More grovelling apologies for another review after an exhibition has closed, but I only managed to see Leaf Stitching by Alice Fox at the SDC Gallery on its last day (last Saturday).
I’ve followed Alice’s blog for a while (there’s a link to it in the left-hand column), fascinated by her experiments with rust dyeing and their ability to evoke a sense of place. She had some of her rust prints in the gallery, including some of her Tide Marks series and Pavement Pieces based on found objects, but the main emphasis here was on her stitched leaves.
The window featured three hangings of stitched eucalyptus leaves, which Alice says stitch well and give off a lovely smell at the same time.
The colours of the eucalyptus contrasted with the oak leaf “quilt”, where the prominent leaf veins created more texture than colour (though the subtly different shades of brown were lovely).
Star of the show was a series of leaf cubes, arranged in a colour circle – a triumph of delicate geometry.
Alice hadn’t preserved the leaves in any way and is up front about the ephemeral nature of this work: “As stitched objects they won’t remain the same forever, although once dried out, and if stored carefully, there is no reason why they won’t stay the same for a good long time. They were not originally intended as pieces to be kept or displayed. In recording them as photographs in a publication some of their ephemeral nature is overcome”.
In this she follows in the tradition of artists like Andy Goldsworthy who create fleeting moments of beauty in nature.
I couldn’t resist buying Alice’s book Natural Processes in Textile Art – a great source of information on using natural and found objects to create art.
And here is the first work in progress inspired by the book. It’s an ecoprint on paper folded into a small book, which I’ve started stitching into.