Tuesday, 26 February 2013

To 'Doo' Different Norfolk and workshops.

I have just spent a few days back in Norfolk with family and running workshops with Anglia Leisure Learning at Belsey Bridge. One of my favourite Norfolk sayings is 'To Doo Different' with a long 'o'. It was great to catch up with family and take in the cold sparsity of the landscape and trees.

There is a lot of Dutch influence in the East Anglia as these houses in Beccles reflect. Much of the wealth was founded on the wool trade and the later digging of dykes and waterways in the countryside.

Many of the churches and houses are built with local flint. This wall has bottles inserted into the brickwork to bring light into the interior..I think?

And, for those who may sometimes wonder what I am saying..as I 'doo'...you  may find a clue here; www.norfolkdialect.com

 I stitched a quick sketch:
and like the back (top) better than the bottom (below)

The student focus was on using seams, edges and pattern to create personal narratives. Thanks for permission to share on this blog:

 Lace and isolation of part of image by Karin Bourne (above)
Use of clothing and needlework references (left) by Claire Thirkell
 Anne Davies using more illustrative processes..would work well in a children's book
 Detail of edges and layers by Sheilagh Frankland
Flying Crane by teacher specialising in design textiles  Tracey Xu

Friday, 8 February 2013


Festival near Amritsar

Sometimes, I reflect back. Six years ago I visited India. I have Romany ancestry and wanted to 'trace' connections and links  to the North West regions of India  where it is believed the 'Romani'  first migrated.. The colours of the temple, coverings for the horses and the decorated trucks certainly resonated with the those I remember seeing on the Vardos or caravans my grandparents owned.
     Monkey Mountain Jaipur                                               Waiting at the Station, Delhi

I made photographs and drawings recording what I saw and experienced and gradually, as the experience began to sit with me more, the colours and marks found they way into my work.
Rooftop Delhi
I was interested in the day to day, the interaction between the landscape and the people and the marks made as part of that interaction.
Sketchbook Collage
Small Stitch-sketch canvas' of local scenes.


One of my pieces, 'Remnants from Not So Ordinary Lives' (above) is in the collection of a teacher decided to show  the work to her students: 
'I have to tell you that your piece hanging in my classroom today drew the kids in.  I could hear oohs and ahhs as they can into the room.  And the neatest thing was watching them get up close to see all the wonderful stitching/printing/collaging, etc.  And then asking permission to touch.  They just really needed to touch your piece as I did several times today.  It looks so transparent and is so lightweight, not what we are used to producing here.  It's a very magical piece.' 
 (Teacher at Whitney High School in Cerritos, California)

This is a reminder of the value of the original research in terms of its place and development in my work and more relevant, how the artworks can inform and inspire the next generation to ask questions about its function and purpose. As always, this research will be returned to sometime as a reflection of my cycle of interests.
Traces installation at Rochester Cathedral in 2007/8 (supported by Medway Council)