Sunday, 22 December 2013

It's been a while.....

I am still a bit in limbo - two rejections* and one application still pending (the exhibition to be announced in January); thus I have no settled studio space as yet, and nothing concrete to be planning for. There is one rather exciting possibility that I cannot share until it is definite, and another, overseas, residency to put an application in for. It could all be very unsettling, but is part of the portfolio life that I am learning to be relaxed about.
I do so miss my wise counsellor (the one who introduced me to the phrase 'portfolio life'), who I used to be able to run all my schemes past, even the maddest ones, and who knew me well enough to know what would be good and what not, who was endlessly encouraging, kind and supportive - and irreplaceable.

* there is the possibility of a reapplication with an adjusted business plan, but I am still considering my options in the light of the subsequent possibility.

Image courtesy of St. Peter's church, Guildford.

"Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us".

I have the joy of two weeks break, for several days of which my Boy will be with me. Much joy!! We began the Christmas festivities today with Carols by Candlelight followed by mulled wine and mince pies, and will go to the Cathedral carol service tomorrow for a different flavour. Of music, not pies. I shall take a few days off with family, and then do some work stuff (web site, applications, maybe even some small weavings at home) as well as some prolonged reading-of-good-books. See earlier posts for details of my stockpile! I have just finished the beautiful and sad 'The Hare with Amber Eyes' and resumed 'The Poetics of Space' after a two year hiatus.


Thursday, 5 December 2013

Still Here....

.....just not there anymore!

I took the exhibition down last Thursday and have spent the time since catching up with other things, including various applications / proposals.  The results so far:-

Applied Arts Commission Proposal - not shortlisted
Residency / Sponsored Studio Application - called for interview
Juried Exhibition at the Oxo Tower - results in January

I taught two tapestry workshops on Monday - nine people at each, very encouraging! I have also been doing some editing work and planning how to fit everything into my tiny abode once I bring it all back from the Cathedral studio in the next couple of weeks.  Not so much a quart as a gallon into a pint pot.  I think that I shall stack all the boxes in a Manhattan-like grid pattern and play at being a giant.  I shall not be hosting any dinner parties until I acquire a new studio; strictly picnics!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Better Pictures

 'Omnium Gatherum' still in the studio and without the photographically unhelpful height and perspex!

A better picture of 'Lament', although still no proper idea of scale - it is 2m wide, and the top edge is about 6.5m from the floor.

A detail from the rubble pile section of 'Rebuilder'.

Today there was a special Evensong for RoadPeace - hugely moving.  The Cathedral Curate was preaching and used both 'Lament' and 'Rebuilder' as sermon illustrations, referring to the 'non-coincidence' of the exhibition overlapping with both Remembrance Sunday and RoadPeace Sunday.  Although I have no direct experience of being involved in or losing someone in a road accident - John Donne "each man's death diminishes me because I am part of mankind" was very much on my mind.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Look What I Got!!

A beautiful bouquet presented at the end of my last 'Talking Textiles' lecture yesterday. Everyone has been so kind and supportive about the talks and the exhibition; I feel very blessed!


Monday, 11 November 2013

Exhibition Photos

'Rebuilder' in the evening light

'Rock of Ages'

'Lament' - where I always hoped it would hang; the organ loft


'I Know How Slight Are The Threads'

'Hope' (will get a better picture without the Treasury gates as background!)



'Corpus Christi'

'Burials I-IV' (with holey stone added by friend)

'Omnium Gatherum: Stone Figure 1'

'Omnium Gatherum: Various'

'Omnium Gatherum: Trio 1'

'Omnium Gatherum: Various'

'Omnium Gatherum: Raindancer and "Hope is the thing with feathers"'

Goodly number of visitors and good cakes for the Private View yesterday; the Cathedral used 'Rebuilder' readings at Evensong, which was a lovely privilege.

I have begun a small tapestry on the Ashford loom; simply the Hebrew for 'rebuilder' on a fractured stone ground. The plan is to work on it in the North Transept whenever I can be in residence; every Monday & Friday, and some other times too. Very nice to be back in there!

Location:North Transept, Chichester Cathedral

Monday, 4 November 2013

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

Well, another twelve hour day, but the exhibition is up and ready to open tomorrow. Fantastic help from Simon and Tony of the Cathedral Works. I must admit to a teary eye when 'Lament' was hauled into place hanging from the organ loft; it was the piece I was most concerned about, having decayed so much more than expected I was not sure that it would work - but it does! Also, remembering that all the time I was weaving it back in 2011 I knew that the organ loft would be a great place to display it, but with no real expectation that it would ever happen, and, Lo! it has.

I have left everything covered so that I can do a last minute check and label before I remove the red and white tape to open the North transept to the public.

Chuffed to bits.



Friday, 1 November 2013


With three days to go until opening, I have completed two pieces inspired by the poetry of Yehuda Amichai, one by an English hymn and several small pieces for a museum type display case. So, 'The Other Stories' are ready to go, just a bit more to do on 'Rebuilder' itself, plus the printing of labels, finalising my artist statement and painting the plinths. Not much then.....


Saturday, 26 October 2013


Not long now........


Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Final Straight

Today I transported the plinths and display case from WD to the basement ready for painting* - thanks to Moley and his pickup and the cathedral groundsmen's pull truck. Pretending to be a husky in the cloisters is a first, I am sure.

All the posters are delivered and displayed, just some PV invitations to print and/or email.

I have the lovely prospect of five consecutive studio days to complete everything, then a few more days before setting up on the 4th.

I am beginning to get excited. And a bit scared!

*I have decided that white is too harsh a contrast with the cathedral stonework,so am going to repaint them either Schmincke 'Sand' or Farrow&Ball 'String'.

Location:All Over the Place

Friday, 11 October 2013

Phew! What a day!

Arch filled, outer wrapped pillars begun. Eight hours in the studio. Zonked.
Night Night. ZZZZZZZ

Location:The Dungeon

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Another Productive Day.....

.....which makes two in a row! All the small arched windows (archlets?) are now complete, and I am filling in the space above ready to add the large arches. Today was an unexpected whole studio day; I was due to be a main witness in a trial, but it has been postponed. Somewhat irritating / annoying / upsetting. The incident was back in March, and I had really hoped to have it over with by now. Hey ho! I shall just shelve all thoughts of it until I get the new date. I have plenty of nicer things to occupy my mind with.

Fotos on Friday.....


Location:The Dungeon

Friday, 4 October 2013

Productivity Bonus Required!

About seven hours at the loom. Making up for lost time earlier in the week. I have resisted the lure of the chip shop and am making risotto for my supper. Can you not see my glowing halo? Does it not dazzle?
Work is also progressing on the two tapestry lengths at home, but maybe not tonight.

Location:The Dungeon

Tuesday, 1 October 2013


The French keyboard on iPad!

Danaïd and Musée.


My postcard of Danaïd.


Monday, 30 September 2013

I Have Not Been Idle, Honest!

More wrapping and weaving of the North Transept window, filling of the space between the word layers and spire blocks.

A visit to see 'Moore Rodin' at HMF in Hertfordshire was most welcome after a pleasant evening (not) before in the Portsmouth one way system trying to get to a private view. Arrived at 7:58 and it ended at 8:00. Coo, urr, gosh.
Moore Rodin was brilliant. I had forgotten how much I like Rodin sculptures, only having seen small casts since my visit to Musee*Rodin when I was 18. Too long away. One piece they had brought across was 'Danaid*'which was a delight to see again - together with a realisation that the memory of it has been 'with me' since those far off days. Later I am going to revel in the exhibition catalogue.

The first of my three talks (From Cloth to Computers: without weaving there would be no web) went down well this morning: I base this on the fact that there were some appreciative comments and no-one asked for their money back!

Having been up since 5am and not slept much for three nights, right now I intend to have a nap. So there.

*apologies that my iPad won't let me use the proper accents

Location:Home, Dungeon, Portsmouth, Vicars' Hall, Henry Moore Foundation

Monday, 23 September 2013

Two Days' Worth

Looking at the lower one, I clearly need to stand up straight when I take photos! The wrapped cords are vertical, I promise you.

Attending Evensong on days when I am in the studio all day is becoming a regular pleasure; this evening I sat right behind the choir, so a clear hearing of both the individual voices and how they blend.

Doglet and I went to West Broyle woods on the way home from the studio and were greeted by a chirping robin as we exited the car. And then we saw this:-


Location:The Dungeon

Thursday, 19 September 2013

A First Glimpse....

.....of 'Rebuilder' without the tags.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Nice Things!

I came home from WD to find this - an ivy root alive with white chocolate mice. I have my suspicions; don't I have nice friends?

An evening session at the loom, filling in above the text (and adding in the accents to make it read properly!)

The latest wrapping and filling I did earlier in the week.

I took some SLR shots yesterday of the lower part with the tags removed - snipping them off was very satisfying. Now to upload to the laptop and send off for the press release and Cathedral website.

More on the small pieces and back to the tracery tomorrow. I am feeling quite satisfied with progress, and as long as I do not catch the shop cold virus, all will be well :-))

Location:Home and Dungeon

Monday, 16 September 2013

One Loom, Two Warps

The left-hand side is a continuous warp (hence the knitting needle 'handle' at the back) red linen at 4epc, which gives me about seven feet of weaving length. See how I am bilingual with units? :-)
The RHS is a fine silk at 3epc. It was an experimental accidental dyeing result where everything else in the bath became a fetching shade of 'School Jumper Blue', yet to be found a use for.

A scarlet 1ply, crimson fine mix, two shades of extremely fine silk. There is also some red wire being incorporated here and there.

A dirty jade wool rescued from the bin, the aforementioned silk and some space dyed 1 ply.

Both pieces of weaving will be combined with found stones.


Saturday, 14 September 2013


Resumed work on the woven version of the North Transept window. I seem to have developed a faster and less awkward way of working than I recall the first attempts being.
I went to Choral Evensong and had a flash of inspiration for another mixed media piece during the final hymn. It means reassembling the Ashford loom at home so that I can work on the idea in odd moments.
At the exhibition meeting we worked out the layout and the pieces that will be included - due to fixing constraints, 'Abram / Wilfred / Parable' (the working title keeps changing) will not make an appearance, but 'Thread of Grace' will if it is shipped back from the US in time. I now have to order my plinths from the workshop at WD, take some good detail shots of 'Rebuilder' for the press release / Cathedral website, design a poster / flyer and finish all the weaving.
Another development is that I will be assembling the scaffold loom in the North Transept again, to one side of the exhibition. I shall be able to rewarp the 'Identity' tapestries from last year and resume weaving hayyah in public. Visitors will be able to see weaving in action once more (the Visitors' Officer thinks this will be an important part of the exhibition). 'Nefesh' is on the same warp, so will whet people's appetite for the rest of the series, I hope!

Location:The Dungeon

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Better Late Than Never

Both bets completed in an evening of weaving.

I did not get to the studio yesterday because I was just so tired when we got back from East Sussex that I fell asleep all afternoon! This was due either to sheer exhaustion or the deep trauma evinced by the Hailsham Festival of Arts and Culture; someone had decided to have a display of scarecrows - not of itself a bad idea - but when those scarecrows have been strung up to, rather than built round, what can only be described as crosses, the end result is, not to put too fine a point on it, crucified scarecrows. The High Street looks like some horrible mash up of Spartacus and The Wizard of Oz <>.

The Cathedral have published their events diary for the next four months, and I make a lot of appearances in it, due to the upcoming exhibition, a series of talks and a workshop day. Tomorrow morning I have a meeting with the Exhibitions Committee to make final arrangements. I am occasionally horribly aware that I could fall flat on my face. I am not panicking, and have not yet had any of my standard anxiety dreams (the one where it is the night before A levels and I have not done any work, or the one where I am about to go on stage and have lost my shoe, or the one where it is the last day of school and (for some reason only known to my fevered brain) I have to find my missing hockey boot or the world will end). Why have anxiety dreams not updated from when I was eighteen? It is a shame that a certain poster phrase has become massively overused and pastiched, because it encapsulates my approach, which is to "Keep Calm and Carry On". It has taken me through BA, PGDip and MFA, so I will stick to it.

Location:The Dungeon

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Another Letter (almost) Completed

Because of the 'list to port' on bet2 I cannot complete bet1 until I have woven enough of the former to fill in the space between them and do the last bit of the latter. Two hours of weaving after a day in the shop is not a bad showing though. Should be able to finish both on Monday as I can have a full studio day once we get back from our overnight stay on The Dark Side (aka East Sussex) with the Boy's cousins. We have not seen them for AGES so it will be good to catch up.

Location:The Dungeon

Friday, 6 September 2013

New Book Joy #3!

Well, a girl has to have something to do besides weaving, now that evenings are closing in.

I heard Malcolm speak on this subject last year and it was excellent. I am also a great fan of his sonnets - as you will know if you are a regular visitor here.

There is a new exhibition in the Cathedral; 'Moment by Moment, a Pilgrimage'. 100 steel figure sculptures by Randy Klein: childhood, nature, journeys, love, parenthood, acquisition, spiritual (re)awakening and more - all human life is there! I will check the position regarding copyright and maybe post photos of my favourites.

Oh, and I did a lot of work on 'Rebuilder' too; very close to completing bet1. Planning to go in and do so tomorrow after shop duties.


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

New Book Joy #2........

.......and other joy besides!

I was not expecting this to arrive until next week, so a pleasant surprise when I returned from The Dungeon. I am still working through 'The Female Face of God......' but so enjoy her writing and ideas that I ordered this one for later.

I am also feeling very pleased with myself because I have not only finished mem but also shin. A good day indeed!

Location:The Dungeon and Home

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

New Book Joy!!

I watched a great little documentary on iPlayer (still there if you want to catch it!) 'What Do Artists Do All Day?: Cornelia Parker'. Very sorry that I missed others in the series.

Looking forward to devouring the book, one delightful nugget at a time.


Monday, 2 September 2013

Of Weaving Progress and Sunset Curry!

mem almost finished - need to weave the square on point that underpins the overlap. As you do. Two whole studio days in prospect this week, which should mean good progress, added to any afternoon / evening sessions I can fit in.

This evening we got a curry from our favourite takeaway and took it to the garden of an abandoned-and-soon-to-be-demolished house on the Bosham Channel. Sat on a bench using the sea wall as a table and watched the sun setting over Chidham. Gorgeous!! And never to be repeated because after the demolition a new house will be built and the land will be private once more.

The sky was much bluer than it appears here; must fiddle with the camera settings before my next sunset outing!

On the way up, Chanctonbury Ring and on the way down respectively.

Location:The Dungeon and Bosham Channel

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Bobbin of the Month

Striped ebony.

Boy, Doglet and I did a great yomp yesterday afternoon up (and I do mean UP!) to Chanctonbury Ring on the South Downs. We walked up the steep way through gorgeous woods, had our picnic on the ramparts of the Iron Age fort and then walked back down a track delightfully named 'Wiston Bostal'. Doglet loves the springy turf of the chalk hills and romps about enjoying herself tremendously. We found a rope swing on a giant beech tree on the way down, which Boy could not resist. I have the video!

This is not my photo, but it is a similar view to the one I took. I found a drawing of a circle dance the other day which I cannot remember making, but which I may be able to conflate with the image of the beech circle and create something nice from.......


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