Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Under the Sea

UTS Dec Arts 303

Today sees the opening of this exhibition at Sheffield Millennium Gallery, which includes my two pieces as shown above – Sea Forms 1 (plankton) and Coral Bleaching.

“Under the Sea explores the beauty and importance of the oceans, their significance for our planet and what we as individuals can do to help protect them for the future.”

I’ve only seen photos so far but it looks great – a wide variety of contemporary art, craft and design alongside specimens and art from the museum collections. And I’m delighted to be able to take part in something with such a strong environmental education element.

BUT, the opening has been overshadowed by the announcement today of a devastating loss of funding for Museums Sheffield. According to their website, “Large scale staff redundancies, major reductions in exhibition programmes and scaled down learning provision for schools/adults are all now inevitable.”

Please take a look here and see if there’s anything you can do to help make the case for culture in Sheffield.

And of course, if at all possible do go and see the exhibition! It’s on until June, open every day, and entry’s free. There’s also a shop with related items including plankton brooches by yours truly. And a cafe. What more do you want?!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

How to be inspired

I do love my Guardian newspaper. My day isn’t complete without it; I always feel it’s such a shame my birthday is one of only two days a year (apart from Sundays) it’s never published!

Anyway it came up trumps again yesterday with a long feature on how a variety of creative people find creative inspiration – artists, musicians, dancers, playwrights etc. You can read it here.

If you haven’t got time for the whole article, these are my favourite bits from artist Polly Morgan:

• Don't wait for a good idea to come to you. Start by realising an average idea – no one has to see it. If I hadn't made the works I'm ashamed of, the ones I'm proud of wouldn't exist.

• Don't try to second-guess what people will want to buy. Successful artists have been so because they have shown people something they hadn't imagined. If buyers all knew what they wanted before it had been made, they could have made it themselves, or at least commissioned it.

• Don't be afraid to scrap all your hard work and planning and do it differently at the last minute. It's easier to hold on to an idea because you're afraid to admit you were wrong than to let it go.

OK, these might not be totally original ideas, but they’re certainly ones I need reminding of now and then!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Sample Diary–December

This is it! The 2011 sample diary project is complete. Not quite sure whether that’s entirely a good thing… maybe getting a little OCD? But while some weeks are a real struggle, I do really enjoy looking back on the completed diaries – they’re a great resource for ideas and techniques.


Week 48 – Ice on the Vistula river. Sheer fabric and felt, embellished from the back.


Week 49 – Christmas market, Berlin. Free machine embroidery, hand embroidery, Flower Stitcher.


Week 50 – Large Hadron Collider glimpses the Higgs boson. Bonded chiffon, embellished scrim and threads.


Week 51 – Hot Snowman by Gary Hume. Thread scraps bonded with MistyFuse.


Week 52 – Stalked Barnacles, new creatures discovered at hydrothermal vents. Tubular yarn stuffed with thick wool and stranded cotton, knotted and linked.

So, time to decide about this year’s sample project – the first week is already underway! My own photos or a bought diary? Or a break, to prove I’m not hopelessly addicted? Hmm.

Happy 2012!