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