The 3rd and final exhibition for me was with Chain Reaction (www.chainreact.org.uk). This is a small group of 7 artists that I have known for a long time. I love this group! We seem to gel together really well and have exhibited for a good few years so we have our systems down pat. It’s easy, not at all competitive and a pleasure. A very supportive group of women all round. There is a bit of crossover with TAGS as 3 of us are in both groups. I do have to keep things straight so I remember which work is going into which exhibition.
I started work on ‘Pollen’ way way back in 2019 as it was intended for the 2020 exhibition but we all know what happened there!
This is based on a macro photograph of a knotweed pollen grain that I saw in a book. It’s a fairly loose interpretation but the colours are fairly true to the original. Boy did I regret having to bead each of those sections. Not only that but I had to colour the beads with alcohol inks first so it was along process.
This is the first in a series of images that are circular.
Next in the series is ‘Jupiter’ - again based on a photo but this time it was painted and machine embroidered. Some areas had swirls added with shaving foam marbling to get the right shapes.
I was so chuffed that this one sold.
Even better, I was there when the lady looked at it. She made a really fast decision too. I think they guessed how pleased I was as I couldn’t stop bouncing!
The 3rd piece I put in is this one. It came from a piece of fabric I had dyed using the pole method of shibori dyeing. I’ve never had any success with this method in the past so when this one came out so well it was just begging to be stitched and used in some way. I called it ‘Adrift’.
The final piece is a very long, thin one that also came about from a dyeing session. I had done some low water immersion dyeing and the colours came out so nicely placed. It left enough empty space that I could add things to it without it being too busy. I’m going through a circles phase so I cut circular openings, stitched some raised velvet ‘bumps’ to go in the openings then hand stitched lots of circles round and round and round . . .
For both of the last 2 pieces the size was dictated by the fabric so I had to learn how to use stretcher bars to make my own canvases so I could mount the work and hang it easily. It was a bit of a minefield trying to decide which company to buy the stretcher bars from as the prices were very different. I decided to go with pine stretcher bars in the end as they were lower in price but would be perfectly acceptable for this use. It was much easier than I expected to put them together in the end. Figuring out sizes and quantities was much harder than the practical bit.
I also sold a smaller piece from the exhibition shop section so all in all it was reasonably successful.
Hi, I’m Alison. An artist and designer/maker.