The Journey Of Things

At the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich to see Magdalene Odundo’s exhibition The Journey of Things, a celebration of 45 years of her amazing hand-built pots, featuring many of her iconic vessel sculptures, and accompanied by a history, or rather a herstory, of inspirational encounters along the way – touchstones first seen at the British Museum, the Commonwealth Institute, the Museum of Mankind, the Pitt Rivers Museum, Kettle’s Yard and the Sainsbury Centre itself, to name but a few. Continue reading “The Journey Of Things”

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Twelve Little Birds

And three parrots. Our window this month at the Rowley Gallery is home to a diverse flock of brightly coloured miniature tropical birds. It’s an aviary of twelve unique life-size watercolour paintings. The parrots are screen prints. And they are all by Fanny Shorter, whose work we have been lucky enough to show for the past ten years now, during which time she has developed from a printmaker of exquisite little birds and fishes into an internationally renowned textile designer. So it was a great pleasure to ask her to make twelve little paintings, just for a change. Continue reading “Twelve Little Birds”

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WOWI

WOWI is an acronym for What Once Was Imagined, a reference to William Blake’s proverb ‘What is now proved was once only imagined’, and the title of a beautiful exhibition at the Royal College of General Practitioners. There are 28 exhibits and it opened on the 28th of November, William Blake’s birthday, but I don’t think that was part of the plan, just a happy and auspicious coincidence. Continue reading “WOWI”

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Anni Albers

The Anni Albers exhibition at Tate Modern begins with a handloom. It is a wooden instrument made of frames and strings and pedals, with a stool for its operator to sit on. Threads pass rhythmically to and fro, writing the score of warp and weft. It might be likened to a piano whose musical offerings are captured for posterity in recordings of woven textiles. Continue reading “Anni Albers”

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Fonte Ciane

Two days on the island was playing tricks with my head. Maybe it was the heat. But for our first outing we escaped the endless tourist stroll around the streets of Ortigia and headed for Fonte Ciane, and the promise of a gentle walk upstream along the banks of the river to its source. No more aimless wandering, now we had a goal, what could be more simple? The directions were straightforward, it was listed in all the guidebooks, we crossed over to the mainland and followed the signs. Continue reading “Fonte Ciane”

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Living Calendar

The first advent calendar I remember was a snowy landscape splashed in chunky glitter. Little numbered doors were hard to see and fiddly to open but I was delighted when a tiny candle or perky robin was revealed. It was all about finding the right number each day. The increase in open doors a very satisfying way to get to Christmas. Continue reading “Living Calendar”

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Rooted In Instinct

This was a memorable exhibition seen when we visited Lincoln; it was just a few miles down the road at the National Centre for Craft & Design in Sleaford. Rooted in Instinct was a beautifully simple installation of works by Laura Ellen Bacon; three engaging sculptures made by traditional methods of basket weaving and thatching, handmade, handwoven, handtied, they seem to have been hand grown by the artist herself. In some ways the exhibition was a life-affirming companion piece to the more reductive Log Book performance we’d seen earlier in the Chapter House at Lincoln Cathedral. Continue reading “Rooted In Instinct”

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Entangled: Threads & Making

The Turner Contemporary at Margate, a light box of etched glass walls lined like graph paper, its warp and weft woven with Entangled: Threads & Making, the best exhibition I’ve seen in a long while.

…sculpture, installation, tapestry, textiles, and jewellery from the mid-20th century to the present day. It features over 40 international female artists who expand the possibilities of knitting and embroidery, weaving, sewing and wood carving, often incorporating unexpected materials such as plants, clothing, hair and bird quills. Continue reading “Entangled: Threads & Making”

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Josef Frank @ FTM

The Fashion & Textile Museum in Bermondsey was founded in 2003 by Zandra Rhodes, in a converted warehouse redesigned by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta, a disciple of Luis Barragán. Their current exhibition is Josef Frank: Patterns-Furniture-Painting. Continue reading “Josef Frank @ FTM”

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