Sunday, 18 December 2011

From all of us to all of you!

Nicholas Serota: So what is the purpose of art?
Gerhard Richter: For surviving this world. One of many, many (purposes)… like bread, like love.

Art and bread and love for all of us!
Happy holidays!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Finally, long overdue...

I am pleased to announce that I've got a fully up-to-date website! The old one, originally put up by a friendly acquaintance, was six years out of date, due to lack of funds, web-design knowledge and energy. Aly Helyer, an artist I met during our show at Core Gallery told me about a very simple and affordable package where you can customise templates and don't have to write code or anything. I finally took courage and tried MrSite out and here it is: Simple, clean, to the point. That's all I need. A small step for humankind, a big step for yours truly.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

One of four

I can’t quite believe that the year is drawing to its end already. Time for a review maybe? On the good side: I’ve taken part in quite a few exhibitions, in the UK and abroad. Or I should say, my work has. The most important show was Extra-Ordinary at Core Gallery, partly because it was beautifully curated, partly because we (three artists) were involved in the processes that bring an exhibition fully into the world, i.e. press-releases, interviews, presentations, and I learned a lot. It also laid the foundation for a rewarding relationship with Core Gallery, and esp. Rosalind Davis, founder/ curator/artist/writer/all-around-the-arts energy bundle… As part of their DIY-Educate programme I had the opportunity to attend an artist’s talk, a talk by curators, a tutorial, and even presented a piece of work to other artists one sunny afternoon, when the sofa was made to move with me, so I could lie down when I needed to. Again, I learned a lot, had fun doing so and started feeling a bit more connected with other artists.
On the not so good side: my M.E. seemed to be on the brink of getting better and then got a bit worse – fodder for frustration and listless laments, as you can imagine. But something good is happening here too: there might be a new or additional diagnosis, and although I can’t know what that will bring, new avenues are being explored and that must be a good thing.
So looking back I feel like a Jackie in the box who was occasionally catapulted into the world for brief but dramatic instances and then, again and again, fell dimly and limply back with the lid closing firmly over her for a rather long time. That box has a little light though, and in its shine I continue to imagine and crochet new pieces. A stitch here, a stitch there...
How was your year?


Material: crocheted from a wool/polyester mixture
Dimensions: 50.5 cmx 38 cm

Friday, 11 November 2011

Something a little bit different (2)

It's complete! I wasn't sure to start with whether I wanted to have the piece introduced in my last post on its own, esp. as the second piece proved rather more difficult, but now that it's found its form I see they are good together. (You can't quite discern from the photograph that there's no opening for a head to push through, that I've made little pockets where the armpits would be and that the straps have been crocheted as tubes.)
It's more clear to me now too how much this piece is about puberty, that time-span when our bodies seem to hurtle from one change to another and we can't quite keep up, when we are torn between wanting to throw ourselves into life and its contingencies and hiding in our bedrooms, between boldness and brassiness and excruciating embarrassment, between thinking we know it all and being utterly flummoxed by being in the world.
A friend of mine who popped in this week burst out laughing when she saw the piece. She remembered menstrual pads the size of aircraft runways and so do I (yes, we're of that age!), pads which weighed heavily in our pants and felt as inconspicuous as if a dayglow arrow was hovering in front of us and pointing at our shame. Yes, shame is the instrumental word. The only good thing was to be exempt from PE once per month and allowed to sit on a bench at the side instead of being bullied by the teacher. I'm sad for us in retrospect but also wonder how much things have changed. Smaller pads, tampons, yes, but menstruation still has to be invisible. And scentless. The funny thing is it's something I hadn't thought of at all when I made the piece: my starting point was a more general feeling of awkwardness - the strangeness of being embodied (at all times, but especially during puberty), but I'm delighted that M. was thrown into recall and took me along with her.
I also think there's more to be seen in the piece, but leave that up to you!

Growing pains

Dimensions: 25 cm x 50 cm and 24.5 cm x 44 cm
Materials: crocheted from a virgin wool/polyester mixture

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Something a little bit different (1)

For someone who runs out of steps before she gets to the corner and hasn’t worn her hiking books in years a little callus is a splendid thing. I’ve got one on the tip of my left middle-ringer: not from poking it into the dense autumn sky, but from crocheting! Which is after all my most consistently maintained activity...
I’m trying to write a better artist’s statement and have been thinking about the formal aspects of my work, which I find much more difficult to formulate than speaking about its meaning. It made me more conscious of the fact that most of my pieces go flat on the wall, to be viewed frontally, like a painting: I’m reaching to find images, not sculptural forms. Which may or may not be a contradiction to claiming that my pieces are inhabited.
Isn’t this wool gorgeous? I bought it a year ago but did not how best to use it until the shape of this new piece literally demanded it. Compared to the muted colours I usually work with it has an almost garish aspect, brash, loud. Then there is the excess of form, which is strangely in opposition to and contained by the neat tightness of the crochet. Something here pulls and pulses and yet holds perfectly still. A bit like a teenager’s rollercoaster states of being: not quite sure of what one is becoming, trying to hide in the shadows and wanting to be in the lime-light. Standing there, bathed in anxiety, or is it the chemical glow of mutation?

Dimensions: 25 cm x 50 cm
Materials: crocheted from a virgin wool/polyester mixture

And by the by, but immensely cheering, read this: there's news from Norway regarding recent research into the aetiology of M.E., which is wonderful, but what really amazed me is the apology to M.E. patients that was given by a politician.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

KAUNAS TEXTILE BIENNIAL '11 in Lithuania is in full swing. If you'd like to get an impression of REWIND PERSONAL STORY, have a look at Andrea Milde's blog, who photographed what is a great variety of beautiful, vibrant, interesting work. My participation has become a bit of a challenged and anxious affair. I was distressed to see from Andrea's photographs that one of my changelings had been placed upside down - it should be corrected by now. There's also a mistake in my text on the biennial's website, someone made a change without checking with me first, and got it wrong. Hope that will be corrected too. The whole thing raises questions for me about sending one's work off to be exhibited and how to best deal with the loss of control that brings as to its presentation. Still, my work was selected, and is there, and I'm learning a lot.
Moving on. What about making art? Mostly I've been unravelling work lately. During the last few months almost all of my not very plentiful energies were spent on what I call arts-organisation and the actual art-making went on the back-burner, alas. It is not enough to produce one's work - we need to write statements, applications, help with press-releases, organise (and usually pay for) the transport of work to and from exhibitions… Never mind things like keeping our web-sites updated (long overdue and next on the list), maintaining real and virtual networks, etc. etc. and of course doing it all really well.
Still - there's a new piece. I think I prefer it folded. For now it's called Say my name! Say my name!

Materials: wool and cotton, doll's wig
Dimensions: stretched out to its full length 27 cm x 75 cm

PS. Had good news this morning. The exhibition at PSL in Leeds was reviewed in Aesthetica Magazine and my work especially highlighted.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Wish I was there, I think.

Tonight is the opening of KAUNAS TEXTILE BIENNIAL '11 in Lithuania. My work is travelling further afield and my longing to be out there with it getting ever stronger. I asked for my Changelings to be presented laid out on a surface and am keen to know how it was done. Andrea Milde, one of the exhibitors, promised to take a few snaps for me, can't wait to see them, but am also apprehensive. My diminutive Changelings will have quite a task of standing up (while lying down, we share that!) for themselves, and for this artist. It is such a big event, with a European Textile Network-conference, themed exhibitions, performances, presentations, showcasing artists from all over the world, many of whom are in the middle of a successful career. Oh, I want to see it all. But how do I fit in there? Just think: Yinka Shonibare is one of the UK-artists invited for a different part of the exhibition. I feel like a tiny, if aged fledling, cheeping panic-stricken on the edge of a nest. Will my wings work? Part of me is so proud to have my work selected, but another part, rather more noisy just now, can't quite believe it and is waiting for notification that a mistake was made. Even writing this feels presumptuous. Looks like I need to grow to keep up with my art.
If all goes well (knock on wood!) my pieces will hold their own in the exhibition titled REWIND PERSONAL STORY, which explores narrative art, set beside a piece of writing by each artist. My story has my memory of my cousin Edith/Edith's shoes as its starting point; if you'd like to know where it leads me click on my name under the above link.

The exhibition is open until 10 December 2011.

Friday, 9 September 2011

I'm not there, but my work is...

Tonight is the private view at PSL and I'll be projecting myself there in spirit, as for reasons of ill-health I'm presently unable to travel up to Leeds. I would have loved to meet the other artists, to see their work, and for that matter mine with theirs, but it will have to wait. In the mean-time my art will have to represent me. I confess I'm almost jealous of my pieces, out in the world to start their conversations, to form or refuse relationships, make new stories.

Three group shows by artists from London, Manchester and
members of the Art House in Wakefield

10 September - 10 December 2011
PRIVATE VIEW Friday 9 September 2011, 6-8pm

Open Wed-Sat 12-5pm or by appointment
Free entry

PSL [Project Space Leeds]
Whitehall Waterfront
2 Riverside Way
Leeds LS1 4EH

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Hair, hair, hair

Come and see my Five perfect maidens and other hair-selves at HAIR, a new exhibition at PORTICO Gallery in West Norwood, London. All being well I'll be there for the opening.

Private View
Saturday 10th September 6pm – 9pm.

Anna Gartsu Nova, Cath Dupuy, Charlotte E Padgham, Christopher Clack, Claire Briggs, Clare Misselbrook, Emma Bagley, Emma Fenelon, Ewa Obrochta, Georgina Moir, Harriet Muller, Ingrid Andrew, Jackie Brown, James Marshall, Kelly Averis, Marion Michell, Michael Wilson CBE, Sue Cox.

The exhibition is open from 10th September – 26th September
Thursdays 12 – 8pm. Saturday 10am – 5pm.
Or by arrangement (call 0208 761 7612)

23a Knights Hill
West Norwood
SE27 0HS

Monday, 1 August 2011

Regression blues

This is a little thing with a big name. Just now only time and energy for little things as I've been busy packing up work to send off to exhibitions. Needed to learn about 'proper' packing actually, important, it's not like I'm sending a piece or two, more six or seven, a small body of work, and they are going further afield, which makes me anxious until I know the pieces have arrived safely. Five pieces are in Brighton now, next my Changelings will go off to Lithuania for the Kaunas Biennial TEXTILE 11: REWIND-PLAY-FORWARD, and a couple of other things are in the pipeline which need attending to in tiny energetic bouts. I'm esp. sad that I can't go to Lithuania myself, meet other artists, see the work, attend the conference, am half-tempted to fall into the cardboard box and send myself of too. No money coming in, I never sell, alas; loads going out, for boxes, couriers, etc. My mom chipping in, bless her. Social life (incl. blogging), small as it is, shrinking towards 0, but needs must, I'm trying to build myself a professional future and while I'm lying on the floor my art flies into the world, a bit like a glorious kite, to which I'm the tail that trails along merrily.
Materials: crocheted from cotton thread. Dimensions: 25 cm x 37 cm

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

TWISTED - exhibition

A fresh encounter with contemporary craft

The exhibition at Phoenix Brighton 'focuses on work by seven artists who employ the traditional materials and techniques of textiles and ceramics, but manipulate and twist them into different forms, altered meanings and new directions. Wriggling out of the traditional domain of ‘craft’, these objects escape the plinth, shelf and glass cabinet, occupying the gallery as unconventional wall pieces and installations that you can walk through.'

With Kay Aplin, Rosalind Davies, Rosie James, Marion Michell,
Karin Schosser, Isobel Smith, Alice Walton

July 23 – August 21, 2011
Wed - Sun 11am - 5pm
PREVIEW: Friday 22 July, 5 - 7 pm

North Gallery
10–14 Waterloo Place
Brighton BN2 9NB
East Sussex

Friday, 15 July 2011

Every day we tried to be good

Sometimes, when I finish a piece of work, put it aside for a bit and suddenly come across it again - I see it as if for the first time. If I'm lucky, and then I know I've got something right, I fill up with pleasure at what I've made. An idea which used to live in my head and in a tiny drawing on a scrap of paper - has become real! It's almost like feeling a kind of tenderness, what a weird idea, and there's a sense of recognition, by which I mean, I find some of what I wanted to express. I can see its faults too, but that's o.k. Christian Boltanski, whose work fascinates and moves me, said somewhere that he wants his audience not to discover but to reconnect. Less modest than you think at first. Good enough for me.

Materials: crocheted from Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool-Silk
Dimensions: 35 cm x 35 cm and 34 cm x 35 cm

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Talk to me! (1)

While I unravel a piece that hasn’t worked out and of which only the title remains (Keeping seven sisters warm – hope to return to it in winter) I ponder questions posed by an an art professional I hold in high esteem: "What is your gift to the audience? What would you want to happen to them?" It’s something I haven’t much thought about before – I do not commune with an imaginary viewer while I crochet away, but try to make work that pleases and challenges me first of all, hoping it will ultimately be able to stand up for itself in the world. My art practice is mostly a solipsistic pursuit – after all I make my work on the living room floor and direct contact and conversations with other artists are still rare. So what better place than talking here, with you?
The first thing I would say is that I want my art to move. My work is not about big statements, even if its underlying theme, exploring notions of otherness, is an important one. I hope to affect the skip of a heart-beat, a jolt, a pierce, a sudden mini mind-stumble, when at second glance the viewer realises things are not as simple as they seem. And in that little side-step a different form of engagement might be possible, a drawing close, a connection. Maybe to people’s childhood memories, to how they felt when they were small. Maybe to other instances of vulnerability, of uncertainty - or of judgement. And when they try to imagine what kind of body might inhabit one of my outfits maybe they'd ask themselves questions about perfect and imperfect bodies, about what we phantasise and project when faced with the mystery of otherness, in ourselves, in those we know, in those we don’t know.
More to think about: abjection, the psyche, form, medium, beauty, but too tired just now. What's on your mind?

Sunday, 29 May 2011

One and one walked hand in hand

I'm thinking about art and narrative, story-telling. Had been crocheting this little duo for weeks, and suddenly a poem flew into my head when a friend took me to the sea-side. Don't see them as one meaning the other - look at them side by side!

Materials: crocheted from wool/acrylic mixture and cotton
Dimensions: outfit 1: 48 cm x 57 cm, outfit 2: 38 cm x 44 cm


One and one walked hand in hand
an apple to share, a rag doll to tend
and much too much to say

of leering elders, God on their tongues
while fingers fondled, shadows clung.
Away, they walked, away.

They'd heard of the sea, the end of the land
followed a murmur, or was it a scent
or colours they'd never seen?

And the apple was eaten, the rag doll dropped
but no-one was beaten and the sea never stopped
to promise its clear embrace.

On and on they went. Not a word was spoken
'till one said 'I' and the other 'yes?'
and the spell was finally broken.

They tore words off their tongues no child should know
told of places where nothing but silence grows
and weariness, worn like a hole-riddled skin.

Did they walk in circles? Was the sea near?
Their steps were steady, breath fast with fear
of the elders' all-seeing eyes.

They slept in forests, slept in fields
on cool dark earth, its scent so sweet
and moon's milky light wove a blanket.

Finally, there, a salty smell
the sound of waves, soon pebbles and shells -
a lightness lapped at their hearts.

And the sun warmed their skin, but did not touch
the wind kissed their faces, but not too much
and two remembered their names.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The show is over

but still resonates in many ways, illuminating these rather tired days. As per usual I didn't sell but I learned a lot from all the processes leading up to the exhibition. And from trying to answer fairly challenging interview questions, which made me think deeper and harder about my work and its temporary encounter of and entanglement with Tom Butler's and Aly Helyer's. The sensitively considered curation by Rosalind Davis and Jane Boyer came as a revelation too - in the clever groupings of pieces and the ensuing conversations between them the show positively pulsed with life. Connections were made across media between painted things and real ones (we all have an obsession with hair), textures, patterns and colours, openings and orifices… With our shared interest in the unconscious, in the refutation of the borders between the imaginary and the real, it sometimes seemed like the work came from one brain and three pairs of hands. I saw my work in a new light - it sat very well with paintings and drawings, and its materiality, its thingness shone. The audience seemed to engage strongly. Feedback was very good. One day I'll sell. At a good price. In the meantime I'm crocheting away, plotting new pieces and wishing for an abundance of hands or at least a pair that is never tired.

PS. Eye-rhyme, a video I shot 1998, and which I hadn't watched for years, was selected for the exhibition too, which was rather wonderful as it allowed me to reconnect with work made before I fell ill. A good piece, even if I say so myself. It made complete sense to have it there - I could discern the continuity in terms of subjectivity and sensibility pervading all my work. What a delight.

Monday, 25 April 2011

More than extra-ordinary

This show is beautifully put together - Rosalind Davis and Jane Boyer have earned their gilded curator's caps. They have created an ancestral portrait gallery where the boundaries between three artists' work are temporarily suspended. The space seems homely and expansive. Everything breathes. Lean in for whispered conversations and you'll find your lips moving to the pulse of your own well-kept secrets. A fresh wind will sweep dark corners.
Or do you enter with breath held, anxious to find yourself growing beak and feathers or an extra limb? Maybe the content of head and heart will sprout from your scalp like Medusa's serpent hair? Try to turn your back and go: part of yourself will stay behind, in a tiny image where a furry, blurry fleece will spread across your face, and in time, your neck and chest and up from downdowndown. The eye will see - it never sleeps. Best to take time to dance with the three-legged girl (is that you, sweetheart?) or sail away a while in the black boat of father's shoes.

Excellent exibition, even if I say so myself. Exhausted. Exhilarated. In exile again. Or is it home?

Image borrowed from Chantelle Purcell's interview with the artists. Read it!

Go see:
Extra-Ordinary at Core Gallery
Alyson Helyer, Marion Michell and Tom Butler
Curated by Jane Boyer and Rosalind Davis

23rd April-7th May, Friday - Sunday 12-6 or by appointment_
South London Art Map late night opening, 29th April 6.30-8.30pm

Core Gallery, Cor Blimey Arts
C101 Faircharm Trading Estate
8-12 Creekside
London SE8 3DX
0208 692 2783

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


Alyson Helyer, Marion Michell and Tom Butler
Curated by Jane Boyer and Rosalind Davis

Preview 22nd April 6.30pm-8.30pm
23rd April-7th May, Friday - Sunday 12-6 or by appointment_
South London Art Map late night opening, 29th April 6.30-8.30pm

From the press-release:
"Tom Butler, Alyson Helyer and Marion Michell create a disjointed world of macabre coexistence that holds humour, ambiguity, intensity and contradiction.
Originally selected from over 250 artists from the Core Gallery 2010 Open Submission competition by Matt Roberts, Kate Jones and Graham Crowley as part of the Deptford X festival.
Each artist explores identity and the psyche, the real and the unreal, showing us places, where, if we look, we may feel discomfort, anxiety and self-consciousness. The anguish of memory resurfaces as a physical representation via paint, crochet, paper sculptures, altered photographs and drawing.
The works inter-connect through the subversion of media, explorations of the potency of hair, domesticity, family and deformity creating a world of memento mori that contradictorily holds vitality; it is a vitality which draws strength and force from ‘the other’. But there is a symbolic death in these works; the death of mortification, the death of being other, the death of being bound, isolated and invisible, the death of assimilation (at any cost)."

Core Gallery, Cor Blimey Arts, C101 Faircharm Trading Estate, 8-12 Creekside, London SE8 3DX

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

We were wicked, we were wild

This is one of two works I showed at 48 Hours. It was an interesting little show, with photographers and painters and a video-artist. My pieces breathed from the walls amidst lots of rectangles. Originally I thought of 'them' more like Hänsel and Gretel-figures, lost, abandoned children, but when I was considering titles I decided to go for a different angle, steer away from anxiety and abjection towards something more open. 'We were wicked, we were wild' adds another dimension, I hope. Different, yes, vulnerable, yes, but maybe I'm tentatively feeling my way towards the freedom that lies in difference. There's strength in numbers too.
I also like them laid out, and am getting more interested in folding. Actually I'm crocheting a piece now just so I can fold it.

Materials: two viscose embroidery threads and one woollen one
Dimensions: 19 x 29.5 cm and 18.5 x 31 cm

Great news this morning: The Arthouse have had their Arts Council grant renewed! I can't think of an arts organisation that deserves it more. The Arthouse is singular in the comprehensive support and encouragement it offers to artists of all physical abilities. It is a great facilitator - no labels are applied to the artist - the first focus is always the art. The well-thought out package: tailor-made building (I've never been in a building before where access has been considered on such a level - brilliant!), flat, studios, exhibitions, courses, communication, networking, and utterly committed staff - is one of a kind. Congratulations, dear Arthouse - wished there were more of you everywhere!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

My Changelings rock!

I have had some great news this week. My Changelings will go to Kaunas, Lithuania, in September, as part of Kaunas Biennial
: REWIND-PLAY-FORWARD. The brief was to link one's work with a text, a narrative, to do with memory, where the personal, the social, the historical interweave. Under the title 'Pedestal for a legless girl' I wrote about my cousin Edith and how the childhood memory of her shoe with the high-raised sole slowly but inexorably led me towards the concept of the changeling and finally the crocheted work. Both text and work will be displayed in the exhibition. You can see how this pleases yours truly. I can't stop grinning.
The artists selected come from all over the world: China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Russia, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, USA, Canada, Israel, Lithuania, Estonia, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, France, and the UK. Look at that gorgeous list of international artists's names:
Ainsley Hillard, Alice Kettle, Amélie Brisson-Darveau, Beili Liu, F4 Artist Collective [Susan Jowsey/Marcus Williams], Fiona Kirkwood, Gao Yuan, Katie Waugh, Katya Oicherman, Kristina Čyžiūtė, Kyung –ae Wang, Laisvydė Šalčiūtė, Lia Altman, Lina Jonikė, María León, Marion Coleman, Andrea Milde, Marion Michell, Michaela Melián, Monika Kreivė, Monika Žaltauskaitė-Grašienė, Nina Bondeson, Rasma Noreikytė, Rūta Naujalytė, Signe Kivi, Sonja Andrew, Tilleke Schwarz, Virginie Rochetti, Wang Haiyuan 王海元, Watanabe Misao, Tonje Høydahl Sørli

Oh, I'm giddy. More in good time. :)

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Closed system no 1

February has been a difficult month physically but I think my energies are picking up. Good to report that I've finished a new work. This may well be the first in a new series. I combined three colours of lace-weight wool, much stronger colours than for my changelings, as you can see. I had a clear vision of the swoop of the closed neckline aligned with the rounded, open shape of the arms, but it took quite a few attempts to get it right.
You may remember, last year, during a group show at Core Gallery, three artists, namely Aly Helyer, Tom Butler and I, were chosen for an exhibition opening in April 2011. It will run under the very fitting title 'Extra-Ordinary', and on Tuesday, Rosalind Davis, who will curate the show with Jane Boyer, came to visit me at home to look at my work and make a selection for the show. She brought her laptop and used skype to link up with Jane in France. It was an interesting meeting and made me realise how much easier it is to write about my work than finding the right words in conversation, esp. when I'm a bit nervous. Making the art has been my focus these last few years and most of the time when I applied for exhibitions the work spoke for itself, supported by the accompanying texts I wrote. Now things are moving to a different level, which is good, but I felt after the meeting that I didn't represent my work, esp. my changelings, and maybe myself as an artist, very well - want to learn from that.

Materials: crocheted from a combination of merino lace-weight wools
Dimensions: 47 cm x 56 cm

Thursday, 24 February 2011

My magnificent seven

Now that I have finished work on my changelings I'm thinking about how to present them. I'd like to see them laid out on a huge table or a low plinth, as opposed to hanging on a wall, and am trying to work out in my head what difference that might make. Would there be less distance between the viewer and the work? Might the emotional impact be stronger if one were to gaze down on them as if on real clothes in a shop? Alternatively, if I wanted to have them on the wall, I'd like each piece to have its own specially shaped coat-hanger (can't afford to have these made, alas).
I have been looking back over the work I've made these last few years, the shoes made from tissue paper, crocheted dresses, etc. and found that while my concerns are consistent my shapes have become free-er and maybe subtler too. They imagine bodies that buckle under the strain of difference, and draw their lifeblood from it, but disarm with their simple, diminutive and absurd shapes, with a combination of pathos, pain and humour.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Changeling 6

I've got so much to write about (pair of plaits given to me by a friend, visit to Threads of Feeling at the Foundling Museum, thinking about Edith's shoes again) and even more to read and look at on your blogs, but my energy is minimal and needs prioritising and things get done slowly, if at all. Oh for a time when I don't feel I'm far behind with the most basic things! Lists grow like bandworms and hide under piles of documents or escape to gather dust under the sofa, and each unattended thing is a ghost in my brain. Struggling to sleep now, partly too with excitement about ART, ideas spilling everywhere. I want to buy wool and hooks and hair for new projects and have to stop myself as purse less than half full and in any case I can't crochet more than I do already. Calling out to myself over the clamour of pieces wanting to be made: Calm! Breathe! Patience!
This new changeling does breathe calmly, I think, at one with itself. Its somewhat absurd shape seems natural to me. It combines pathos with clarity, self-containment with abundance. The little pink thread arrived there by chance (I used it for counting) and now belongs. I've still got wool for two more and have in mind a pair outside this series of seven, one day. Taking a break from changelings now though. Something else needs to be made first.

Materials: crocheted from Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool-Silk
Dimensions: 31 cm x 36.5 cm

PS. Glory be for dappled things and snowdrops that reappear every year just by themselves. Got a small bunch here, from my garden, fresh and beautiful.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Changeling 7

No 6 was supposed to come first but has resisted the shape I'd envisaged for it. I'm not sure how well this one works. It is diminutive not only in terms of size. A bit like the youngest of many siblings, who never quite manages to catch up with the others. I like the simplicity of its shape which seems to combine an air of completeness with an uncertainty about what to become. It has made me think about growing (up) without reference points. Or only ever being able to look into a partial mirror and focusing on that visible part of the body without, for whichever reason, being able to make sense of the body as a whole. It's about self-perception, isn't it? As a teenager I was convinced I had fat thighs. I was actually stick-thin, but took my clue from the view of squashed flesh when I was sitting down. I'm trying to remember if we had a full-length mirror at home, no, don't think we did, and glances into a shop window or a mirror at a store weren't enough to change my mind. Strangely I'm also thinking of winged seeds trailing down from a plane tree. Maybe there's a being in here that is spinning about trying to find places to put its legs, arms and head, to be whole.

Materials: crocheted from Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool-Silk
Dimensions: 19.5 cm x 34.5 cm

PS. My digital camera isn't working anymore (see white balance turning green here) and I'm looking into buying a new and better one. Would be grateful for recommendations.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Happy New Year to all!


She drops a mouth of pebbles
in cupped hands, each hungry year
a dun, spit-speckled stone.

And like a skein of goslings
her first words rise,
her tongue, that tired muscle,
measuring the span of wings,
trying, lala, lala,
a song of change.