Just for a couple of weeks my house has been filled with colour and now to it’s time to pack all the decorations away. Colour is such an important part of everything I enjoy and has been even more, so during these last few months, deprived of the buzz of other people’s company and opportunities to engage in face to face creative activities.
A comment made by Edmund de Waal in an interview when asked about his own work came to mind :
‘What better way to talk about pots than to make them.’
I decided to immerse myself in colour and how it affected my own work, so decided to revisit colour theory and actually mix and explore colour. Out came the paints, brushes, and sketch books. My enthusiasm lead on to developing some new online courses for anyone who wanted to explore colour, increase their awareness and expand their own horizons – a topic I had often explored with students in a studio setting.
Colour Sense workshops 1, 2 & 3 are now available online and I’m looking forward to welcoming the first students in early January with a private Facebook page for participants for comments, queries and feedback.
They have received a grant so they can keep the doors of the quarter mile Arts Centre open. It is wonderful to be able to immerse oneself for a while in somewhere beautiful and inspiring and enjoy the cafe, shop, museum and exhibition galleries.
The exhibition opens on Saturday 12th September so Jan and Mary were delighted to deliver their work to the gallery – a lovely space leading out into a delightful garden. Here we are deep in conversation and looking forward to seeing it all installed. @Ropewalkbarton
Exhibition of new artwork by Mary Sleigh and Jan Miller at the Ropewalk Gallery in Barton on Humber will open on Saturday 12th September. Their topics resonate with the local area, the landscape, history, and industry. While exploring, they have come upon traces of past activity, uncovered the unknown and unexpected, gathered natural and man-made materials and responded to the elements at different times of the year.
There is a recurring thread that runs through Mary’s work. It’s about a sense of place and its stories. There is a different emphasis but in essence there is a common theme which reappears in recent past work; Cloth Stories, Peat Lands and It starts with a Step.
Mary, like most people love a story. There’s always a story where people have lived and worked and even when nature has taken over, people have left their mark. So, it’s that connection with places and people and unexpected discoveries that keep cropping up in her work.
River Story – concertina book partly open Digitally printed images on linen of paintings at the edge of the Humber
I enjoyed my visits to Japanese moss gardens and especially loved those moments of tranquility, surrounded by cool green moss, so I’ve been collecting cool mossy images – just what I need occasionally especially in these strange and unsettling times.
I found this quotation in a sketchbook whilst clearing out my workroom, one of many displacement activities before I settle down to making work.
An African quotation just right for the times at the moment.
‘Europeans have watches, Africans have time.’
In these strange times I have that elusive thing – time. Surrounded by what seems like chaos and too many possibilities I enjoy the gradual process during sampling, experimenting and handling materials of resolving a way of working and creating some sense of order. I love this part when once I get stuck in, one thing leads to another. Now’s the time to get started.
Jan and I have agreed our title for our joint exhibition at The Ropewalk Gallery, Barton on Humber in September 2020 – Echoes in the water : traces in the land So, we feel energised once again!
Tile works have been and continue to be an important part of local industry. I’ve enjoyed many an hour collecting fragments along the river’s edge, taken them home to draw as inspiration and make work.
A fine clear morning was perfect for another visit to the area around Barton. It was a magical sight as we approached the river and the bridge, the mist rising gently. As the sun broke through I walked along the river to look again and get as near to the edge as possible to record the view from the edge.
The tide was going out very fast and so mud banks were revealed.
It’s the edge between the land and the water that is interesting me at the moment and I do feel at last that I’m making progress – it’s a long slow road with lots of twists and turns!
Work in the sketchbook and the results of my foraging expeditions are giving me a way forward. Fingers crossed and lots more work and there will be something to show at The Ropewalk Gallery and for TSG Insights book and exhibition.
Have spent many happy hours exploring Barton-on-Humber in all sorts of weather, researching the area, foraging and recording. It’s an exciting prospect to develop work for an exhibition at The Ropewalk Gallery. I shall be showing a collection of work with a fellow artist Jan Miller in September 2020.