04/02/2014

Inspirations + FlipBook ...


Although working on several experimental mixed-media artworks, at this stage it's possible they will either be part of the above, entitled "Interspection" (click to read more about it) or inspire some machine embroidery techniques for the panels.

Several samples in fact, are currently providing ideas for how sections 1952 & 1968 (above) should be worked. If you want to see visuals for these 3 images, I have created an Interspection FlipBook (click to view but please wait for it to display).

17/08/2013

Patterns of Life 1 & 2 ...


I've just completed a magazine article for print later this year (November) - entitled:

PATTERNS IN MY LIFE

It details the PATTERNS OF MY LIFE to date (now at its creative journey start) & is the first part of my "inspirational story" which will highlight some of those first 'design ideas' to now be used for future artwork (a more detailed version of the article can be read here too).

As background (in 2009), I decided to ‘update’ myself by writing a ‘blog’ about my (then current) working environment of teaching textile crafts to adults. Soon after, I began another blog on behalf of my students, to record their work in a similar image-based format. It would also help to familiarise myself with ‘new technology’ plus student's work could be viewed by their relatives, friends & potential students. As the 2 blogs slowly grew alongside one another, I decided to enhance them further with information relating to the topics being discussed. Initially, pieces from my textile collection & personal ‘working’ details were added to a set of gallery-style Google web-pages; I repeated this for the students with more web-pages for their completed textile projects.

In 2011, a personal 'creative' journey was planned & with an imminent house & work relocation, I decided that these blog & web pages should now have one main ‘link’ (ie. a gallery) – especially as they could creatively now be used for imaging reference. I had noticed many ‘artists’ displaying their work on-line & thought it may also benefit me & anyone else interested. I began by organising my digital works & collections - not especially easier to accomplish if you’re moving house as well as work! Besides working equipment, actual ‘samples’ & various textile-based collections, I had also accumulated many photos & other information that I hoped to use for future reference ... it too was catalogued.

By the end of 2012 (after moving & unpacking), my ‘infant digital reference library' was ready to be ‘uploaded’ and by early 2013, the first 2 on-line artwork pieces had been displayed under the title “Patterns of Life 1 & 2”.  These will now become the basis for other ‘projects’ as I start to use them as a reference point for both techniques &/or ideas.

23/02/2013

" The Stitch Sanctuary " - Remnants of a passed life !

I have always stitched (& knitted .. & embroidered .. & created .. & ... etc etc), generally been fascinated with STITCHES & several years ago made a STITCHED BOOK to display ‘some research’ on this diverse subject (if you want to flip through the book, click here).

However, I also found other aspects of the research interesting but discovered there was little information to be found. The reading of records, talks & conversations with a cross-section of people, visits to museums & other similar institutions constantly resulted in answers that were the same. Usually that ... only things in mint condition were of value ... and ... only things of value by named designers had been retained”. And I found this extremely frustrating especially as it could be the key to what I was trying to find out!

But it then started me thinking ... I had been involved in textile crafts for many years & I'm basically self-taught from a very young age.  I’ve been a student … a teacher … demonstrated textile skills to various craft groups … have been a dressmaker … a designer ... a practicing textile artist … & also a ‘textile researcher’. And on many occasions, I have witnessed a seemingly 'unnoticeable talent’ that when many individuals are provided with a needle & thread … they often create ‘stitches’ that produce a ‘treasure’ of considerable personal importance. And in most instances, that individual is ‘an ordinary person’ - someone who usually has no formal qualification but for some strange reason, has an inner desire or need to just stitch! (In fact I too have felt this inner inexplicable  ‘force’ on several occasions – I am still questioning what it is & where it comes from!)

And so I began to add various stitched textile ‘odds & ends’ with no ‘apparent value’ to a ‘seemingly meaningless’ collection begun a few years earlier. With underlying personal thoughts on the subject, it wasn’t long before I began to view my stitching collection a little differently & start to recognise similarities to my earlier research findings. It appeared that insignificant everyday stitched’ items have often more hidden meaning than originally thought … the small gift made by a relative who had sought out personal fabric scraps or odd balls of knitting yarn to use … the love token given to a soldier by an admirer who had no previous experience of stitching keepsakes … the young servant by candlelight who laboriously stitched repairs to worn sheets to make some underwear, … these items of no significance? Hours of work … stitched with love … earning a meager living … in recognition of a special event ... passed down to other generations… of no importance? Indeed, at the time it was stitched, I’m positive that IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT to the worker who made it. And especially to the receiver of a ‘personalised gift’, I’m sure IT’S VALUE WAS EXTREMELY HIGH! As any stitcher or crafts person recognises, it is indeed a labour of love no price can ever be put on it!

Then recently, I came across some scribblings in one of my earlier notebooks:



Seek to understand the tradition, and the techniques



will regenerate within your imagination

which helped me start to create this stitch reference library of 'stitches of importance & value'. And as I begin, I recall that when people have seen my actual samples, they often mention words like 'what lovely stitching ... what a pity it wasn't looked after better'. So because many of the samples are incomplete, partially worn, have stitching missing or other related evidence of having 'seen better days',  I've decided its appropriate to title this digital reference record as:


which if you click on, you'll be able to see for yourself
REMNANTS OF A PAST LIFE!

21/01/2013

" Over the bridge & far away " - the journey starts ...


The background imagery for the gallery (CiCiCreations) is based on a bridge in West London. It’s local name has always ‘stuck in my mind’ over the years as I was fascinated by the various patterns I could see both on & from it.

From the early 1950s, I lived with my parents & sister in an Edwardian semi & the bridge (Jacob's Ladder) was used to get to the nearest high street shops. The railway underneath the bridge, travelled in one direction to the nearest large town – the other direction was, to me ‘everywhere else’. After crossing the bridge (on the southern side), were old 'Victorian terrace-style slums' in narrow streets & along the adjacent roads or alleyways you walked to access the shops. By the beginning of my teenage years, creative & academic interests were expanding on my horizons & the bridge started to become more meaningful.
A favourite story - "The Owl & the Pussycat"
At junior school age, it was a pathway to the local department store (& weekly market) to buy creative tools or textiles - read library books – & very occasionally, meet friends. In varied seasons during teenage years (day or night), this ‘route’ could almost resemble a cinema screen ... vividly displaying images of different imagined events that could happen here. It could be very eerie in the moonlight … full of intricate reflected patterns in the wet which you had to carefully step over … alternatively it could become a magical long slippery & dangerous icy slope in the snow … or it was just a simple pathway that led to a special summery place! But always, it was the patterns or reflections I saw around me that sparked off any creative thoughts & ideas.
Bridge imagery - now a 'lace design'
In August 2011 (after many years away from not visiting the area), I returned to this memorable place to continue a creative journey I had wanted to start many years ago. Coming here now to 'say goodbye', in reality, it 'set-off' a series of memories exactly as I'd hoped but more importantly, I now realised that the bridge had actually been a way to 'escape'. So, with this in mind, the set of bridge photos I took are to be a starting point for a particular project that will involve several poignant words: