26 May 2011

Whatever floats your boat ... exhibition in Slough

The group textile exhibition I have organised and curated for the Thames Valley Contemporary Textiles and Quilt group is up and running until 11th June. Hooray! As a group we took inspiration from Slough and the collections in the Slough Museum as a starting point to make our pieces and find the thing that 'floated our boat'.

The results are fantastic. We had 28 artists participating in the project who made 42 pieces to display. Wow! What a variety in so many ways. There were big pieces, tiny pieces. Big 3-d and tiny 3-d. Lots of quilts and lots of other things. Colourful pieces and muted pieces. Etherial pieces and solid pieces.

A huge range of techniques are on display - hand stitching, machine stitching, painting, printing, cyanotype, trapunto, applique, patchwork piecing goldwork,silk paper, and many more ...

And the work represented a very wide range of inspirations too - from mammoths to power stations, and dolls shoes to comets. 

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the time between the submission of the pieces and the installation of the exhibition was contracted from 2 months to 2 days. It gave me a few scary moments, but we did it. And, we're hoping that we can tour the exhibition and show it again. A few leads are in the pipeline.

My piece is based on 'Elliman's embrocation', a medical and veterinary preparation that used to be manufactured in Slough. The ideas were simmering on the back burner for a long while and I couldn't get it to materialise. But finally I just went for it and I'm very pleased with how it came together. It's a series of five free machine embroideries, using paper, wallpaper, and layers of muslin.

I was worried by how it would hang on the Museum system as the paper layers were very light (and the hanging system really suits heavy framed pieces). Talk about making life difficult for myself as curator - but luckily it wasn't as much trouble as I feared.

Thank you to everyone who helped on the installation day - Chris, Sandy, Jane O'S and Vicki.