I finally made it to this exhibition, better late than never they say! It was a lovely sunny day which means the light was just perfect to see the textiles, mixed media and ceramics in their full glory.
Initially I spent some time gazing at Bev James' felted creations. Bev has worked on some wearable art in her usual earthy colours, a mixture of traditional wet felting and some beautifully delicate nuno felting. The main pieces are based around the Shakespeare characters from 'A Midsummers Night Dream' Oberon and Titania. It is quite incredible to see felting techniques combined with garment contrucion to make some truely wearable art - or costumes, these were impressive but as far as I remember not for sale. Bev did have a range of scarves at affordable prices should you be tempted.
Liz Mann’s work was lovely to see you again. Her work covers a wide range of styles, the display was similar to the the pieces I saw in Aynho last year but seeing a different context and in a completely different light the colours and textures appeared quite diiferent. I’m not sure I had seen the dark richly appliqued and embroidered cushions,'walled borders' I think today that was may favourite.
I was interested to see the work of Stella Benford the Shanty style buildings created from a mixture of ceramic and papier mache were really interesting. I’m quite inspired to create, maybe my old photos from 'vietnam' might start something.
I chatted with Linda Westermann, she was stitching as we talked and shared a rag rug story from her childhood. Her mixed media pieces of ancient wrecks and change and decay are fascinating and extremely difficult not to touch. I’ve just looked at the price list and I’m almost tempted to go back and buy one. Linda will be exhibiting with Liz Mann at Great Tew in May for Oxford Art Weeks so do you make sure but you visit if you don't manage to get to the Hestletine this week.
For me the highlight was to see the work of new artist Charlotte Relf. She has just completed her textiles degree; her work is a mixture of technique. Her work is a surreal juxtaposition of nature and modern architecture, the contrast of digital imagery and handstitch is enchanting. I particularly loved her use of traditional techniques and how she pushes the boundaries of materials by including rubber gloves as part of the flowers.
My descriptions don’t do justice to this exhibition. I hope my photos give you an idea of what you can see, but you will need to rush as the exhibition closes on February 12th - that is this Wednesday!