When you start out on a piece of work you have to travel hopefully, believing in the idea and image you carry in your minds eye. Its often a surprise as well as a delight to find the end result is better than you imagined. This is part of the textile installation hanging in the window of the Leigh Road Baptist Church Leigh on Sea, during Leigh Art Trail. All the wonderful textile pieces that contributors made glowing like a stain glass window.
( above) PETCHA KUCHA : 3 min talk, Unit 21 November 2017
(below 4 images) Talk at S.E. Essex Embroiders Guild,
with textile contributions Oct 2017
(above 2 images ) Next Generation Day : Chalkwall Hall : METAL July 2017
Pat Liggins is the first to contribute to the Connecting Threads Project
May 2017 : Sitting in the foyer of Leigh Community Centre to see if I can gather interest, people stop and ask questions, some take information away with them and promise to make textile pieces for the project.
October 2016 : This little textile square bought at the Knitting and Stitching show was the catalyst that started an exchange between two artists, myself and Sally Chinea.
During the course of the exchange I came across an article on the Rana Plaza disaster, which gave the project a definitive direction.
Sally was not able to continue being involved with the project and in order to carry the project forward I made the decision to open it up into a community based project.
"There is a dialectical exchange between simplicity and complexity like the one between self-relation and self-concealment" Susan Sontag
'RECORD' 2015 : Yellow oil pastel and brown oil paint cover. The 4th diary in the series of small hand bound diaries of recorded events in a year. Using detritus and personal ephemera.
Shown at Leigh Art Trail June 2016.
THE FORUM SOUTHEND ON SEA 4th October 2014
When inviting the public to contribute to your project how much influence can you or should you have over what the public give you ? When they have willingly given their time to help with the project.
Wanting to use lighting in my work brings a whole different meaning to the term 'illumination' I like using lights, but it is not as straight forward as one would like to think it is.
Having an idea is one thing, making the idea come to light (excuse the pun) is another. The realisation of an idea is often a long hard slog, with many set backs and disappointments, and if your lucky a lot of learning along the way.
Trying to predict the 'unforeseen' of the eventual outcome even with a dress rehearsal, the unexpected can occur on the day.
The exhibition space for Turn The Page is a wonderful glass structure with light flooding in from all sides, this unfortunately had the effect of bleaching the light out of my book covers. This and possibly because I was placed right by the entrance most people walked past, and did not notice my book.
It was the second book 'COMMEMORATAE' and the written pages that drew people in. In answer to their questions "what is 'this' all about ?" was I then able to point out 'IMMEMORATAE COMMEMORATAE'
Exhibiting the book a few weeks later at the Norwich Playhouse, the lighting 'worked' after a fashion. The perfectionist in me wants to do some thing about those little pools of light on the lower edge of the covers.
So it is back to the drawing board ! and a bit more tweaking.
22nd May 2014
The Harriet Martineau Lecture read this year by Kate Mosse.
It was a privilege to accept the invitation from Sam Ruddock
(from the Writers' Centre Norwich) to display my books at the Norwich Playhouse, to coincide with the Harriet Martineau lecture, given this year by the author Kate Mosse, writer of 'Labyrinth'.
Some years ago when I began thinking about these books, I had no idea there would be programmes on television and radio not to mention 'talks' about this very subject. Women in history who are lost forgotten or overlooked.
I am both humbled and delighted by the willingness of people to participate in this ongoing quest to write women back into history. As Sam said "there is a zeitgeist"; something has been set in motion, a new continued energy and desire to raise the profile of women.
The public who came to the Forum Norwich, were truly amazing in their willingness and enthusiasm to write the names of women in the companion book 'COMMEMORATAE'
'Commemoratae' is the companion book to 'Immemoratae Commemoratae'
This book with it's black slate covers, is to be made up of repurposed blank pages taken from unwanted and discarded books.
I will be inviting the public who attend Turn the Page Norwich to write the name of a women from history who they believe deserves to be remembered. I intend to sew these pages onto the slate covers for the duration of the two days I am at the exhibition.
In advance of the show I have invited people and friends who have contributed and helped me get these two books realised, to write a page in advance in order that I can begin the sewing process.
A book for 'unrememberd' women.
The title literally translates as 'the unrememberd remembered' It is specific to females as it has a feminine ending.
Between the glass covers are blank pages, repurposed from other books, the blank pages representing the forgotten, overlooked or marginalised women in history.
The idea for this book has had a long gestation, possibly going back to child hood. At one time I attempted to draw these women, but was dissatisfied with the result. How could I draw some one when I did not know what they looked like, then I experimented with the idea of using symbols, some were easier to do than others.
The turning point came when I realised there must be WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN TOTALLY FORGOTTEN because they have completely disappeared from history, and if I got this book into an exhibition there would be some one who would say, "Why haven't you included this person or that person ?"
Do I only choose British women ? how far back in history do I go ? HOW DO I CHOSE ?
The blank pages became the solution, these blank pages torn out of other books are the pages that were never written or printed on.
As a book making friends said, it is like the tomb to the unknown soldier.
I will be attending Turn The Page Artists Book Fair, 2nd and 3rd May 2014 http://www.turnthepage.org.uk
100 Day Challenge
Day 31 : The first time I saw snowdrops it was in my great grandmothers garden. So every year when they come up in my garden I am reminded of her.
Day 30 : On hearing I had been born in Africa some one asked what I missed the most. “The big open skies” I replied. In the cold North the skies were overcast and heavy feeling, as if they pressed down on your head.
Day 29 : I remember one night laying on a tarmac road, warm from the sun. Looking up into the night sky, and being amazed that the sky was dome shaped and not flat and being able to see the milky way.
Day 28 : this fabric once bed linen became curtains on a dressing table bought at an auction where my mother worked as a book keeper. It was resprayed at my fathers work shop a girly pink.
Day 27 : This my grandfathers architectural drawing dated 1914, International Correspondence School London. These drawings are for a grand house with 2 indoor toilets, and yet he lived in a two up and two down stone cottage with a long drop in the garden.
Day 26 : My father and grandfather went to Blackburn Technical College, here is a technical drawing with my fathers name on it dated 1938 age 17, he was at the time serving his mechanical engineering apprenticeship.
Day 25 : Blackburn market had a stall that sold vintage clothing and a few antiques, I enjoyed wearing the clothes I bought from there.
Day 24 : By my second year in Blackburn I was the proud owner of a black leather coat, skirt, gloves and boots. I really felt the part despite the fact the coat did not keep out the damp Northern chill.
Day 23 : My mother made clothes for my dolls and teddy, and now I am doing the same for my granddaughter
Day 22 : As well as studying Art History on foundation we looked at illustrators and so I discovered the wonderful world of Beatrix Potter, not just her animal characters but her wonderfully observed botanical studies. Being at college in the North meant I was able to go to the Lake District and visit her home Hill Top Farm.
Day 21 : My mother use to knit items of clothing for the whole family. I never got the hang of it, and trying to read a knitting pattern would scramble my brain.
Day 20 : For reasons best known to my mother she sent me to a Convent for the first 2 years of my schooling. One day the Nuns lined up a row of us children and caned us. Me because of my bad spelling and the little boy next to me for untidy handwriting. It didn’t help my spelling to improve !
Day 19 : Discovering Dylon dyes in my early student days gave me lots of creative potential, from dying my bedsheets to customising my cloths.
Day 18 : Often I saw small animals trust up and laying in the baking sun at the side of the road I would beg my father to stop the car. In this way our house had an assortment of animals that I was trying to nurse back to health. This little parrot spent its days on a large branch I had dragged in from the garden stuck in a small oil drum
Day 17 : Around the age of 12, I called round to see a friend who said she was going to the library. “What is a library” I asked “You can get books there” she replied. “Do you have to pay for them ?” I enquired. “ No you can borrow them and take them home” The long school holidays became full of reading.
Day 16 : With this African print fabric I made a fitted pencil skirt dress with boot lace straps, there was enough leftover fabric for a shawl
Day 15 : In the first term of my Foundation Year I asked a fellow student if she had varnished her painting “No it’s acrylic” she replied. “Whats acrylic ?” I asked
Day 14 : The message on todays Yogi herbal tea bag. With advancing age and many hours of personal therapy I think I am getting there.
Day 13 : Charcoal, pastels, powder paint and sugar paper were all the materials we had in the art department at school in Africa.
Day 12 : My first summer term at art college I acquired my first denim jacket.
Day 11 : Letter writing was how we stayed in touch.
Day 10 : Cats have always been a part of my life since I was born. When as a student living in digs I thought I couldn't have a cat, one turned up and moved in.
Day 9 : On the 24th October 1964 Northern Rhodesia became Zambia. I remember all of us school children singing ‘Stand and Sing of Zambia’ the new anthem, as the new Zambian flag was raised.
Day 8 : I think I was 13 when I began the patchwork quilt and in my mid twenties when I finished it. Now repurposed for the 100 day challenge.
Day 7 : My mother was a talented needle woman who made clothes for the whole family. To supplement the family income she also did dressmaking.
Day 6 : Around age fourteen I rebel, my mother wanted me to wear dresses with big full skirts and petticoats. I saved up my money and bought a dress pattern and fabric to make a shift dress. Swatch of fabric preserved from the patchwork quilt.
Day 5 : 1965 Kansenji High School, Ndola, Zambia. I am made a prefect, no one is more surprised than I am. The Prefects wore a different uniform to the rest of the school. Here is a swatch of fabric that has survived that I used in a patchwork quilt.
Day 4 : Paper dress patterns were an important part of my life, from my early teens I made most of my clothes including my school uniforms. So when my husband threw them all away at the breakup of our marriage 1985 I felt a huge chunk of my life had gone too.
Day 3 : 1966 - 1968 I attend night school trying to get some ‘O’ Levels, and read Jane Eyre for the first time, I totally identified with this spirited young woman and the descriptions of the bleak cold North.
Day 2 : 1966 I flew unaccompanied from Lusaka to Gatwick to begin my new life as an art student
Day 1 : Aubery Beardsley was a revelation and a huge influence when I begun my Art Foundation at Blackburn Technical College 1966-68
"We do not remember our lives chronologically nor do we reflect on them in neat order. We roam the labyrinths of our experiences"
Have prepared templates and paper for the 100 day challenge. The plan is this will help me think about my next project.