Friday, October 19, 2007

Family, friends, fiber, fun

One of the best things about this year's Knitting and Stitching Show was meeting fellow embroiderers and textile people. Watching Maggie Grey embellish...and talk her way through about twenty minutes without electricity...was as marvelous this year as Mathias and I remembered her to be during last year's show in Birmingham.

Being surrounded by Valerie Campbell-Hardings carefully mounted work felt like another friend and former teacher was in our midst...and I think she really was there. I met Kate just outside the crowded booth on Thursday and on Friday I met Liz in the same spot. Unfortunately, I was enjoying our conversation so much that I forgot to take a picture...forgive me Liz!

I think I can finish my entries on London if I also mention some of the other exhibition areas that really were excellent, inspirational, and didn't allow photography!

Jeanette Appleton's work was mysteriously wonderful. In her felted and/or embellished landscapes and altered tourist scarves were layers of meaning. Her methods of using printed material subdued the designs but let their symbolic imagery peek through. Her layers were rich and deep. She deconstructed artificial flowers and presented them as if scientific studies of botany. She also uses paper to great ends. The show was called "Sow;Sew", which I thought a perfect title.

(Above: Dolls by Primmy Chorley. These were not part of the exhibit but have the same feel. Click here for an excellent article on this unique embroiderer, written by Audrey Walker.)

There was no hope of explaining Hillu Liebelt's more conceptual work to my sister Wanda. Yet, Wanda and I were both completely taken by Primmy and Jessie Chorley's exhibition, "Like Mother Like Daughter". Homespun materials; elementary school lined paper covered with penciled journal entries; altered books, dolls in 2D, wall hung houses, and simple embroidery stitches made this area enchanted with a feeling of yesteryear but with a powerful spirit of both stitchers.

(Above: Altered book by Jessie Chorley)

The most unusual fiber work, however, was made by French artist Helene Soubeyran. Her pleated and folded fabrics had been organized into terrains of the earth, "marbleized" in cylinders that had been saturated with resin. The resulting solids became pillars of sculpture and others were sawed into cross-sections of would-be stone.

There are more photos on my Flickr! sets. Those images here can be clicked for closer inspection.

I posted most of the photos of Mathias, Wanda, and I on my Family blog.


Doreen G said...

I won't comment on each article in todays posts except to say that this has to be the best posting that I have ever read and I am a bit envious of all the things that you saw but after reading all of this I feel as though I was there also.
Thanks for all of it.

Fulvia said...

Susan, thank you so very much for the posts and photos of your trip. If it were not for you doing this, I would never know of these fantastic things. Thanks for your time and effort doing this.

fiona d said...

I've really enjoyed all your posts about K&S, thanks for describing it so vividly. I can hardly wait till November when I get to go to the one in Harrogate!

arlee said...

I'm still sighing at your luck...
There's so little "visible" online about Soubreyan--i'd REALLy like to see her stuff up close, but even her website is under construction.....

Can't wait to see how/if any of the visual treats you saw on this trip influence, however subtly, YOUR work.

Wanda said...

You are really a teacher, Sue, and just reading this and looking at the pictures I see different things than when I was even there! Your pictures show a different view than what I saw...that's what makes it all so wonderful! You are amazing! And I am very proud that you are my sister

liz said...

What a fantastic write up of everything you saw, and a great set of photos too, I have only looked at the Ally Pally ones so far, because I couldn't take any photos (got sand in my camera at the beach), but I think you covered everything. I shall be back to look at the rest. Thanks so much.
It was great to meet, you, and I enjoyed meeting Wanda as well.