Monday, 22 June 2015

Charleston

What perfect timing when last Wednesday evening I saw that the second episode of "How to be Bohemian with Victoria Coren Mitchell" was on BBC 4.  This episode reached the early 20th century when the Bloomsbury Group in particular were active and last Friday I went, with friends Rene and Maddy, to Charleston Farmhouse, the home of Vernessa Bell and Duncan Grant.  We had booked tickets to have a tour of the house at 2.30 - the tour lasts about an hour and isn't really time to take in all the wonderful painted interior, ceramics, paintings, etc. However, it turned out to be perfect weather to view the garden which was in full bloom.  Unfortunately you are not allowed to take photos of the interior so below are the best of the photographs I took outside.  It was really the interior I was interested in so I think, with a birthday coming up, I think a book on the subject will be on the list. 

Front of Charleston Farmhouse                                           View of the studio window from the garden






Above - looking up to the house from the garden
Below - through the studio window 








A panel on the font in Berwick church painted by Duncan Grant.


            
View from the back of Berwick Church

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Curwen Print Studio

A week ago Sunday I visited the Curwen Print Studio at Chilford Hall near Linton - I have known of it for years but didn't realise it was on the Chilford Hall grounds.  They were having an open day, selling some of the prints and advertising their courses - picked up their catalogue for Fine Art Print Courses 2015 - there is a two day course on mono printing in November which looks very tempting - the tutor is Sue Jones MA - and I think the maximum number of students they take on each course is eight.   www.curwenprintstudy.co.uk


However whilst I was their they were selling some old books and I picked up Landscape in Britain 1850 - 1950 by the Arts Council of Great Britain which I have been reading this week.  Besides spotting some familiar names (Alfred Wallis, Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Christopher Wood, Paul and John Nash, Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, Edwin Smith, Keith Vaughan, Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon - most of whom either had connections with Cornwall or Essex) and discovering some new ones to pursue (Joan Eardley and Roger Hilton - see that his wife, Rose Hilton, is a guest artist at this year's Royal Academy Summer Exhibition), it also lists what was taking place socially as well as artistically.   

Another book I discovered in a second hand bookshop in Margate is Robert Bridges Poetry and Prose - I loved the opening line in the introduction "Robert Bridges was never a popular poet."  Thought it was worth giving it a go - Bridges lived from 1844 to 1930 which is roughly the same period as covered by the book on landscape that I found at the Curwen.

The visit to the Curwen Print Studio was completed with afternoon tea in the beautiful and peaceful grounds of Chilford and on leaving we spotted the sheep - feel another mirror frame coming on!!


I found the books so inspiring it spurred me on to finish my little sketchbook which is now bulging and has prompted me to do a bit of stitching. 


The pictures are a source for my textile landscapes which will be exhibited with East Anglia Stitch Textiles next year.



The pictures are a mixture of "Alfred Wallis meets David Pearce".


 Having dyed the fabric it was time to add stitch.


I have used some of the fabrics that I dyed whilst away in East Stourmouth for a week, some has been used for the landscape above which still needs a lot of work (the colours and shapes more inspired by Daphne McClure) and I am going to use one piece to finish off a little book I have made in a series on Allotments - I am giving a couple of workshops on this at Fantasie Textiles this year and in Romford next year.