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Sorry, this is not a great photo, showing art in a cave is hard on my photography skills 😉

I’ve decided to upcycle the piece on the left, and have removed it from its 3’x 4’/1m x 1.27m stretcher.

Now it has lots of interesting bits in it, and actually was a lovely piece to be around when there was a breeze, as lots of  those streamers are raw silk (I was given a 30METRE roll of damaged upholstery silk…) and rattle slightly, rather than floating like chiffon or organza.

Detail shots:


STA44649STA44657STA44652 STA44654Looking at it now, it’s clear to see what my interests would be on the City and Guilds Machine Embroidery course and within yarnstorming:  the overflowing abundance of fibres is a common theme in my work, and then there is the overarching theme across all my process art: pay attention! The big tangles have tiny single threads shining and glinting in the least bit of light, inflections of a large surface…such a large surface, my c & g tutor nearly had a fit! 😉 I showed her my response to an exercise she’d set us in week 4, and how it had lead me to a sample for a prospective piece of work, and she was praising my follow through, and then I explained I was making  it  on a 4′ x 3′ stretcher, with another 3′ of dangling streamers…she asked when for, and I said, oh, I’m half way through, I’m hanging it next week in my solo show…

She was speechless! Most embroidery work is tiny and impeccable, mine was large and sprawling, deliberately unraveling and uneven. Members of the Embroiderers Guild commonly wait years before they show their work, and here was this upstart artist who had bought her first machine 8 months earlier… showing now! She was VERY, VERY nice about it, but obviously shocked!!!

It’s been shown a few times, as part of the Fabric Focused textile artist group shows, but I no longer like the format of it hanging from a stretcher, so: time to recycle/upcycle it. It will make 12 covers for the art journal edition, which pleases me as it echoes the same but different theme, each of the 12 has slight variations and the covers all being cut from the same cloth fits very nicely. I consulted Cherise who knows many art journallers, and she approved, so the big scissors are coming out tomorrow! I will have to line it, so a forage in the fabric boxes will round off the stashbusting aspect of the art journals 🙂 happy dance 🙂

I notice I feel very ready to release this piece, for all it was a significant breakthrough for me. It has had a lot of praise and appreciation, one of the gallery staff considered buying/bartering for it, after a fortnight he loved the rattling, shimmering light dance of it. A librarian at Sandiacre (?) also loved it and defended it against someone saying how “untidy” it was, and inappropriate for a library…but I really don’t have any wish to resolve the formal problem of the stretcher, which is one of those small but deeply annoying things that happens when you do things in a hurry or for a particular exhibition, rather than tuning in to the piece itself. Looking back I was being defensive/ protective of the piece being in an exhibition that was mainly oil paintings, which whether you admire them or not are always recognised as art, where fibre art is frequently disparaged… but now it would look odd in an exhibition of my fibre art, because most of it is meant to hang and drape very fluidly, to be like drawing in the air

So, yes I am ready to upcycle it, and very happy that each piece will go to a good home. As most of its components were recycled or industrial remnants, it is twice made over, and that is very exciting 😉