In writing this post I want to look forward to some new things and also to think about some of the things I worked on towards the end of last year.
First the new things; I am working on some larger pieces of work which will be wall-based and at the moment am making lots of (small) trial pieces. If you follow me on Instagram you can see some of these experimental pieces often photographed as I make them. In some of this work I have started to experiment with a woven structure and different fibres as the basis of my papermaking. While I usually make paper from cotton or linen rag, which results in a firm, compacted material some of these have been made using Mitsumata pulp, which comes directly from the bast fibres from the inner bark of a plant called Argeli (edgewortia papyfera). This is a traditional source of fibre for Himalayan papermaking and produces a softer (to the touch), more flexible but strong paper. I have been using this paper to make a roughly spun yarn to weave and knot together to make net or grid forms. I am enjoying exploring this ancient but new to me material.
Coming up are some workshops
Art in Action: Introduction to Papermaking 14-17 July 2016
Making the Local Papers: provisionally 16-18 September with Object Book, Merton Abbey, London
Experimental papermaking: Material Journeys: Materials Week 2017, West Dean, Sussex.
There is more information about them here and I’ll post up links for booking as soon as they are live.
Looking back at the last six months, it was a busy time. I had been working on a landscape project Passing Moment, whose title comes from a piece of writing about landscape for Stour Valley Arts by the wonderful Doreen Massey. The work engages with and responds to chalk, the material that forms the South Downs landscape, and also with the repetitive processes of collecting materials and walking on the chalk paths. It grows from my continuing research project, Land, material and memory, which is based on walking within the landscapes of Southern England. I was very pleased to show some of this new work as part of 10 days Winchester Arts Biennal: Chalk 2015.
The installation was shown at the City Museum in Winchester. More information and images can be seen here.
As well as running some workshops at West Dean I was asked to run a short papermaking workshop in October for Stroud International Textiles at Select Showcase, in Cheltenham where I also exhibited. It was really good to meet other artist / makers and to talk to the public. I had some great conversations and sold lots of work too, which is always rather pleasant. It’s a very positive thing to be able to meet the people who respond to your work and something that I have missed.
More updates soon…