Further information: Textiles Travels in Norwich, September/October edition of Embroidery Magazine. Exhibition ran from Thursday 2 October - Monday 13 October 2014 - Website: ctacostume.org.uk
BAfM Journal 112 Winter 2014
Trenches Under Snow 92 cm x 36 cm Hessian, mohair, Welsh lambswool from fences in Brecon. Sewing, knitting, glue and paint.
Fading to Silver, 75 cm x 33 cm x 7 cm Nylon jersey, spandex, polyester padding, quilt hoop. Upholstery, stitch, slashing, moulding.
Personal favourites in the Wall-hung category were ‘Fading to Silver’ by Sally Hewett and ‘Trenches Under Snow’ by Joan Johns. Both pieces raise questions about the human condition and remind us that pieces of work are also places where we mark birth, marriage and death. Placed in a giant hoop, ‘Fading to Silver’, reaches into the space, a soft 'pregnant bump' neatly framed on the wall:
“I am interested in notions of beauty and ugliness and in how using needlework and embroidery might affect how the content of my work is seen. Are stretch marks beautiful? Are these stretch marks beautiful?”
Local artist Joan Johns from Diss raises questions about the futility of war in 'Trenches Under Snow': Even the telegrams that the women at home received after their men had died were a lie.
“Soldiers hung in trees after explosions; some never made it out of the trenches. Soldiers suffered from every nation that fought. For what? We are still at war!”
Sue Coles from Art Through Textiles in Sheffield, was a worthy winner of the first prize in the 3D category with ‘Magpie's Nest’. Like a magpie, Sue had carefully
researched Norwich textile industries and incorporated references to these in her nest, alongside fine interweavings of fine silvery threads. Her nest has little coat hangers woven amongst twigs wound with ‘Norwich Red' and silvery threads. Paper twist labels carry names of dyes, textiles and jobs representing Norwich’s huge, historic, textile industry. A shredded map of the old city, with the river coloured red, and more silvery threads line the centre of the nest.
Starlight,170 cm x 24 cm Paper and machine threads. Free machine embroidery.
Jan Lovell, with her open-weave scarf, ‘Starlight’, took first prize in the Garments and Accessories category. Her inspiration from night time reflections and moon light. Paper and thread creating a lacework of leaves and lines.
Gwen Hedley's ‘Running Repair’ was one of two pieces purchased by the C&TA to donate to the Norfolk Museums Costume and Textile Study Centre now at Shirehall, Norwich. She uses running stitch/darning over surfaces of patched cloth and paper worked onto soluble fabric. Further handstitching done on the surface after the dissolving process, threadbare areas.
to mend fragile
Magpies Nest 43 cm x 43 cm x 12.5 cm Wool, linen, silk, twigs, wire, thread, paper, fabric. Wrapping, finger crochet, twisting, weaving.
“Magpies are collectors and love shiny things. One nest I have seen has wire building ties woven in to it!”
She has very generously donated the piece to the C&TA.
Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) obtains HLF Funding
PAS on a more secure financial footing by securing HLF funding. “Past Explorers” will be a 5 year project which will enhance PAS's profile through teams of volunteers who will work together under the leadership of local finds liaison officers. Teams will be divided between 10 regional training centres and will share information through the PAS database. Past Explorers will cover England and Wales. Successful volunteer applicants will also help host public events including artefact handling sessions. The HLF funding will support 2 new
he October 2014 issue of Museums Journal reports (p.11) that a volunteer led initiative by the PAS has put the
project officers and an outreach officer. Roger Bland, who heads up the PAS said: “The Past Explorers project is important because it will enable us... to harness the energy and enthusiasm of volunteers in trying to keep up with the ever-increasing demand from finders to record their finds”. Mike Heyworth, Director of
the Council for British
Archaeology (CBA) and member of the PAS advisory board said “First and foremost, it will help spread good practice, reporting finds is fundamental. There are also incredibly knowledgeable detectorists out there who can add value to the work of the Finds Liaison officers”. In the “Comment” section of the
same magazine, (p.14) Heyworth enlarges on these remarks. He says that museums are struggling to cope with the enormous amount of archaeological material found during developer-funded excavations. Warehousing finds is unsustainable and of no public benefit, he says. The CBA has launched an “Archaeology Matters” appeal, and also a 4 year Local Heritage Engagement Network project, funded by the Esme Fairbairn Foundation. This latter project helps local groups act as advocates for archaeology, funnelling public enthusiasm for archaeology towards a more sustainable archaeological future.
The work references the ‘mending’ aspect of functional domestic stitching done by women in times past. It celebrates the notion that there can be inherent beauty in the rhythmic process of repair, as well as artistic value in old time-worn domestic cloth with evidence of repair by unknown hands.
Running Repair, 19 cm x 65 cm
Cotton, linen, paper, scrim and metal threads in a variety of weights and soluble fabric. Wooden spool from the 1920s
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