Narrative Threads workshop for Gifted 15

Precious objects

Join me for a free, drop in workshop for adults during Gifted 15 at the National Centre for Craft & Design on Saturday 28th November 2015 10am-4pm.

Bring along an every day object or piece of junk and transform it into a precious amulet with some simple textile techniques.

 

Narrative Threads exhibition film

I’m delighted to share my new film about my work for Narrative Threads, made by the fantastic R&A Collaborations.

The exhibition opens on Saturday 14th November 2015 and continues until Sunday 10th January 2016.

Exhibition events:

  • Preview event:  Sat 14th Nov 2-4pm. Free
  • Drop in activity for 16+: Saturday 28th November 10am-4pm. Free
  • Masterclass: Sat 5th & Sun 6th December. £50 one day £95 for both
  • Exhibition talk + Q&A: Sat 12th December 11am-12.30pm. Free

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Narrative Threads community projects

Part of my Narrative Threads exhibition artist residency has been to work with local communities around Sleaford and the National Centre for Craft and Design. I built this into my Arts Council funding so I could experiment with new ways of working with different audiences, continue to build my community arts CV and try and engage the local community with my work and the messages around it.

A lot of the work created in these workshops and events will be displayed as part of Narrative Threads.

Earlier in the summer I worked with a Sleaford primary school on a project exploring amulets and objects with stories. In the first session we investigated words and symbols which have significance across cultures and in different time periods. The children made tags with special messages, images and symbols. For the second session they brought in special objects and collected natural materials to use to make their own amulets. We used printing, sewing and wrapping to make the amulets and each child wrote about their amulets and why it was special.

 

Sleaford Alzheimers Society

It has been particularly rewarding to work at the Sleaford Dementia Cafe run by the Alzheimers Society. In the first session we created Memory Collages, using fabric scraps and felt to build up pictures of special places or hobbies.

For the second session I took along a reminiscence box of old clothes and textiles to spark memories and stories similar to my textile memories project. These will be embroidered onto a cloth for display in the exhibition. I had hoped it would be engaging for the participants and their carers to reminisce about textile memories from their families. Many people talked about their childhood, their mother’s embroidery skills – or lack of them – and their own sewing for their children. It was a fascinating and absorbing day, and I hope to do more of this kind of work in the future.

I have also run workshops for families during school holidays, making painted and embroidered pincushions and other drop-in craft workshops.

Ruth Singer community project

 

Yesterday I ran a workshops for Arts NK’s community wellbeing event at Waddington, Lincs making memory tags- a decorated luggage label telling a story of a happy memory or something important in your life.

 

I am currently working with A Level textiles students who are creating work inspired by mine as part of the assessed portfolio. Their finished pieces will also be in the exhibition.

Once the exhibition is open I will continue to work with groups including a GCSE group and community sessions for a local sheltered housing scheme. I have also set up Crafts for Relaxation, a free monthly workshop for people who might not be able to afford or attend normal workshops, with the idea of participants meeting new people and getting some time to themselves. This programme has taken some time to get up and running and it has been a challenge to reach the right audience but it is a useful process for me in working out how to self-run community projects in the future.

Narrative Threads Opening 14th November

My solo exhibition, Narrative Threads, opens on Saturday 14th November The National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford, Lincolnshire. This exhibition is the culmination of a year-long residency at NCCD, funded by Arts Council England.

Please join me to celebrate the opening of the exhibition on Saturday  2-4pm with cheese and wine! It includes lots of new work, community collaborations and the textile memories project.

I will also be launching a fabulous 20 page catalogue of the exhibition with new photography and background to the pieces in the exhibition and my working processes.

Ruth Singer Narrative Threads

Ruth Singer Narrative Threads

 

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Exhibition events include a weekend masterclass on 5th & 6th December and Artists’ Talk and Q&A on Saturday 12th December as well as a collaboration project which you can join in with on Saturday 28th November as part of Gifted. The exhibition continues until 10th January 2016.

I will *also* be continuing my artist residency at NCCD and will be in the exhibition on various dates which will be advertised on my website, on social media and through my mailing list.

Narrative Threads Masterclass January 2016

Alongside my Narrative Threads exhibition  at the National Centre for Craft & Design, I am running a weekend masterclass on 9th & 10th January 2016 (rescheduled from December). Spend the weekend immersed in creative, slow, experimental techniques inspired by my work. The workshops include simple, experimental natural dye techniques, embroidery and using found objects. You can create a series of samples, pieces to incorporate into other work or art textile pieces to frame.

 

Day 1

Our first task of the weekend will be to manipulate and colour cloth using natural dyes, plants, food, rust and inks. We will experiment with shibori dye, hand painting colour and creating patterns from rusty metal to create original and exciting patterns and marks on cloth. We will also dye threads and other materials to use on day 2.

Day 2

Using the cloth we have created in day one (or purchased on the day if you have not attended day 1) we will look at using simple embroidery stitches to create marks and patterns on the dyed cloth. We will experiment with layering and cutting away the fabrics to create new textures. We will also explore ways of incorporating found objects into our work to add depth and narrative to the pieces.

£50 per day or £95 for the weekend, including basic materials, with additional materials available to purchase at the workshop. Book with NCCD on 01529 308710 info@nationalcraftanddesign.org.uk.

 

 

Narrative Threads Artist in Residence at NCCD

During my residency day at NCCD in April I tried some further experiments with recording dye processes using video, this time using my iPad set up on a plate stand, which seems to work quite well. There’s more to be done on this but it looks promising and I hope a film can be included in the exhibition. I have more sampling and testing to do but it is exciting to be making progress with a conceptual idea captured on film.

The Beauty of Stains continues to develop wonderful stain patterns and shapes, which I have decided to stitch into the cloth to make them permanent.

 

 

My major making work continues to be the Criminal Quilts patchwork which will keep growing throughout the year including during the exhibition itself. I’ll soon start working into the areas of completed patchwork, adding more depth and narrative to the patchwork base.

 

Away from the studio I have been on some incredibly exciting research visits to Oxford, London and Gawthorpe Hall. The museums were all I was expecting and more, giving me masses of inspiration for my work on amulets and memorials. I haven’t yet processed everything that I took in, and am looking forward to spending more time in the studio working through some of the ideas that have been generated.

 

 

This week (Friday 29th May) my residency day includes a workshop activity for all ages, contributing to a hand-sewn textile panel. Please drop in 1-3pm to take part. I will also have open studio 11am-1pm and 3-4pm where you can see work in progress and some completely new things I am working on for the exhibition.

 

Narrative Threads Artist in Residence

March was a time for reflection, thinking and planning. I’m working, slowly, on new pieces. I’m revisiting older work and pulling ideas together. Ideas for new work are sloshing around and beginning to settle. A few days holiday at the end of the month gave me vital thinking time, sitting on the front of a canal boat, pondering. Walking. Looking at the water. Watching the stars come out. All of these are essential parts of my creative process and it is often hard to achieve this kind of peace and contemplative time when my walk to the studio is through the city centre (where there is little green space) and my life is overcrowded with house renovation works and exhibition installation. None of these things is bad at all, but it all takes away from the creative space which is needed to think and make.

canal

 

This month I have taken The Beauty of Stains out of the NCCD cafe to review the marks it has built up since February and contemplate what more to do on it. I’ve catalogued all the stains, and given it a gentle, cold water wash to remove actual solids while preserving the stains left behind. The piece is building up a fine patina of use, which I am delighted with.

 

Whether to embroidery the stains or to leave them is troubling me today. I can’t decide.

 

Meanwhile, Many Hands isn’t yet showing much in the way of marks of use and remains not very changed from when it went up. I don’t know if this is people being very gentle when touching it or if it is more sturdy than I thought. A few more months will tell.

My funded research visits start this month, with trips to Nottingham, Oxford and London next week and Gawthorpe Hall at the end of the month, with many more planned for later in the summer.

Community workshops in Sleaford were part of my original plan for the residency but have proved harder than expected to arrange owing to the limited contacts I have in the town, compared to Leicester, where I have all the right networks already established. This in itself is a learning process for me and goes to show just how important it is to have roots in a place.


 

March’s workshop at NCCD was inspired by my pincushions, with samples made by work experience students Amelia and Neena and wonderful, colourful pieces also created by workshop participants, some as young as 3!

 

My next residency day is 29th April, followed by 29th May which will include another free drop-in workshop.