Tuesday 26 June 2018


Hi, it's Becca here, I thought I would pop in and say hello as I've only been part of Traverse since May! After finishing the Experimental Textiles course with the rest of the Traverse members, I went on to do a mentor led course at the Windsor School of Textile Art and used my time to start working towards the new theme "Revealed".

My chosen concept (for "Revealed") is "Making the Invisible Visible" in relation to invisible disabilities and health conditions. I wanted to use my art to get the message across about how these hidden conditions affect you, whether physically or emotionally. It's not an easy concept to show I have to say! 

One of the hidden disabilities I have chosen is deafness - I am deaf, not that you would know if you met me, yet ... I am profoundly deaf. It is an invisible disability that affects 1 in 6 people, it is a disability that isn't understood even by those who know and it is one that creates frustration, irritation and loneliness for everyone with hearing loss whether mild or profound. My own and other people's experience of deafness is what inspired me to explore ways of making the invisible visible and as a result I'm currently exploring the hidden layers beneath the facade, showing the frustration and irritation that lies beneath.

Experimenting with wire and tape.

This past weekend has been my first full weekend at a Traverse group meet up and it has been fascinating to see what everyone has been up to!

 Deb is working away, shaping and adding stitch to her embellished felt.

Dia is looking at Stained Glass Windows and experimenting with ideas.

Cath has been exploring different ways to finish off her vessel. 

Bernice currently has one hand in plaster as her fingers heal after a nasty fall. Nevertheless, she had a go at working left handed on these Khadi paper zig zag books - pretty amazing result I have to say!

I've been using paper modelling to explore new ideas.

Becca x

Friday 8 June 2018


Looking at something – anything – is more interesting than doing anything else, ever…

                                                                                                                   Patrick Heron

I wasn’t sure about this quote when I first read it last week at Tate St Ives – my love of music means listening is also very interesting for me – but, in relation to my textile art, many of Patrick Heron's  words aptly describe my own impetus and inspiration. His approach to painting came from direct visual responses to the world and his belief that all painting is abstract to some extent also resonates with my own inclinations. I love the way he manipulated flatness, space, colour and line when depicting what he saw when ‘looking at something’.

(N.B. - all images are my own photographs from the exhibition, as photography was allowed. However, some are not quite straight due to external factors. All italics are Patrick Heron's words)

Window for Tate Gallery St Ives : 1992-93 – one of the largest unleaded coloured glass windows in the world

The picture is not the vehicle of meaning: the picture is the meaning …

For someone who struggles sometimes with the concept-based approach to art, trying desperately to decide what my work ‘means’ (if anything) I loved this quote. I could really relate to his belief that the impact of the work on the viewer does not depend on it describing the world outside and that any meaning comes from the balance between the different forms, shapes, light and colour within it. 

And what colour there was - everywhere - I revelled in it!

… the reason why the stripes sufficed as the formal vehicle of the colour, was precisely that they were so very uncomplicated as shapes … With stripes one was free to deal only with the interaction between varying quantities of varied colours…

Green and Mauve Horizontals : 1958

The organisation of the exhibition highlighted several recurring features of composition in Patrick Heron's work. I found the following few most interesting:

Each colour-shape or area, however large or small, is as important as any other.

Orange and Lemon with Small Violet : 1977

Balance is often created by bunching forms along an edge and by the inter-relation of different sized shapes.

Square Green with Orange, Violet and Lemon : 1969

I was fascinated by the significance given to the edges in a painting and the way he managed to achieve a sense of balance through asymmetry.

Dark Purple and Ceruleum : 1965

Painting should resolve asymmetric, unequal, disparate formal ingredients into a state of architectonic harmony which, while remaining asymmetrical, nevertheless constitutes a perfect state of balance or equilibrium …
Big Complex Diagonal with Emerald and Reds : March 1972 - September 1974

I noticed that the painting above took him over two years to complete and then was amazed to read this quote beside the following huge, glorious canvas and I understood why …

My fifteen-foot canvases, involving sixty or more square feet of a single colour, were painted (in oil paint) from end to end with small Japanese water-colour brushes. But one doesn’t hand-paint for the sake of the ‘hand-done’; one merely knows that the surfaces worked in this way can – in fact they must – register a different nuance of spatial evocation and movement in every single square millimetre.

Cadmium with Violet. Scarlet, Emerald, Lemon and Venetian : 1969

Patrick Heron's work is much more varied than it appears here but I’ve concentrated particularly on these large colour canvases as they are the works which speak with the most power to me - colour is certainly the most significant feature for me in my own work. However, the various composition features identified above also gave me much thought – and continue to do so now we’ve returned home and I begin to think of my own work again.

I did find myself looking a little more carefully as we wandered around St Ives later – specifically at rust in all its glory. I needed some photos as inspiration for a workshop later this year – more on that later.

Watch this space and keep looking ...