Wednesday, 28 May 2014


Mother-of-pearl buttons have appeared on several of the completed collar pieces. However, Anya Keeley's collar is the only one to combine mother-of-pearl with a worn and weathered piece of wood...

Sunday, 18 May 2014


Of all the artists taking part in the project, Nancy Nicholson was the only one to return her collar unused.
Instead, Nancy chose to make a new collar from scratch taking the vintage collar as her template. If you look closely at the photo above you can still see where the pin marks have been left in the white collar.
In complete contrast to the hard, starchy fabric of the vintage collar which is very difficult to pierce with a needle, Nancy has made her replacement collar from a sumptuous piece of yielding, silk velvet in a deep smokey grey. The velvet has been overlaid with a rich covering of Nancy's distinctive hand embroidery, including a liberal dusting of knobbley French Knots. The finished piece is a very wearable item with a folk inspired flavour.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Lion & the Bee

You'd be forgiven for thinking that this pistachio & gold bag still contained the highly prized macarons from Paris's Laduree, and yet inside was an even tastier surprise; Viv Sliwka's (a.k.a. Hen's Teeth Art) collar piece.
Viv's collar is perhaps the heaviest piece received. Tucked inside that box is an internal structure which helps the piece to stand up.
For those of you who are familiar with Viv's work you'll know that it's not unusual for her to include tiny handpainted creatures. The 'Old England' brand collar, which still bore the company's lion symbol on it, seemed the obvious choice to give to Viv to see if, and how, she'd choose to incorporate it. As you can see, the little lion hasn't been forgotten. People can have fun trying to find him when the piece goes on display next month!
And talking of creatures, below is quite possibly the smallest bee one will ever see.
For the curious amongst you, no, there weren't any stray macarons lurking in the bottom of that bag - not even a crumb!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

On Show

From next month you will have the opportunity to see the results of the project in person as the collars go on display at the Shell House Gallery in Herefordshire. As well as the finished collar pieces the exhibition will include a selection of additional work for sale by all of the artists involved.

'A Group Gathering: the Shirt Collar Project 2014'
28th June - 19th July 2014
36 The Homend, Ledbury, Herefordshire, HR8 1BT
Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm

The Shell House Gallery is situated near the centre of the busy market town of Ledbury with a doorway which is a much photographed local landmark:
"A Georgian building, The Shell House gets it's name from a unique shell-hood doorway, the building itself is mentioned in Pevsner's original Architectural Guide. He refers to it as, 'a fine example of a Georgian town house', with original period features in some of the rooms and a beautiful Queen Anne staircase at the entrance."
As if an exhibition and beautiful architecture weren't enough to see, there's more...
For several of the artists taking part in the project their final pieces reflect an interest or inspiration taken from poetry or the spoken word. It's therefore exciting to report that during the exhibition the prestigious annual Ledbury Poetry Festival will also take place (4th-13th July) with some of the event activity going on in the Gallery at the same time. 

Art, architecture and poetry - really, what better excuse is there to visit the exhibition? 


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

First Class Post

 Ella Robinson
Kathleen Murphy: 
"My excitement has been mounting as Collar Project artists have been sending or delivering their art work to me over the last month. It has been such a joy to receive them; peeling back the tape & tissue papers to finally see the completed work. 
Ella Robinson's collar, shown here, was the very first to arrive, nestled on a bed of vivid blue paper. The original collar given to Ella was the smallest of the batch and the box it arrived in was tiny which somehow made it feel all the more precious. Small, colourful & upbeat - a reflection of Ella herself!
Plans for an exhibition of the collars are well in hand so there will be an opportunity for you to see these pieces in person from next month. "