Thursday, 24 September 2015

Daphne's Glove Workshop Update

Just a reminder that during this month's Daphne's Glove exhibition in Ledbury there will be creative workshops taking place at The Weavers Gallery with four of the project artists.
Two of the courses are now full, however, there are still a few places available on the following:

Monday 5th October 2015
  'An Afternoon of Watercolour & Collage'
2pm-5pm   £25 per person
Artist Tutor: Mariette Voke

Thursday 8th October 2015  FULL
'Taking a Thread for a Walk: The Art of Doodling in Stitch' 
10am-4pm  £50 per person 
Artist Tutor: Kathleen Murphy

Sunday 11th October 2015
'Layer Cake'
10am-4pm £50 per person
Artist Tutor: Jeanette McCulloch 

For further detail about each course and how to book a place please follow the link HERE 

Venue: The Weavers Gallery, Church Lane, Ledbury, Herefordshire, HR8 1DW

(Please note that the Weavers Gallery is within an old building and the workshop space is accessed via four steps)

Workshop prices include materials, tea, coffee & a sweet treat

Monday, 21 September 2015

Work in Progress: Tamsin Abbott (part 2)

Tamsin Abbott finds the thread for her Daphne story...

"The long and convoluted path I was taking eventually kept returning to my pagan heart. Ovid's 'Apollo and Daphne' could no longer be a side-line to my main project it had to become my sole inspiration. I also realised that I had taken on this project for the excitement of doing something quite different from my usual work but along the way I had persuaded myself that I would not be 'up to' a textile project and that I must use glass in my piece. However, it finally dawned on me that it was the glass element that was blocking me and that I really wanted to work with other materials even if that meant that the quality of the finished piece would be somewhat suspect against the high standards of the rest of the group.
It is ironic that this piece will now always remind me of Tess of the Durbervilles as I was listening to it on audio whilst working on it. Just as the beautiful Daphne would rather be transformed into a tree than be taken by Apollo so Tess ends up committing a desperate act to escape the clutches of the man who tries to control her. The idea of nature and transformation being a liberation from the ties that bind really stirs me up. However, sewing lime bark bast is, indeed, a bit of a ....! "

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Work in Progress: Tamsin Abbott (part 1)

Above you see a practice piece for elements of Tamsin Abbott's completed glove.

Best known for her beautifully illustrated work in glass, a few months into the project Tamsin changed course with her piece and decided that she'd give herself up to the challenge of alternative materials and techniques. The material you see here is lime bark bast. Fibrous, papery and delicate, a potentially challenging choice.
Having explored and then rejected her early topics of interest, such as found diaries and family connections, Tamsin's love of literature finally won and an idea began to shape around Ovid's story of 'Apollo and Daphne'.

During the project elements of the story of Apollo and Daphne have surfaced among the artists in different forms. Here follows a brief outline of the story for those unfamiliar with it.

The god Apollo had teased Eros about his abilities as an archer, stating that the small stature of his arrows meant that they would be weak and ineffectual. Eros, angered by this, shot two arrows. Each had been dipped; one in gold, the other, made blunt, in lead. The gold tipped arrow would impart an insatiable lust in whoever it pierced. The lead tipped arrow would impart an abhorrence of passion and thus struck, that person would have no interest in love. On firing, the gold tipped arrow hit Apollo and the other pierced Daphne, daughter of the river god, Peneus. 
Thus ensued an unwelcome pursuit of Daphne by Apollo. Daphne ran from him endlessly and finally growing weary, feared that he'd catch her. In an act of desperation she reached a river and called to her father for help. Peneus took pity on her and, with the gift of transformation which the river gods possessed, transformed Daphne into a laurel tree. Her arms became slim branches and her legs took root just as Apollo reached her. Still enamoured with her, Apollo used his powers to turn Daphne into an evergreen and declared that her leaves would adorn the heads of heroes and leaders and would never decay. 
Daphne, revered.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Work in Progress: Kathleen Murphy

A murderous hand..?

 A. Big. Fat. Halt. 
Progress with my project piece came to a shuddering halt in April. Other commitments became more pressing for a while and I was just not feeling enough oomph about any of the ideas in my sketchbook to see them through to completion. I was getting tangled in a need for the piece to have significant meaning and nothing felt meaningful enough. Rather sadly, I had also begun to really dislike the name Daphne.
By this point, as the project's administrator, the other artists began sending me their finished glove pieces. Beautiful, thoughtful, well executed works of art. Gulp. This did nothing to help the creative freeze. 
A few months go by & I'm ever aware of the ticking Daphne clock. I take out the glove again and give it a thorough inspection. It's lacklustre, the fabric has bobbled slightly from wear and it has been repaired twice at the thumb. My initial plan to keep it whole and use it as a hand was blocking me. I needed a new tack.  
There was only one thing for it, Daphne must be chopped up and the glove must DYE!

With a frankly cavalier attitude to plant material choice, I retrieved a bunch of beetroot leaves destined for the bin, a handful of onion skins and a couple of avocado skins for good measure, and concocted a witches brew to boil the offensive item in.  
I wasn't expecting a great result. Not only was it a mixed bag of plant material which may work against each other, the glove hadn't been mordanted in any way. Being a nylon mix fabric, any colour absorption was going to be slim. Some scraps of cotton, wool mix fabric & another old glove were added to the dye pot to see what would happen. The fabric was boiled in the brew for an hour before being allowed to cool in the pot over night. 
Well, what do you know -the pale glove sucked up the colour! Not the most attractive colour, a sort of sickly, lichen-green, but something I could work with. Already I was starting to feel more positive.
So what's next? Ah yes, chopping & the deconstruction of Daphne. Mwoar-ha-ha-hah! "