Sunday, 9 October 2011

Ally Pally

was great fun and despite the vagaries of travelling by (delayed) train I enjoyed the day, not least for the enjoyment of the wonderful views over London and the beautiful building that is Alexandra Palace.

First task on arriving was to sit in the Palm Court and have some lunch and I couldn't resist taking a few photos of the reflections in the huge mirrored doors.  Also in the collage above is the amazing Great Hall which towers above you.  The stained glass window at the far end looks beautiful and I'm sure would inspire many a quilter.

The first thing that greets you as you hand over your ticket and walk into the exhibition is the Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry.

The tapestry was created by more than 250 embroiderers from across Scotland and tells the story of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745.  It is over 104m in length.  The tapestry was designed by Andrew Crummy who designed each one metre panel which would then be brought together to form the whole tapestry.  My photograph shows only part of the tapestry.

I had decided to concentrate on the textile hall as my time was limited and there was plenty to see.  Immediately on entering the room I was stopped in my tracks by the Textile Study Group. This group of artists produce exciting and inspirational work and this exhibition is accompanied by a postcard from each artist's personal collection and an explanation of how it has influenced the development of their art practice.

This beautifully delicate piece titled 'In Decline' by Shelley Rhodes spoke to me with its subtle colours and variety of marks.  If you click on the photo you should be able to read about her inspiration.  Ruth Issett's work needs so introduction and was as brilliantly colourful as Shelley's was delicate.

I didn't make a note of the title of this piece but love it for its colour and vitality.  It should be on prescription!

Gwen Hedley's piece was close to my heart:

This is just a part of the piece which as you can see is bound parcels of found objects from beaches.  Gwen's statement says that 'mark and message are more significant than medium'.  It is titled 'Excerpts from a Visual Diary'.

The Textile Study Group exhibition was accompanied by a book 'Individual and Collective' sponsored by an Arts Council grant and at £5 it is an absolute steal! 

(Oops! Is that shopping I see there?)

After a chat with Mary Sleigh (no photo sorry) I went in search of Dale Rollerson and spent a very happy time indulging my shopping gene!

 Dale's stand was very busy so we only had time for a very brief chat but I enjoyed the beautiful colours that abound in the fibres she had on sale.

Prefelts, beautifully dyed scrim, sari silk, threads, inspiration pack, silk weaving ends and gorgeous copper buttons all came home with me, not to mention a pack of sponge letters and numbers for printing.  I think I benefitted form the exchange rate Dale was using.  Thank you Dale :-)

The cornerstone of the exhibition was dedicated to the memory of Beryl Dean who was an exceptional ecclesiastical embroiderer.  Photography was not allowed of the main part of the exhibition but I did photograph a piece made in collaboration with Alice Kettle  which was allowed.

Do go and Google Beryl Dean and have a look at the images for her as her work is amazing and timeless.

Chungie Lee's beautiful and diaphanous Pojagi (Po-jah-ki) fascinated me and I loved Jilli Blackwood's wonderful layered and hand embroidered clothing and hangings.  I wish I could be as free and expressive. 

There was much more to see in the exhibition and I did manage to get round all the Halls but I kept well away form the majority of the trade stands as I didn't want to exhaust myself. 

The final highlight of the day was the walk back to Alexandra Palace railway station on a crisp and sunny autumn afternoon.  The view from the terrace of Ally Pally is wonderful with the whole of London spread before me.  I was particularly struck by the contrast of urban habitation set against the modern skyscrapers in the background.

Also to be seen in the distance was the skeleton of the 2012 Olympic stadium.

If you click on the image above you will see the triangular shapes of the stadium.  Not long now till the Olympics!

This was my first visit to Ally Pally and it lived up to expectations and helped to give me a lift.  I enjoyed the atmosphere of the exhibition and the enthusiasm of the young students who were keenly gathering ideas and inspiration and interviewing the exhibitors with much more confidence than I had at their age. 

It was interesting to see the impressive Victorian building that is Alexandra Palace and to be reminded of its history in the pioneering days of British Broadcasting.

Thank you, everyone, for your lovely messages of support and encouragement.  I appreciate the support of this wonderful community and I know we will get through these trying days.  We are making progress and I have a lot to be thankful for, not least that my Mum is safe and we can spend time together.  Small steps will make progress and my mood will improve I'm sure.



Penny said...

thank you so much for your lovely photos of your visit to Ally Pally, took me back to my wonderful visit 2 years ago. I dont know if I will ever get back but posts like yours bring it all back.

jan said...

Looks fantastic I've never been, but will have to try and go next year. Lovely photos

Kayla coo said...

Great pictures and glad you had a wonderful day.
I have not managed to get to the show this year.
I hope I can visit next year.
M x

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

Thanks so much for sharing Julie, great to see those wonderful pieces and I love those beach bundles!!! Glad you enjoyed yourself. xox Corrine

ju-north said...

What a fantastic day you had! I love those copper buttons! the only time I have been to AP was to sit an exam!

DIAN said...

So many lovely things to see in these pics. I loved the bundles too.

I have just read your previous post and do hope you are feeling better.

Bringing such issues to your blog is just as reasonable as bringing pics of your creations and other activities.

Gina said...

I'm very sad to have missed this year but pleased you had a lovely time.

Heather said...

What a fantastic day out and super photos which made me feel I had been there too. So glad you enjoyed your day and I love your goodies - I think I would have bankrupted myself at Dale's stand! Just as well my feet and legs wouldn't have lasted the day. I always forget how many areas of green there are in London - it's donkeys years since I last went.

Lis said...

What a wonderful report Julie. I have to confess I had not idea Alexander Palace was such an amazing building and now I really want to go there. The show looked great, such interesting things. Good shopping haul too, looking forward to seeing what you do with it all. Hugs

Peneller said...

Great photos Julie. I'm so glad that you enjoyed your trip and that you got back safely. Perhaps next year!

Fenland Textile Studio said...

Glad you had fun. I loved all your pictures. Made me feel quite home sick as I used to go when I lived in Greenwich. I really MUST go next year. I wonder if they still do a Spring show? Good job I didn't though as I would have spent a fortune with dale.

Su said...

Wasn't it just wonderful? I've decided 1 day just isn't enough time to do it properly though!

Sandie said...

That was just what you needed, including a teeny bit of retail therapy -:)
Love the threads and buttons!

Where in the country is you Mums' house? is it in St Ives???? ( Ever hopeful I'll win the lottery and move to the South West LOL)

Hope things pick up soon,


Sandie xx

Angela said...

Thanks for this post Julie you took some lovely pictures. Who could blame you for your purchases from Dale the colours are wonderful and I love the buttons.Glad you enjoyed yourself I hope your feeling a little better. I didn't get to Ally Pally this time but I'm hoping to go to Harrogate.

quilthexle said...

Super inspiring post - thank you ! Guess England is going to be very excited about the Olympics in London; do you plan to go and see some of it "live"?
Take care,

Maggi said...

Thanks for sharing the photos Julie. We are going to try Harrogate this year as long as the snow doesn't stop us! Love your collage at the beginning of the post.

freebird said...

Nice pictures. Looks like you brought home some colorful treasures! I was at another blog today where she talked about airline delays and even a fender-bender on her trip. I think for now, I am rather happy taking my ImaginaryTrips with Laure Ferlita where it's all online yet we learn to paint while "visiting" different countries. Someday perhaps I can do the real thing but for now at least I am not dealing with delays or other real travel woes. Of course, I only get to see things by google streetview or photographs which isn't quite the same as being where you get to really see and then buy souvenirs!

Glad it perked you up some.

Downunderdale said...

It was really lovely to see you Julie - hope you enjoy all those goodies - I love seeing our lovelies going to good homes! I forget to look at the beauty of Alexandra Palace some years when we go - loved your photos and especially of the Textile Study group - I didn't feel I could take photos so I am enjoying yours

sweetypie said...

grrrr, I am so jealous!i love ally pally and we are definately coming next year so you will have company, cheer up girl and look at your lovely shopping stitch something silly[ A GECKO MAYBE]

MargaretR said...

Sorry you seem to have been feeling a bit low Julie. It is so difficult getting back into swing after stopping a while. Thanks for the photos of Ally Pally. I didn't take many this time, but I think your colourful work was made by Ruth Issett.

Jackie said...

I hope all these same people are going to be in Harrogate. I went to Ali Pally once and enjoyed it , but I think Harrogate is just as good in a different way. I always go straight to the Textile Hall too. You can get a bit shopped out can't you?
Glad you enjoyed it and had a break from your worries.

Linda Stokes said...

Interesting to see your pics of Ally Pally - I went a few years ago - a fantastic day - would love to get there again one day!

Linda said...

Excellent post Julie...brought back happy memories of my visit last year. That stained glass window is so beautiful....
Going to Harrogate this year - although I guess there'll be slightly less to see. Plus we won't be able to purchase similar gorgeousness from! :-(