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.

From nature to art

miscellaneousPosted by Melinda Fri, June 10, 2016 10:14:43

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, 2016

I promised my mum I would take her to see this exhibition held in Tel Aviv, so we made the trip this week. I had been before and it is always stunning but what I did not remember was that this event comes from, and is sponsored by, the National History Museum, London.

The mission of the National History Museum is to "change and challenge the way people think about the natural worlds, it's past, present and future, by exploring themes such as evolution, biodiversity and sustainability."

Proceeds from the exhibition supports the work of the 300 research scientists and the care of the Museum's collection of 80 million specimens based in London.

So how amazing is that?

The exhibition was pure beauty and inspirational. there were 100 photographs selected from 42,445 entries from all over the world. That must have been some selection panel! Images captured "every corner of the natural world - from the skies to the depths of the ocean, pole to pole, into the deepest forest and up to the highest mountain." Places we can only dream or imagine ever seeing. I have included a few of my favourites - the ones that grabbed my focus on textures or colour.

At the exhibition I was once again reminded that there can be inspiration from anywhere and anything. Ella and my little six month old grandson came along too - his name Alon (oak tree in Hebrew) means he must have an affinity to nature. I just hope that we are preserving the natural world with all its beauty and diversity for him and others to appreciate.

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Finding Inspiration - The Next Idea

miscellaneousPosted by Melinda Sat, January 24, 2015 12:46:30

It is always difficult to move on from a completed body of work and now that "Between the Lines" is up and running, this is exactly where the E.A.S.T members find themselves - beginning the "next idea"!

For some members of the group the World War I theme of "Between the Lines" was challenging particularly as each person was required to explore an agreed theme and a difficult one at that. However, the response to the work has been overwhelming and encouraging which has made the whole process so worthwhile.

A new idea that begins to take form results from previous experiencies and so inevitably the achievements of "Between Lines" will influence what develops next. This is the natural cycle - as the research and thoughts begin to form, so ideas flow and develop.

I recently visited the RA retrospective of Allen Jones and it was so interesting to see exactly this point demonstrated. Jones has spent over five decades as an established artist exploring, developing and considering themes that intrigue him. His ideas evolve both techniqually and aesthetically and it was fantastic to see the breadth of his work

As a success since the 1960s Allen Jones has not tried to shake off the Pop Art label like some of his contempories and instead has continued to embrace the imagery (in particular of women) that still fascinates him. It was fantastic to see up close his mannequin figures spanning so many years. The newest and current ones have clearly evolved and are now remodelled and presented in brightly coloured glory. His controversial fibreglass figures-as furniture were also present and one can see why they have been loved and hated by so many.

So while the great and famous continue to create and explore, we too in our humble way also continue the journey of enquiry and creativity.

I am sure the outcome will be as exciting as ever.

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January Blog

EASTPosted by Melinda Fri, January 31, 2014 09:55:19

January was not kind and I fell victim to one of the nasty flu viruses moving around. So all my plans for the month, including the EAST January meeting got shelved.

However a new initiative at EAST is for each member to write a small blog entry during their birthday month - my idea and would you believe January was my birthday!! Well I am sure no one is interested in the hours I slept recovering in bed BUT one thing I was determined to do was get to the Paul Klee exhibition at Tate Modern and I did finally last week!!

I have always admired Klee's work but I was particualrly keen as the exhibition focuses on the early part of his career which spans pre WW1 and then the consequences of the war both on his personal life, art and career.

Titled "Making Visible" we see Klee's "paintings and drawings that emerged from a creative process of great complexity". I had not realised that his work was mostly small scale so it was fantastic to stand "up close" and admire his images that range from true life to pure abstraction. For me, Klee's famous grids and shadowy overlaps are still my favourite and there were a few included in the display.

Walking around the exhibition, gave me great inspiration and a creative "push" to get on with my own "Between the Lines" work. I am examining the identity of white and Indigenous Australians in the Anzac soldiers from Australia.

The exhibition runs until the 9th March so there is still time to make it if you can.

Melinda Berkovitz

Keep an eye out for the February birthday members!!

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Leonardo - Amazing

miscellaneousPosted by Melinda Wed, January 25, 2012 10:40:16

For once I was organised enough to plan ahead and get tickets for this exhibition which was truly amazing! As my OU module is Art History at the moment, it seemed scandalous to miss this opportunity and it was indeed unforgetable. Knowing it would be crowded (and it was!) I took the time to read up a little on the main pieces and to know what to expect. Dear Janette also gave me advance warning of the lay out etc. But nothing prepares you for the seven rooms of complete wonder. Not only are the main pieces breath taking but each of the drawings, some of them tiny and many very faded are an insight to the mind of a man who was obsesed with detail and accuracy. And boy could he draw!! Being a textile fanatic, I was drawn to his sketches of drapery - folds, shading, tucks etc that were so beautiful and exquisite.

The visual exhibition was supported by an excellent audio guide that was well presented, clear explanations and really supplimented the items being discussed.

So what did I lear from this event, well Leonardo da Vinci certainly knew his stuff. His eye for detail and his complete obsession with accuracy may have meant that he only produced about 20 finished pieces in his life time but he left thousands of sketches and notes that are the legacy of a true master.

For those of us that despair that we do not produce alot of work or that each piece of work seems to take ages, then from Leonardo it is certainly worth taking the lesson that "quality is better than quantity! and that observation is everything in life!

if you missed this event - i am sorry, if you can still get there, then do and if all else fails give Our Majesty a call some time - lots of the sketches were on loan from her collection and I am sure she would love to let you pop round to have a look!


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Nearly There!

EASTPosted by Melinda Wed, September 08, 2010 18:48:25

Our new exhibition, Talking Textiles is almost ready to be unvieled. Two long days led by Libby Smith and her band of helpers means we are almost ready to launch the sixth major exhibition by the EAST group. As usual this has been a real team effort with the group sharing the responsibilities of advertising, editiorial publicity, setting up the work, the website and being available for stewarding during the next 6 weeks.

We hope that many people will come along to the Museum to see the varied and often thought provoking work prepared by each mamber. As always the subjects are diverse. Janette has been offering a taster by introducing each member's work through the website and blog pages.

Saturday is our private view and we look forward to greeting many friends and supporters of the EAST group,

see you there,


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Warner opens in Braintree

Warner ProjectPosted by Melinda Mon, June 28, 2010 12:49:39

How exciting - our lovely EAST@The Warner Textile Archive is about to be seen by all in it's home gallery!

Last week June and I spent the afternoon at the Archive gallery putting the final touches to the display. Charlotte had already completed most of the hard work - pulling up screens and opening boxes but we still had a chance to fiddle and tweak and even go up the big ladder (carefully of course).

The work looks stunning and just as exciting at it did at the various Knit and Stitch venues last year. How lovely to see it again in this familiar surrounding. For those of you who missed the tour or even if you did catch it but want a little more time and peace and quiet to read all the details on the accompanying panels, then please do take the opportunity to visit the Warner Archive over the summer.

The intention is that the exhibition will go off travelling again in the new year particularly to schools, colleges and galleries that focus on textile heritage and research. So grab a friend and do take make a visit to Braintree. We are so fortunate to have this national treasure in our area and so we must appreciate and use it to it's fullest.

Looking forward to seeing familar and new faces over the next few months.

Photos to follow after the private view - 9th July!


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Warner at Harrogate

Warner ProjectPosted by Melinda Thu, November 26, 2009 09:16:27

Well we survived! - despite colds, coughs, poor weather and dreadful traffic jams on all roads.

The Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show finished on Sunday 22nd November after 4 days of almost constant attention on our stand from the visitors to the show.

East @ The Warner Textile Archive was very well received especially by anyone studying or working in textiles, as we provided the rare opportunity to view source items, work books and final pieces. Many tutors approached us about having the exhibition at their own places of learning so we will have to see how this next stage unfolds.

The exhibition has safely returned to Braintree and will now remain in the care of the Museum team. EAST will continue to be involved with the project and we will be showing the display at our September launch of the new EAST exhibition, "Talking Textiles."

I would like to say a HUGE thank you to all the members who were able to offer their time to help steward and set up and dismantle the display and a SPECIAL thanks to all the husbands that helped over the five days (they know who they are!)

It was hard work but alot of fun and a real team effort to hold it all together.

As soon as I work out how to download photos from my new camera I will add some pictures to the blog or website - including the horses that greeted us each morning at the stables where some of us stayed!!


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Warner project

Warner ProjectPosted by Melinda Fri, September 04, 2009 13:36:25

I could not let today pass un- blogged! ( a new word I think!)

We have finally completed the work on the banners for the up and coming new East exhibition - EAST @ The Warner Textile Archive.


This means we are bang on time and the banners will be available (subject to no national disasters) for collection from FASTSIGNS next Friday. It is a great relief and I hope everyone will be pleased with their own banner and the overall effect. I think it is going to be an impressive exhibition!

Never a dull moment though, and as one thing finishes the next starts. We are well into the organisation and planning for our stand at the Knitting and Stitching shows. As this is our third visit (thank you Andrew!!), it is not so daunting - just alot of planning.

I look forward to meeting up with everyone next week for our September meeting. It is sure to be busy as there is still loads to sort out.

Now I just need to finish my workbook and get ready for the Chelmsford Art trail which starts next week.



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