Sadly, a mini Beast from the East swept in again at the weekend, with biting winds and snow flurries keeping footfall down at the Contemporary Textiles Fair at the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington.
One very unfortunate casualty was the installation “Journey” by Ross Belton, half of the Modern Eccentrics duo. Ross had naturally dyed and rusted 120 metres of fabric made from recycled hotel sheets that meandered through the woodland outside the Landmark.
However, due to the Siberian blasts and heavy snow it had to be taken down on Saturday for health and safety reasons. 😦 Here’s one of Ross’s photos before this happened so you can see it in all its glory.
Luckily, the exhibition by featured artist Debbie Lyddon was well under wraps indoors – although, ironically, exposure to the elements often plays a part in the making of her work! In “Moments of Being”, seven Sluice Creek Cloths (named after a local tidal inlet) were pierced with holes, bound with iron wire and then placed in the sea to speed the change and degeneration of the cloth and rust the iron. They thus represent the movement and change of natural processes over time.
Debbie also creates structures covered in salt crystals – intriguingly beautiful and strange.
Despite the lower visitor numbers I made some good sales and some new friends – roll on next year!
Now I realise that those of you who live in parts of the world where you have to live underground for six months of the year because it gets so cold may regard the recent UK weather incident as a bit of a non-event, but we’ve been able to talk about nothing else for the past week.
Living in London, it’s rare that I get to witness the meteorological messes that get dumped on other parts of these islands. But even in the city we had six inches of snow, and now a burst water main in our street has led to our cellar (and that of our neighbour) being flooded. ESP spent the weekend lugging buckets of water out into the street, and we wait in vain to hear from Thames Water about when they might send an engineer out.
But life goes on. I’ve been doing some more felting experiments with old sweaters (though frankly I needed every layer I could get my hands on last week!).
Here’s a flat piece mounted on a small canvas.
Here’s a felt cushion.
And here’s a felt vase (with a jar of water inside). I forgot to take a photo of this before felting.
I’m planning to display these on my stand at the Contemporary Textiles Fair in Teddington in a couple of weeks. The theme of the fair this year is ecotextiles, so hopefully this will encourage people to upcycle their old sweaters (and maybe I will get some commissions 😉 ). Come and say hello if you’re planning to visit!
The venue is a converted church, so it feels very spacious, even with 75 exhibitors showing a range of wearable and hangable art.
There will also be a talk by Anthea Godfrey, who is the Artistic Director of the Embroiders’ Guild and recently project manager of the Hardhome Embroidery, a large-scale Game of Thrones inspired artwork. And the Royal School of Needlework is offering two taster workshops on the Saturday.
The private view is on Friday 17 March, 6-8.30pm, with a bar. On Saturday and Sunday the fair is open 10am-5pm; a cafe is available.
The normal entry price is £4 but as a follower of this blog, you can use the flyer above to get free entry to the private view on Friday or to get two tickets for the price of one on Saturday and Sunday. Either download it, print it off and bring it with you or show it on your device at the entrance desk.
On Saturday I went to the Contemporary Textiles Fair in Teddington. It was held in the Landmark Centre, a converted church, which is a lovely airy space for showing wares at their best.
With nearly 80 exhibitors, there was lots to inspire. Here are some of my favourites.
Cécile makes beautiful fluid knitwear. I have one of her short wool cardigans, which I wear a lot, and I splashed out on a lighter long jacket for summer. Cécile is more than happy to tailor-make a piece to your specific measurements – she’s making me a version with shorter arms, shorter waist and shorter length (did I say I was short?). It will be ready in a couple of weeks.
Ray (short for Rachel) makes lovely landscapes from felt, machine and hand embroidery and machine embellishment. The colours and textures are gorgeous, inspired by the Hampshire coast. (And she admired my felt bag – which I didn’t make! )
More felt – I particularly liked her 3D pots with slits exposing different coloured layers. She combines natural shades of Norwegian and Shetland wool with vibrant merino. Mandy actually trained as a jeweller but she likes making felt items that complement her jewellery.
Bonita Ahuja studied woven textiles at Chelsea College of Art and makes beautiful pieces with different materials embedded. Some of her work reminded me of Japanese boro (fabric that’s been patched and sewn together) – and she did say she gets a lot of inspiration from Japan. A friend I went with bought one of her scarves – I’m sure she’ll get a lot of wear from it!