Bridging Arts

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Reviewing the summer

An Indian summer in London - fabulous warm sunshine. Tidying up photos in the camera - find a catalogue of pattern and place over the summer months. Starting with a trip to Oropesa de Toledo, central Spain, in late June with my daughter. It was VERY hot (close to 40 degrees some days) and on our last Sunday, it was a Saint's Day. The heat did not deter anyone.
It was a return to the start of the embroidery project - Oropesa de Toledo was a starting point in 2008. From there my great friend Marcy Frosh and I discovered the neighbouring village of Lagartera and its extraordinary tablecloths and embroidery. The tablecloths (like other needlework there) have traditional, geometric, embroidered patterns, a legacy of Moorish occupation many centuries ago.
And the idea of an embroidery project somehow capturing a sense of place was born.
Here tablecloths from Lagartera were hung from windows and balconies to welcome the Madonna, paraded around the streets. Some people created shrines with ferns, fabric and carpets...

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Late summer colours in west Cornwall

Not exactly a pattern - but the colours of late summer in west Cornwall. These flowers for sale in a jam jar on a doorstep next to the launderette opposite Tesco's, Camborne.
So much more beautiful than florists' flowers - these were picked from the owner's garden. Plants collected over the years that flourish in the shadow (almost) of south Crofty mine.

Monday, 19 September 2011

An outing to Jermyn Street - continued

Had embarked on this a few days ago - but was thwarted by a slow internet connection. Now in west Cornwall, with a brand new connection (the line was struck by lightning in August and only just reconnected), things are a bit easier. Above - the tiemaker. As with the shirt cutter (see last entry), the startling thing about this work is its precision at such speed.
The whole street is a self-styled tribute to traditional London.

Another view of London comes just down the road on Piccadilly at Hauser and Wirth (art gallery). The artist has filled the space with huge structures, curiously swathed in fabric, to mimic the architectural crowding, structures and spaces of urban London outside. The artist: Phyllida Barlow.

A loft space filled with balls of rags...  Two very different treatments and use of fabric on a London afternoon. In the gallery textiles perhaps give a (slightly) human dimension.

Monday, 12 September 2011

An outing and inspiration

Well over a month since the last posting. I have been in the doldrums. But loyal Bridging Arts volunteer and friend Katrina Williams has energised me. She's been helping with the sewing circle at Notre Dame Refugee Centre (where I work for three days a week) and really shown how embroidery and needlework can bring people together. Very impressive - and more on that another time.
But a result was that I set off yesterday for an outing on Jermyn Street with a keener eye for patterns and place.
Immediately spotted a Persian rug in a shop on Piccadilly which looked so much like a fantastically cheaper (£20) version I bought the other week in Shepherds Bush market when spring-cleaning my son's bedroom. Would show a picture of the market buy but slumbering party goers are sleeping in the bedroom - a photo later.

The colouring is the same. The key thing is the pale background which somehow looks expensive.

No doubt this rug is silk. My market version is 'man-made' silk....

An interesting book in the window.

And then to Jermyn Street where there is so much activity - and skill.
A shirt maker

Working at such speed! Unlike my Broadband connection this morning.
More later.