Inky hands, reams of cloth and a fierce determination led to 100 'Feuding angels' being born in time for arrivals to shopkeepers in early Autumn. Silver screen heroines Bette Davis and Joan Crawford sport the figures of angels, designed to be cut out of canvas and carefully sewn together leaving their hemlines open to be elegantly positioned aloft the Christmas tree, keeping watch of your yuletide proceedings. Soon to be available for 'Bauble II' at: www.theshopfloorproject.com
Monday, 15 September 2008
..as diagonal sleet sweeps across the landscape". I headed to Hastings for the 'Wish you were here' Costal Currents weekend at Crabbe Palace by the sea. A delicious exhibition of seven artists work responding to the theme of awayness. We threw a lively opening with gin & tonics, cream cakes, a tombola, a video projection onto a pub wall, books in suitcases galore, a bibliotherapist and a splendid official opening speech by Iain Sinclair. The show was open over two weekends as part of the Hastings open studio event, 'Costal Currents'. The beautiful Ms L. Crabbe was our curator and hostess for the event which drew a spirited local crowd as well as a dedicated audience from further afield. I left an honesty box for visitors to deposit one British pound in exchange for one 'I wish you were here...' letterpress printed postcard. Twenty sentiments adorned 600 postcards creating a narrative when read in sequence, or hinted sentiments when read individually. I wish you here...' to soothe a primal fear'...'brimful of tingling firecracker thoughts'...'pacing around me like a wary wild thing'...'to provide a brow stroke, a hand squeeze, a sign.'
Thursday, 11 September 2008
This month I was invited to create another installation, this time at the beautiful, dreamy shop that is 'Couverture & The Garb Store' on London's Kensington Park Road. They spotted my recent box works in 'Crafts' magazine and felt the pieces were suited to the ethos and artistic palette of the store. I hopped on the train to install 'My Dolls House' into the cream window for a two-week showing, with a view to catching the eyes of little ones and luring them into my miniature world, where dogs enjoy trifle on a crocheted lawn. Relentlessly fascinated with the fabricated reality found in the dolls house, I built these curious constructions as portals into my own childhood domestic reality. www.couverture.co.uk
A sneak peek at a piece selected to be shown at the National Glass Centre this Autumn for the 'Beautifully Crafted' exhibition. What a fine compliment it is too. A silver plated antique purse is home to a collagraph concertina print entitled 'Vulnerability' confessing the aftermath of an emotional fallout.
A mini still-life set up occurred one Sunday afternoon in my boudoir. Animals and furniture alike were in search of the majestic library of the past for a new project. A secret collaborative book in which nominated contributors are asked to respond to a library's special collection. I became so overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the collection, after devouring dozens of vintage children's books, drawing countless characters, writing reams of text, I finally responded in an unexpected way in the form of a photograph.
I've been screen-printing like crackers this Summer, producing my second batch of 'How to Make a White Rabbit' multiple. The first edition of 120 sold like hot cakes, so without hesitation I created a new brood. Inspired by my friend's little childhood elephant and the captivating 1940's toy patterns at the V&A, these poppets are easy to make and provide a listening ear for life. Another 120 orphaned rabbits are out there in the world (the minimum offspring a female adult European rabbit bares in an average lifetime! Ouch), and are available at 'Frank' and 'Couverture' and soon to be for sale on the website.
As Spring turned to Summer, I headed to the seaside for the Whitstable Biennale, after being invited to create an exclusive window installation for the wonderfully enigmatic shop 'Frank'. The lovely Rob & Mary Claire gave me free rein to create a space in which to reflect my current obsessions. I positioned my newly renovated pink silk-lined dolls house, internally bereft of the expected fixtures and fittings, instead suspended weightless above the red roof. A little 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks' but an enquiring crowd puller non the less. Have a look at how the Satellite Biennale described 'All I Ever Wanted' here: www.localencounter.co.uk/allieverwanted/4529527101
Reflect Forward, Craft Central, London EC1. February-March 2008.
After being a recipient of the Reflect Forward award in the summer of 2007, I embarked on a residency at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. I pottered about the archive sifting through endless fascinating documents from benefactors, with detailed descriptions of how these dolls houses came into being. These inherited treasures and their associated narratives warmed my insides. So much so that I delved into my own family heirloom's origin (the dolls house Great Uncle Ernest built for my sister in 1977 and his passion for miniature worlds). My desire to explore and unearth my personal childhood domesticity was born, resulting in my first solo exhibition at Craft Central Gallery, London in February 2008.