhibition, I plan to encourage people to sit in the chairs, have a cup of tea, talk about their thoughts the whole exhibition has evoked in them and maybe document these discussions in a small table book… The ideas keep evolving…

‘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’.

Peace Squares update.

It has been fantastic to see the response to the call out for Peace Squares to be made as part of the Artists for Peace  ‘All We Are Saying’ exhibition at the Holy Biscuit in September. I would like to share a few of the squares which have recently arrived.

All We Are Saying Peace Squares, a selection.

All We Are Saying Peace Squares, a selection.

The squares above were made by members of the North Shields Embroidery Guild and the Tuesday Crafternoon group. They are a fabulous collection, even using found items like shells to decorate the square.

Peace Square made by Margaret Graham.

Peace Square made by Margaret Graham.

Embroidered and progged Peace Square made by Kath Price.

Embroidered and progged Peace Square made by Kath Price.

If you would like to make a Peace Square and send it to us – wherever you are in the World – then please send it to:

Peace Blanket

The Holy Biscuit
1 Clarence Street
Shieldfield
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE2 1YH

The squares can be made in any textile technique – knitting, sewing, proggy matting, fabric painting etc. If the finished design size can be 20 cm square and please allow a few more cm around the square for sewing. The only thing we ask is if the square is not to be overtly religious or political, as we would like this to be a very inclusive work.

Peace in many languages.

Peace in many languages.

The beautiful piece above was sent into us anonymously and it’s a lovely piece on pretty fabric.

Two part peace square.

Two part peace square.

Give Peace a Chance embroidered square.

Give Peace a Chance embroidered square.

I hope to share more of the squares we’ve had delivered again soon.

Matriarchal Trefoil Progression

                       Image

Using hooky technique, I have continued creating the trefoil stained glass design with the portraits of my Mum, my Nan and my Great Aunt. Recently, I have been dyeing wool blankets in lovely bright colours to use, though I do also reuse clean old clothes (don’t want to encourage moths!)

Image     Image

The two images above show how I worked the portrait of my Great Aunty Wilma, who was a very strong women within our family. Although, within stained glass portraits the image, and in particular the face, was generally kept grey/cream, I felt it was important to maintain the hair colour as my aunty always had, in my memory, a ‘coloured rinse’. Her hair would range from lovely lilacs, to pale blues and pinks to oranges.