Friday, 22 December 2017

close knit update

During the last few months I've located two of my Mum's brothers graves, traveling to Slough and Gloucester to photograph, measure and make rubbings of the gravestones. This information enables me to create knitting patterns that replicate the surface dimensions of the stones. I've almost finished George's acid yellow cosy, a nod to the graveside flowers on the day of my visit.

It saddens me that my Mum is now a part of this project. In 2009 I knitted a pink cosy for this grave. The stone was straightened and cleaned before the burial of Mum's ashes in October, so I've retaken the measurements and selected a royal blue acrylic wool for her cosy, a colour that really suited her.  

To complete Close Knit the graves of my Granddad Frederick Furmage, and his first son, also Frederick Furmage remain to be found. My Granddad was buried in a communal grave and I'm hoping to discover its location. My Uncle Fred is proving to be a challenge to trace, but I understand he is buried in East Finchley. The project continues...




Thursday, 7 December 2017

creative learning network

Haven't done much education work recently, partly the fall out from a difficult year and a need to hunker down/retain energy BUT yesterday I worked with a fantastic and receptive group at the Hepworth Wakefield.

The Hepworth Wakefield and Theatre Royal Wakefield jointly offer practical sessions for teachers, teaching assistants, NQTs, artists and art organisations through the Creative Learning Network exploring creative approaches to teaching across the curriculum as well as generating new ideas that can be applied back in the classroom.

We explore drawing and communication inspired by Barbara Hepworth's The Gift in galleries 4 & 5 and Alina Szapocznikow: Human Landscapes. We had the galleries to ourselves and the atmosphere was still, shadowed, spiritual somehow... The art considered belonging, place, landscape, relationships, human experience, the body, fragility, illness and loss. The group considered, reflected upon and were moved by these issues. 

Today I received this feedback, gathered from the feedback forms completed at the close of our session: colourful, engaging, thoughtful  reflective, inspiring, creative, rewarding, fun, happy, relaxing, interesting, enthralling, clever, sad. The feedback also evidenced the participants felt they had the confidence to take the ideas and explore them in their own learning environments. I'm so pleased! 

Friday, 17 November 2017

limited edition giclée prints

I'm offering limited edition giclée prints on Hahnemühle paper. Scanned direct from my embroidered handkerchiefs each print is signed and in a small edition of 25. 





Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Thursday, 31 August 2017

life drawing

Countless hours were spent at collage honing my observation and drawing skills, but now I rarely sit and draw for the sake of drawing.

I'm aware of observing the world with a drawers eye - counting, measuring, noting the space between objects, spotting interesting colour-way, tone, texture. Learning to draw changes how you look forever: inquisitive looking, sorting the world into shapes that fit together, attempting to forget what you're looking at in order to see it clearly.

This Tuesday I tootled up Leytonstone High Road and attended a class with East London Life Drawing. The assembled group were focused and companionable, and we lost two hours in the best possible way: in the moment, solving the problem of how to depict a living form on 2D paper. For me, it all came together when I got my hands on this red crayon, a blunt, early years type crayon with both beautiful and frustrating qualities. 

Monday, 21 August 2017


My brief was to create an activity that could accommodate 300 participants a day, reference Hodgkin and Hepworth and result in something wearable within 20 minutes of making! This workshop was the result. Run during the Summer Bazaar weekend at the Hepworth Wakefield, our visitor total was 611 happy people - phew! With thanks to staff and volunteers Hilary, Lesley, Rachael and Haleema, also Sandra for help moving tables!

 Thoughtful layering of colour and texture

 Mr Happy


 Print head

Inventive child

 Our home for the weekend

Saturday, 5 August 2017

outdoor play

Myself and Gillian Brent got our heads together in her Sheffield studio and invented this drop-in workshop for families in response to Howard Hodgkin: Painting India. Rain and wind meant our Outdoor Play workshop became indoor play in the bright and roomy learning studios at the gallery. We had a few utterances of 'wow' as children stepped into the space, one child calling the installation a laundry painting, which I loved! 

Our idea evolved from a sense of being able to walk into Hodgkin's paintings. Throughout the days, our walk-in painting altered, evolved and began again as 230+ participants pegged, tied and draped fabric, ribbons and drawings within the structure. They did this after exploring the gallery using an inventive pack containing questions, prompts, ribbons, fabric, a black card frame and bags containing cloves, cardamon, cinnamon and coriander seeds - connecting scent and painting in their own personal way.

As always, we couldn't do this without the support of the learning team and generous volunteers - a BIG thank you to them. 

 Ribbon response to Howard Hodgkin

 Dressed for the occasion!


 'Painting' with fabric

 Laundry painting

Small artist