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.
It’s all over now until the exhibition moves to Oldham in December. There was a wonderful response in Stroud and here is a great quote below from Arts Council England!
“Very impressed, not only by how DIS/rupt addresses the challenges we face at personal and global levels, but also how artists and makers have chosen to disrupt and challenge their own practices -innovative and powerful – thank you”
Phil Gibby Area Director South West. Arts Council England.
It’s been a long time since I last added a post. I have been busily involved in making my work for the TSG exhibition DIS/rupt to be shown at the Stroud Select Festival 2017. We were urged to respond to the uncertainty in our world, full of disruption in all sorts of ways.
You can see mini interviews on Studio Postings on the TSG blog. Here are some of my responses to the questions posed by Sheila Mortlock for the blog.
I am interested in the ecology and environment and how landscapes are changing and evolving and for this exhibition I have been inspired the story of the peat cutting in Ireland where it started as a domestic activity for the home. Over the years, it developed into an industrial process leaving scars in the landscape and using up resources created over thousands of years.
I have completed two pieces that are inspired by the black bogs and deep trenches created by peat cutting over the centuries. Despite the changes made by human intervention nature takes over eventually and we tend to look upon it and enjoy it as it is.
try to record my responses to places that I know, have walked and discovered by following a path, discovering unexpected things and been surprised by what I stumble upon. Peat Lands is the next in my current series of Cloth Stories, as J K Rowling says: ‘There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.’
Peat Lands – fabric and stitch concertina book
Peat Lands revisited is a response to the repetitive mechanical process of peat cutting for commercial use.
Peat Lands revisited – printed crepe de chine
There is a story in everything and there are few places accessible to us that are truly wild and untouched. Despite catastrophic events or intervention by man they still have a beauty of their own as nature takes over. It’s in the making of something that we really get to know it and as I have discovered when dipping my toe into the digital world with the printed silk ‘craft helps to make technology human’.
More information about DIS/rupt can be found on TSG website https://textilestudygroup.wordpress.com and all information and booking details about the programme of workshops which tie into the exhibition and lead by several TSG members can be found on the SIT select website at this link. SIT select 2017
Two wonderful, thought- provoking days about innovation, collaboration, sustainability, health and well being and social innovation. It was an amazing opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with a wide range people, experts in their fields and a diverse group of makers, all passionate about what they do.
You can find out much more on the Crafts Council website. Look out for some associated events coming up in other regions and of course for the next Make:Shift conference in 2018!