Friday 17 September 2021

Times of beginnings

I've been contemplating writing this new blog for several weeks now, in a spectacular case of procrastination, and I've realised that sometimes you just have to go for it, even if you're not sure what you're going to say. It's been such a long time since the previous one at the end of last year and in some ways very little was changing in Traverse's world. My relationship with my textile art to a large extent remained tenuous and I've gone for long periods without making anything, apart from occasional bursts of creative energy. I know from our Zoom chats that Deb, Dia and Vicki have also, for various reasons, gone for long periods without doing much textile art.

However, things are slowly changing and finally we've managed to meet together in Deb's studio a couple of times recently. It's felt so good to be in the studio again, working alongside each other and sparking creativity and inspiration together. We are keeping everything crossed that planned shows next year will be going ahead and also have our very first gallery exhibition coming up in January next year. It will be at Sock Gallery, Loughborough Town Hall and we are very excited!

We decided to call the exhibition 'Together/Apart -  a Retrospective' to reflect how our creative lives have been affected recently. As we wrote in our description:

“An important part of our ethos is to celebrate our diversity, share our various strengths and to grow together, working side by side. However, having recently lived through strange times in our world and working apart for over a year, we are celebrating coming together again to present this retrospective, which reflects not only work on our themes but also work produced alone, exploring loss, personal viewpoints and our emotional landscapes – together and apart.”

Here are a few sneak peeks at what we've been up to.

Vicki has been making her own printing blocks and playing with paint and embossing powder ... 

... and a little bit of fabric manipulation.

Dia has been recycling (or is it upcycling?) coffee capsules, inspired by fireworks - the first stage is playing around with different arrangements before adding stitch.

I wonder if this will be the final choice.

Another of Dia's explorations with this felted background and more fabric manipulation ...

... and some stitching on some beautiful hand- dyed fabric.

Some more gorgeous stitching from Deb ...

...and part of her latest unwearable dress - I love the colours on this one!

I have been playing around with a couple of pieces - both of them things I started ages ago. First, something from the Experimental Textiles course where Traverse first met and it definitely needs a lot of work, specifically on the very flat background, which  needs texture. The embellished felted pieces have copper either inlaid or on top so I've been experimenting.

Where shall I put the small copper circles and should they have a dark red (or maybe turquoise) border?

Maybe I'll move some copper from the bottom to the top.

I think I've found some interesting texture for the background anyway!

The second piece is much older - I began it on a workshop with Alysn Midgelow Marsden in 2014! I know I put it away because it was quite fiddly, working with Romeo soluble and tiny pieces of metal cloth but I didn't intend to leave it for quite so long! I love the texture created and also the heat patination on the three different metals - steel, bronze and copper. I'm trying to decide which orientation I prefer and was surprised at the difference it made when I rotated the following photograph taken in Deb's studio.


The sunlight coming in through Deb's window was creating some very interesting shadows that day and the way I look at it now makes quite a difference. A bit of a theme for me lately and I'm still not quite sure how it will end up but remembering my opening sentence - 'sometimes you just have to go for it, even if you're not sure what you're going to do'.