Thursday, 6 August 2009

Bending The Line Exhibition

The Hub at Sleaford in Lincolnshire is currently host to a prestigious exhibition of Textile Art by the 62 Group. The exhibition is entitled "Bending the Line" and is one of the largest exhibitions staged by the 62 Group. Unfortunately the gallery does not allow photographs so I cannot include any with this post but I can heartily recommend the exhibition if you are within reach of Sleaford. There is plenty of time to see it as it runs until 6 September. I definitely intend to go and have another look.

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Many of the works took inspiration from the poetry and life of Alfred Lord Tennyson, who was born in Somersby in the Lincolnshire Wolds, and most striking was "The Black Bat Night has Flown" by Audrey Walker which 'opened' the exhibiton. I haven't been able to find an illustration of this piece which was based around the poem 'Maud' by Tennyson. If you click on the link to the 62 Group you can find Audrey's page which has an illustration of a typical work and which shows the technique she used in the Bending the Line piece. The surface was intricate but stitched simply and there must have been a meditative quality to its endeavour.

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Every turn in the exhibition brought more and more fascinating work. Two works by Jeanette Appleton featured needlefelting on a large scale and if you follow the link and view Jeanette's gallery you can see one of the pieces on display, "Adaptive Landscape". The surface of this textile is so delicate and the colour changes so subtle. Beautiful!

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I was excited to see work by Clyde Olliver which was as hard as Jeanette's was soft. Cldye's piece was a larger than life figure of a man, entitled 'Aggregate I (Shadow)' and reminded me of Anthony Gormley's figures (hope I didn't do anyone a disservice by saying that!). The shadow, as you would expect, lays on the floor and is made up of metal objects, some rusted (heaven!) and some not, attached to slate mostly by the use of stitch. There was so much to look at in the detail of each piece making up the whole.

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Works by Ann Goddard entitled "Fragmented Boundary" were made from driftwood and metal stitched and bound. It is fascinating to conjecture how these elements are stitched together.

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I can't go through every artist in the exhibition but I have to include the work of Jae Maries which, in a way, took me back to my childhood. Jae has 2 pieces in the exhibition, 'Forty Metres West I and II' and Timelines I - VI and the surfaces of both are beautifully textured and detailed. Jae's gallery has an image of Timelines I - II but that cannot give you the quality of the actual works which are wonderfully textured. 'Forty Metres West I and II' depicts a representation before and after of the building of Jae's house and Timelines is concerned with events in the artist's own life. It takes me back to my childhood because I remember making a kind of grid with squares and layers of paper which I then worked on so the surface was cushioned. It has given me the idea to take some of my samples and test pieces and stitch them together in some way, a bit like a page in a journal. Now, there's a thought for a Journal Quilt!

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Who else must I mention? Famous names like Paddy Killer, Tilleke Schwarz, Jan Beaney, Jean Littlejohn, Sian Martin, Jean Draper and so many more. If you click the link to Paddy Killer you can see the actual work on display at Sleaford. It is a mirror image and is beautifully drawn. This is a stunning exhibition. See it if you can.


8 comments:

MargaretR said...

Wow, Julie. I loved that report. Thanks so much. I shall have a look at all the links now. I saw Jae Maries fantastic work very recently.

Gina said...

Thank you Julie... that has really whet my appetite. I had intended to come up and see the exhibition during the next couple of weeks... can't wait now.

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

A fantastic post. I hope to find the time to visit every one of the links you have lovingly provided. I love the sound of Ann Goddard's stitched driftwood and metal

Have a lovely weekend Julie. Sorry, I wasn't able to visit until now. The next few days will be a bit "hit n miss" too, as we've still got guests and I'm paying a visit to my parents on Monday

Sending love, Carolyn xx

Heather said...

That sounds like some exhibition Julie - thankyou for all the links. I shall spend too much time this morning checking them all out! I saw a 62 Group Exhibition some years back at the Black Swan Gallery in Frome and it was wonderful. My husband treated me to a piece of Jan Beaney's work which I treasure and enjoy every day.

maggi said...

Thanks for the info on the exhibition, I must try to get to this one. I saw an exhibition of Jeanette Appleton's work at the Bankside Museum in Halifax and it was excellent

Emma silverpebble said...

I've returned a few times to this interesting post Julie. It's given me an urge to SEE it - how I'd love to. It's sounds fascinating and inspiring. I especially like the sound of driftwood and metal stitched together! You know how excited that would get me. I'm off to follow some of your links. Many thanks!

Jackie said...

Thanks julie.
we are going to norfolk in a couple of weeks time and may be able to call in. You made me want to!

Jackie said...

Me again.
We went. When I arrived at The Hub I thought I'd died and gone to heaven and I don't think I realised its importance.
The exhibition though left me feeling like someone who had crossed a dessert and found only a thimbleful of water. I liked all the pieces you mention very much, but I do feel that for some reason stitch seems to have been almost eliminated from textile exhibitions. Instead of texture colour fabric and stitch it seemed hard and distant.
Maybe its just me but why must textile groups be ashamed of fabric and thread?
I was really glad I went but it gave me the same feeling as The Art of the Stitch has in recent years.
I sound ungrateful but I was so happy to have known about it before I went to Norfolk so thank you!