I’m pleased to be taking part in the Leicester Print Workshop members exhibition this year. I am working in collaboration with Gillian McFarland to produce a changing artwork installation which will develop from week to week as we share ideas, develop and pass things to and fro and create new pieces inspired by two found objects.
The exhibition opens this weekend (17th-18th November) with the Print Festival and Gillian and I will be giving at talk on Saturday 17th November at 4pm about our work. There is also an exhibition preview on Friday 23rd November – details below. The exhibition continues until 26th January 2019.
Gillian McFarland and Ruth Singer work in collaboration as McFarland & Singer alongside their distinct and established solo artistic practices. They began working together in 2014 while sharing a studio; a space that allowed them to share ideas and approaches. In addition to the work created for this residency, McFarland & Singer have a strong convergence of interest around the archaeology of stains and marks of time.
This work is an ongoing collaboration, passing to and fro between us as we each explore related, but separate ideas. The piece begins with two found objects from a charity shop which we both respond to initially, through discussion and making alongside each other. This work will change every week as we add new prints and related pieces of work. This work is displayed in file trays to represent the orderly collation and separation of ideas. Feel free to take the pieces out of the trays and move them around and change the order. We will use this intervention and selection as part of the process of making new pieces each week.
I treated myself to another creative experimentation day this weekend, trying new materials, techniques and ideas. I spent the day on a Mark Making workshop with artist friend Helen Hallows whose work and philosophy I have long admired.
When you teach a lot of workshops you really appreciate all the hard work which goes into making a workshop really special for the participants, and it’s also a reminder of what it is like on the other side of the teaching table.
Helen made the day very lovely and it was extra special to find my friend Alys there, also having a birthday treat workshop day!
We made mood boards, splashed paint around, printed, stamped and got thoroughly messy, covering paper in colour and pattern. I loved trying mono print again but in totally different ways to the workshop last week and covering papers in bold, strong colour, layering, marking and scraping away. I have created a huge stash of beautiful papers which I think I will use for stitching into, creating collage and more experimental work and I have also stretched my imagination, tried different colour palettes and lots of new ideas for creating colour and pattern which will seep their way into my work in lots of different ways. I left the workshop invigorated and excited and I’ve now got my dining room floor papered in drying painty sheets of paper!
This week I’ve started a new commission for Harefield Hospital
and made some dye bundles at the first community workshop
The patchwork continues to grow (on the cat, as usual!)
I rarely get a day just stitching, so attending a workshop on Indian embroidery was a real treat this week.
Some preparation for my artist residency day
and some stitching stains during the residency day
I reworked The Beauty of Stains, making the stains permanent through stitch.
I’ve made a lot of paper pieced patchwork for Narrative Threads.
I’ve started a birthday present for my mum but I’m not going to show it here in case she looks. I know she doesn’t look at Instagram.
I even made a fascinator for a workshop sample.
I’ve started my research visits to museums to inspire new work for my solo exhibition Narrative Threads.
Yet more hexagon patchwork, whilst hiding upstairs during building work at home.
The work at home involved the installation of this:
and dealing with the preparatory and subsequent chaos of furniture and dust everywhere.. then the inevitability of this:
Its not been the most creative of weeks but it has been worth it!
Week 11 was a complete whirlwind of final works and installation of Interlace exhibition which is now up and looking fabulous!
I was also hurtling through finishing a quilt for a big birthday present at the same time as opening the exhibition. It was more than a little close to the wire getting it done but it was nice to have lots of sewing to do.
As an aside, I am teaching this type of improv(ised) patchwork later in the year, along with the paper pieced type too. Find out more here.
Since the exhibition opened, things have been somewhat different and the pace of life changed completely with a few sunny, chilly days on a canal boat. There’s a lot of work to do on a boat, and lots of walking and exploring, but there was time for some simple making too. I’m slowly working on a very time-consuming piece for my Narrative Threads exhibition and making hexagon patchwork with antique fabrics, also for the exhibition.
I’m also working on the easiest bit of knitting ever – yards and yards of icord made from scrap yarn to make into long, loop necklaces.