Saturday, 20 May 2017

West Berkshire and North Hampshire Open Studios

This May has been a month of exhibition and making at the Open Studios. Together with two other artists we have been showing at City Arts in Newbury, which as an old chapel has large spaces to fill.

In order to fill the space in interesting ways the last two months or more have been spent making hangings and felt pieces. These have been hung together in a bit of an installation and I have used some tables to show other things, as well as a table for me to work at. It has all worked out well, and I have had time to do some tapestry weaving whilst there.

Here are some impressions from the exhibition:

This is an overall view of one end of the exhibition space, you can see the hangings, the folded book hanging from the ceiling and some of the tables.

These two pictures provide details of the green hangings, with a drawing (top) and green felt piece (below)

This image shows an interesting effect in the book: perforations from stitching lets the light through

A view of the full length of the book

A table set out with experimental pieces, felt and embroideries

A second table set out with small tapestries, sketchbooks and drawings on the theme of trees.

A view of the other end of the exhibition space with the table we have been working at - my friend came for a few days to learn tapestry and I have been working here on a small piece.

And finally - a couple of bookcases have been very useful in displaying the small tapestries. I had bought some perspex stands to show them off in a gentle sort of way, and you can also see the weaving frame ready to be used with a couple of reference books.
It has been an interesting event: the number of visitors has swung, with an increase over the bank holiday Monday, and I have been pleased that some people asked whether I give courses, which suggests that some are interested in the work. What people haven't done is bought anything. It is not a climate conducive for people to spend, and as textiles are relatively specialist I did not really expect many sales. I think people still prefer paintings or prints as primary art works for the home - textiles as decorative items are not common and my works are necessarily easy or ready for hanging. There has been a lot to learn during this last month and I am pleased to have been part of it, what will happen next year is another question and something I need to think about quite hard.

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