EAST blog

EAST blog

The EAST blog

This blog has been set up for members of EAST to post information about what is happening in the group and in their work.

A birthday treat: Two exhibitions, two countries

miscellaneousPosted by Janette Thu, January 21, 2016 09:18:05

This month's blog is from Melinda:

"Last weekend I had the good fortune to attend two different
exhibitions in two different countries both of which proved to be
informative and inspiring.

In London I went to Tate Modern to see “The World Goes Pop”.
What a brilliant title for a really thought provoking exhibition. A
must see for anyone interested in exploring the links between
art and the wider society. The 60s and 70s are the focus and
as you would expect the issues of war (and peace!), world
politics, sexual liberation and feminism are the central underlying
themes. Pop art is often referred to as a mainly North American
and British phenomena, but this exhibition includes works from
much further afield thus giving a more global take on this art
movement. Colour and form are prominent factors and so a good
inspiration “fix”. This plus a quick look in on “my” Rothkos and
the Richter pieces that I used for my final dissertation left my
senses reeling.

Then for something completely different, or so I thought.

On Sunday I visited the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv to see
“A Matter of Time : Israeli Jewelery 7”. I knew this would be an
impressive show but what I was not prepared for was the sheer
stunning beauty and variety of ideas and thoughts depicted by
the fifty eight jewellers who showed their work alongside historical
pieces. Whilst the skills and techniques were jewellery based, so
many pieces could have been translated into textiles. An informative
brief accompanied every piece (yes the words!!) and many themes
such as often considered in E.A.S.T exhibitions appeared
throughout. Nature themes, identity, recycling, the environment
and so on are familiar to us all. I was enthralled for the
second time in one weekend!

Final note - I had intended to buy the catalogue for the jewellery
exhibition to bring to show you in February but on the way to the
shop I discovered my car had been towed away! Oh well all in a
good cause…… (We are now reunited!)

I am including just a few photos to illustrate this lovely, inspiring
exhibition and if I have a chance –will go back to get the catalogue!!"

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Happy Stitchers

miscellaneousPosted by Susan Sat, December 19, 2015 12:12:34

At the November meeting of E.A.S.T. , June and Lorna told me about the formation of a new branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild at Bury St. Edmunds. I googled the Guild website and got some more information which led me to Mary McIntosh’s site. She is a quilter living in Sudbury and has become the chairman of the new branch. What really excited me was that the branch meetings are held at Risby Village Hall, the same venue which the dog and I go to each Thursday for dog training. (Don’t worry! The Guild meet in the small hall while the dog training takes place in the larger one.) I e-mailed Mary McIntosh who sent me a programme for the year and I attended the second meeting of the branch while the dog waited in the car.

There were twenty new members, a couple of whom I had met at the Ipswich branch which I attended when I first moved to Suffolk. It had already been decided that we would begin with a “travelling books” project and everyone had brought along work to start them while Mary divided us into three groups by pulling names out of a hat. We then discussed the Capability Brown event which is being run by the Guild and the fact that we are to exhibit at Highlands Park in Chelmsford, Essex. It’s a pity that no Suffolk venue was available for our work but we are obviously latecomers. However, it was a very lively meeting and hopefully a few more stitchers will feel inclined to join in the coming year.

I left the meeting in time to take Briar to dog training at 9.30pm so we both had a very successful evening. I look forward to the next meeting on January 7th at Risby Village Hall which is just off the A14.

Below I have posted a couple of images of my travelling book and one of Briar on her holiday.

Happy Christmas.



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Seasons Greetings

miscellaneousPosted by Janette Sat, December 05, 2015 18:26:41
Today EAST members held their Christmas lunch. Instead of each member writing out a batch of Christmas cards to hand round we asked everyone to bring just one. These were picked out of a bag so everyone present got a card. For some EAST members it was an opportunity to try out some seasonal creativity.

With Christmas wishes and a Happy New Year to all our followers,

Here's to a happy and creative 2016.

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Thames Swimmers

miscellaneousPosted by Julie Sat, November 14, 2015 22:17:48
Having lived all my life with the Thames on my doorstep, I thought that I knew all there was to know about it, during the summer a collaboration between a local folk group 'The Avenue' and London based author Caitlin Davies launched at a local venue. Caitlin has written a book about the history of swimming in the Thames, while the group have created an EP to accompany it.

The book tells of the swimmers and the great range of character's ranging from extreme sportsmen to even more extreme eccentric's. Southend pier is the end-point for those who attempt to swim the entire length of the Thames. One of the funniest stories is of an American who swan along the Thames in 2010, most of the journey went well until the pier was in site , first he was attacked by a shoal of Essex jellyfish, then he had problems with the tides. He made for shore to check his GPS while he stood there he tide went out and he was left stuck in the mud and had to call the inshore rescue service.

Caitlin released information from her book to the group who were able to write songs taking inspiration from it, one is about Annie Luket, a lady champion high diver who also put on a bit of a circus show, another is based on Jules Gautier, who swam in the Thames while in shackles!
Art work produced by Darren Jones a member of 'The Avenue' was also on display, he is well known locally as a talented musician and artist. This was an entertaining event with something for everyone, the author who discussed her book, paintings related to the stories it contained and a live performance of the songs inspired by it, a very relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

The book is entitled Downstream,and the EP Between Two Stones all proceeds from the EP are going to Havens Hospice.

If you come across a copy of the book or EP both are recommended.

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miscellaneousPosted by Lorna Mon, November 09, 2015 17:37:53

As I have been interested in working in layers, I attended a short course at West Dean College entitled Overlays which was to create a personal two-dimensional laminate of imagery. Unfortunately the Tutor who was to have taken the course was ill and Mathew Harris stepped in at the last minute. Mathew did a very good job at short notice and all who attended produced an interesting piece of work following the original outline of the course with a few additions of his own.

We were given an A1 size piece of Khadi paper, a length of heavy cotton calico and a length of fine cotton muslin. We started by making a drawing on the paper and then transferred come of our ideas onto the calico and muslin. We were given a wooden frame in which to interpret our ideas with tensioned layers. After a holiday in Iceland I was interested in the idea of ‘land sprites’ and had previously drawn and machine embroidered my ideas of these which I had intended to develop. With a different Tutor I was unable to extend my ideas as I wanted but continued to try out placing my ‘sprites’ into the frame. It proved a fun experiment using what I had taken with me plus some of the painted calico and muslin.

Mathew also gave us a talk and slides on his own work which I had not seem before, this was great and his work is lovely – not what I expected at all. All in all it was a very unexpected and interesting few days.

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From the Earth

miscellaneousPosted by Janette Tue, October 20, 2015 10:39:34

EAST member, Jenny Leslie is one of the organisers of an event celebrating ethical textile practices. From the Earth workshops are now open for booking. These workshops will run along side the From the Earth Exhibition at PS Arts Datchworth in June 2016. They are a series of workshops on advanced leaf printing, felting, silk screen printing and flour paste resist with indigo all will be with natural dyes.

Workshops are at Art Van Go and can be booked through the From the Earth web site; www.fromtheearthtextiles.co.uk.

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St Ives School of Art

miscellaneousPosted by Libby Fri, October 16, 2015 21:08:46

Having worked on the subject of landscape for some time, I thought it would be really refreshing to sign up for a couple of taster days at the St. Ives School of Art whilst on holiday in Cornwall in September. A few weeks beforehand I went onto their website and booked two workshops with two artists - Liz Hough and Kerry Harding - Abstract Landscape and Mixed Media. Both artists were very friendly, enthusiastic and encouraging and I see that they do a longer workshop which they run as joint tutors. I think from a textile point of view I probably got more out of Kerry Harding's workshop than Liz's but nonetheless I still had a good day.

The results below are from Kerry Harding's worshop which was the one on mixed media. She explained that we should first experiment with different mediums to see what effects we could get by working through a table of words - blob, smear, flick, splat, drip, dot scratch, smudge, twist, blend, rub, swirl, wash, scrape, print, brushstroke, thick, thin, fast and slow - nothing complicated and quite basic really but fun and it is always nice to see what results other people get. Then there were three other tables of words based on landscape, rocks and sky elements. I think a large glass of wine beforehand definitely helped to loosen me up! Oh and we were to use different tools to apply the different media, such as card, fork, spoon, rag, etc.

These are some of the results which are really the workshop in reverse order - the two landscapes are what I finished with, the next six were trying three techniques together and the bottom one was my initial warming up daubs.

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Defining Moments

miscellaneousPosted by Susan Tue, October 13, 2015 11:16:23

Isn't it funny that when one has a good idea suddenly it seems that the rest of the world has had the selfsame thought almost as though ideas drift by in the ether waiting for us to pick them up? This happened during my visit to the Cheltenham Literature Festival where the theme was "Defining Moments".

As I left an event on Saturday I noticed a thread stretched along one of the covered walkways between the tents with coloured luggage labels hanging from it. On closer inspection I saw that printed on one side of the label was "What’s your defining moment? " with the reverse left blank for festival goers to reply.

Many of the comments were fairly prosaic but, as you might expect from a literature festival audience, some quite pretentious. However, the response I thought the most intriguing was "1973 - The London Boat Show ".

This statement conjures up so many questions. Was the author male or female? Was it a good or bad, life changing or mundane moment? Did the author sail the seven seas or the English Channel or just potter every Sunday up an down the River Crouch? There are endless threads that you could follow from a few words and numbers.

I went to a talk earlier in the week given by Will Gompertz (BBC Arts Editor) author of "Think Like an Artist" where he assured the audience that everyone can be creative, that we each have a unique talent and imagination, and that we should question what we do, like artists. I bet we could all invent a small story round that label - not to write it down necessarily, just to tell it.

I've spent the last ten days nowhere near a needle and thread or, dare I mention, a sketch book, but I've had the privilege of hearing many creative people talking about their field of expertise and my head is full of ideas.

Don't worry. I haven't enough imagination for writing, but with stitching in mind, I am "Following a Thread".

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