Tuesday 19 September 2023

Bridget Bailey & The Secret Life of Hedgerows - Danby Lodge, North York Moors National Park

Bridget Bailey - Life on the Hedge

The Secret Life of Hedgerows, featuring the work of 9 artists, is the current exhibition at the Inspired by... gallery at Danby Lodge National Park Centre. Hedgerows, as well as the fauna and flora they support, are depicted in textiles, ceramics, print and more and the aim is to draw attention to these important features of the British landscape.

Bridget Bailey - Life on the Hedge (detail)

My reason for heading over to this exhibition was because I had seen that Bridget Bailey was exhibiting.  I love Bridget's work.  She grew up in North Yorkshire and still has family in the area although she now lives in London.  She studied textiles and began her career making sculptural headpieces and now uses those techniques and other methods of experimental making, including fly tying and the incorporation of found materials, to interpret nature inspired by her allotment.  After a Moors study day in May, exploring hedgerows and their associated wildlife and asking questions of the experts, Bridget came up with "Life on the Hedge" which represents a hedgerow population of wire flora and fauna, silk caterpillar, worms, thread insects, feather and velvet moths all living on fallen branches arranged to suggest a cut and lay hedge.  There's alot to look at and take in.  Those moths and worms are quite amazing...

Bridget Bailey - Life on the Hedge (detail)
Feather & Velvet Moths

Bridget Bailey - Life on the Hedge (detail)

Every time you look you spot something else and whether you love what you see or not (the worms are rather grossly realistic) - it's fascinating.  I also loved Bridget's Hedgerow Bouquets...

Bridget Bailey - Hedgerow Bouquets

especially the Knapweed...

Bridget Bailey - Hedgerow Bouquet (detail)

I was sorry I couldn't make the Knapweed Flower Workshop that Bridget was running.

Of course Bridget wasn't the only artist exhibiting.  Other artists that caught my eye were Jacqui Atkin with her ceramic vessels depicting birds...

Jacqui Atkin - Winter Chaffinches & Robin

Sarah Morpeth, a paper and book artist, was inspired by the number of organisms, especially insects, supported by the hawthorn to make pieces to celebrate that abundance.  The way hedgerows explode with life, inspired the forms and colours in this work...

Sarah Morpeth - Abundance 1 (detail)

Laura Murphy's ceramics are inspired by markings or movement.  Here the markings of field cuckoo bumblebee are represented and the flitting back and forth of the blue tits from their nest.

Laura Murphy - Field Cuckoo Bumblebee Wide Vessel

Laura Murphy - Blue Tit Flight Vessels

Sally Sommerville-Woodiwis, an ecologically inspired artist explored the differences between what might be found under a hedge and a fence.  Here this is explored through the medium of a collage of natural materials...

Sally Sommerville-Woodiwis - As above so below, fence

In the studio there was a further exhibition of artists such as Lesley Birch...

Lesley Birch - Stormy Day

and Ian Burke...

Ian Burke - Redcar Double Ender

and lots more.  So why not take a trip to Danby Lodge, which is about half an hours drive from Whitby or Kirbymoorside....

Danby Lodge National Park Centre

There's also a cafe where you can enjoy a proper brew...

plus a children's play area, picnic tables, car parking, a bookshop and walks aplenty.

Monday 11 September 2023

New fabric necklaces arrive at cambridge contemporary crafts

Hippystitch Fabric Necklaces

A new selection of my fabric necklaces are landing at cambridge contemporary crafts this week.  It's quite a luscious selection...

Hippystitch Fabric Necklaces

Go and take a look - cambridge contemporary crafts have lots to choose from for the perfect present or as a treat. 

Hippystitch Fabric Necklaces

As well as jewellery, there are ceramics, prints and paper, sculptures, glass, textiles and cards. Find them at 5 Bene't Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QN.

Friday 1 September 2023

Andy Warhol at the Fashion & Textile Museum, London


Andy Warhol - Textile with Acrobats, Clowns & Horses (detail)

Andy Warhol: The Textiles is currently on display at the Fashion & Textile Museum in London until 10 September 2023.  In the 1950s, before Warhol's career as a fine artist took off, he was a very successful commercial illustrator and graphic designer and designed many commercial textiles. 

Andy Warhol - Textile with Acrobats, Clowns & Horses
(blue-green, red-pink & yellow-lilac colourways)

The word that immediately came to mind whilst looking at Warhol's textiles was "charming".  The designs have a coherent style, are whimsical, colourful and haven't dated. The blotted, broken line outline of his designs was a signature trait.  The textile with Acrobats, Clowns and Horses is a border print with a sequence where the clown somersaults from horse to horse.

Andy Warhol - Happy Bug Day
Printed cotton beach costume - brown, orange & yellow colourway

Warhol's most successful commercial design, inspired by the 18th and 19th century mounted displays of insects, was Happy Bug Day for Fuller Fabrics.  It was also used for cards stationery and wrapping paper.  He produced similar designs concentrating entirely on butterflies in both muted (Happy Butterfly Day) and bolder colours (see below)...

Andy Warhol - Textile with Boldly Coloured Butterflies
Printed Silk Blouse

Many of Warhol's designs feature fruit, and lemons were a particular favourite...

Andy Warhol - Textile with Lemons
Bolero - Printed cotton

Being a stationery fiend, I particularly liked this design featuring pens, pencils and paintbrushes.  Here Warhol uses his characteristic blotted, broken line technique to feature the tools of his trade...

Andy Warhol - Textile with Pens, Pencils & Brushes

He used everyday items such as socks, boots, shoes, brushes and brooms, gardening themes, pocket watches, luggage and buttons in his designs...

Andy Warhol - Collage of Designs
Pocket Watches, Buttons, Gardening, Socks, Luggage, Brushes & Brooms, Boots & Shoes

In the early 1960s Warhol sold his last three known textile designs of ice cream cones, pretzels and candy apples to the Stehli Silks Corporation.  Those shown below were all made from the designs printed on polyester.

Andy Warhol - Ice Cream Cones, Pretzels, Candy Apples
Polyester Evening Dress, Polyester Culottes, Polyester Evening Dress

So if you want to be charmed, go take a look but remember this exhibition is closing on the 10 September 2023. I didn't know about this aspect of Warhol's work and it was great to see.  The Fashion and Textile Museum is in Bermondsey (south of the river - nearest station is London Bridge) and there are lots of cafes and restaurants nearby.  It's just near the White Cube Bermondsey if you fancy a look round there too.

The Fashion & Textile Museum has a resources room so if you fancy spending a bit of time making your own Andy Warhol style print, you can...

Andy Warhol Inspired Print

Do go if you get the chance!