Monday, 9 May 2011

Exhibition and an expedition

This is at last the finished final exhibition piece. 
I called it 'Low sounds by the shore'.
The colours are like the seaweed on 'The Flaggy Shore' in Clare.
You can enlarge it by clicking.

I was unsure about the background felt, but enjoyed stitching the motifs onto the felt and embellishing the traditional sense of the word, by handstitch. It was the first bit of sewing I'd done since 'you-know-when.' and it rescued me .

Its about 12 inches wide and 20 inches long. 

Regular readers will know I have spent a long time deliberating on the mode of presentation of my work. I initially wanted to use perspex and have them look as though they were floating, but that presented many problems so I settled for unpainted blank white artists canvas. 

Now I know this is not a conventional way to display work and I hoped it wouldn't be read as me being clueless choosing the first thing that came to hand and not realising it should be painted. 
Rather, I wanted the canvases being brilliant white,  the same colour as the gallery wall to make the work seem unattached.

So, we went on sunday to the Gallery and put up our work.
Its a super duper curved gallery space , very classy and very sharp looking. Its upstairs in Booths Supermarket (..the north's very own Waitrose) and there is a Booths "Artisan" cafe opposite so even more reason to visit!
The work looks great, very professional and  I must say I am  pleased with mine. 

I like it better than all the work I've done for a long time.
However when I read the first comment in the visitors' book my heart sank.

"Not keen on the white canvas....."

Well at first I felt sick.
However I have decided that its my choice, I like it and I'm sticking with it .
I'll try not to dither.

The Fylde Gallery, Booths Store, Haven Road, Lytham, Lancashire
Until 5th June

I dithered a bit last Thursday.
He:Well are you coming with me or not?
Me: hmmmmm ..can't decide
He: well I'm only going straight there, dropping the files off and coming back
me: Ok I won't come
He: well you can, we could at Gales on the way home
Me:But I have to get my pictures ready for hanging and clean up a bit.
He:Ok then
Me: But its a nice day ...
He: Well come
Me:Oh go on then..but I have to have a shower and wash my hair.
He :I'll wait.

So at 11 am we set off for Powis castle.
We arrived at 2.
My husband has worked there on and off for so long that he takes the beauty of for granted.
I have visited a few times but have never been round the house or the garden. We enjoyed the delights of the National trust tearoom and then he went to discuss things and I went round the gardens. I'll just show you. yew.
Its all built on terraces.
The yew hedges are spectacular and some have arches with seats cut into them.
But just look at this wisteria! I have never seen such such er missus.

(I racked my brains for that word..even asked someone in the garden who thought about it too. Then how funny...thank you Jeanette Mistress of Longears for assuring me with your comment about the  lilac. But if these are panicles, what are racemes?)
Anyway whatever they are , they were BIG. And fragrant.
When I got back to the courtyard there was another treat in store.

On the doorstep of the castle, displaying and rattling his plumage at
Mrs Peacock.
He didn't even move when we walked past him into the castle so we could see my husbands handiwork close to.
I have only seen photographs so it was good to see the coats of arms in context in the Long Gallery.
Back to the outside:
Whats not to love about a place with a shield like this? Look  at the chubby little silver chappie on the right.

And of course the meal at Gales Wine Bar of Llangollen was just usual.


Julie said...

What a fabulous exhibition and exhibition space! Congratulations on getting it all together.

Those yews are spectacular and wow! Stunning wisteria too! They are beautiful flowers.

Penny said...

I rather like the idea of a white background.Some people are just too fussy but what else would show it off as well.

Wabbit said...

I like the floating idea and think that your canvas idea was fabulous. The comment was probably by some tasteless person who would have framed them in plain aluminum (I know you all spell and pronounce it differently) or in something too ornate.

YOU are the one who must be pleased with it, so forget anyone else, please.

Thank you sooooo much for the wonderful pictures of Powis. I love those yews and the wisteria. OK, and Alan too!

Susan said...

Fantastic photographs, and wonderful exhibition.

Well done.

I'm getting some of my new work fired by a friend, and I'm so eager to find out how they turn out. Hope they are as successful as your work.

Mermaid's Purse said...

What a wonderful exhibition space and I like the idea of the white canvas - nothing to detract from your beautiful work. Congratulations! Love the photographs of Powis too - I've never seen such mystical hedges and shrubbery ...... they're amazing! Thanks for sharing x

jeanette, mistress of longears said...

Absolutely love your idea to make the piece float in space! But if you'd tacked it on a garbage can, I should think a viewer would be more interested in the piece itself than in how it's displayed!
As for the panicle and raceme question, I am a visual learner but will try to make an understandable description:
A raceme has one long central stem-like thing, with single flowers on their own little stem-lets coming off the main "stem" all the way down.
A panicle has the same long central stem-like thing, but at each point where a flowering part comes off the main stem, there are multiple branching flowers instead of single flowers attached to the main "stem". Now you see why a picture would be easier! :-)
So glad to hear you, too, are happy with this work. And your husband must be in heaven at work every day! I missed this one when I visited can only do so much in 10 days! I feel another 10 days are in order! Will start saving pennies.

Thimble Fingers said...

As I scrolled down your blog this morning, my mouth opened wide at each picture ... I sat here looking like I was catching flies. I think its what you would call "gob smacked".
The photos of the gardens and peacock were amazing, I've never seen anything like it. I'm bet you're glad you went now.
And your work is wonderful ... its very hard to pick which of your pieces I like the best, as I like them all.
As for the person who wrote that comment, all I can say is ... bugger them! There's hundreds of us out there who think its wonderful, and the first person you have to please is yourself. Its your name on the work, and you have to be happy with it first and foremost before anyone else, so don't take the comment to heart.

Jan said...

Wow! Great post. Your exhibition looks fabulous, I'm happy for you that you have done it. I am sure most people will love the white canvas, you can ignore the other people who don't, what do they know anyway.
those yew hedges are stunning, I have never seen anything like that before. I lived in a house that was covered by wisteria and when it flowered I thought I was in heaven. I can still smell it when I see a photo like yours. Thanks for sharing all this.

Betty said...

I like the white canvas idea best as I think you would need a background colour or texture to give your work contrast so it 'stands out'. I guess that's why people who respond to the arts are called 'critics'! there's always going to be someone out there with an aversion to white canvas! The colours in your photos seem to echo the palette you used in your lovely work - must be colours you are drawn to.

Jennifer Tetlow said...

Well done with your exhibition, what a beautiful place to show work. I bet there are many more positive comments! Gardens were amazing, I will have to start training some Yew, how many hundreds of years does it take?

ju-north said...

Congrats on great exhibition pieces!

Menopausal musing said...

That is one swish looking gallery and your work looks just right in it. Re the backgrounds for displaying your work, you can't please all of the people all the time..

Have been to Powys only twice but was enthralled by it both times. Its an enchanting place.........

Maria Dent said...

Fantastic Jackie!! Congrats to all...

Rosie said...

The exhibitions looks utterly gorgeous - must get my ole man to take me later this week! I love the floating idea too, but think the white probably works better than clear might have done - you'd only have to have put white behind the clear after all? Your photos of Powis Castle made me long to go there .... you're so clever!

karen said...

what a fantastic Gallery space....and whoever wrote the comment has no taste......white?? bring it on.

Rachel said...

I think the visitors' book comment can safely be ignored - they clearly didn't "get" what you were trying to achieve so they aren't your audience anyway.

Glad you had such a wonderful time at Powis - it's a fascinating place!

Joei Rhode Island said...

I like your idea of white and making the pieces Pop from the background. Well Done!

And the trip to the castle...well! Aren't you glad you only dithered a bit?

Gina said...

Adore that piece on felt! Great exhibition space, the work looks well hung and I can't see anything wrong with the white canvas! So you should feel suitably pleased... and deserving of that wonderful expedition!

Valerie said...

I've followed your blog for ages and love it. Never sent a comment to anyone before - but felt I must tell you the white canvas is the perfect backdrop. However, you'll never please everyone all of the time....

Keep up the good work and the chatty blog.

Jackie said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments.
Valerie, thank you for leaving your fist comment here. It means a lot.
I'm hoping you check back here to see my reply as I can't find you anywhere else.

Heather said...

I love the way your hand stitching blends into the felt yet seems to lift the motifs slightly - very clever, and the colours are gorgeous. I like work mounted on white canvas and can't understand people who want to paint it first. The gallery space is splendid and the whole exhibition looks fantastic. Wonderful photos of Powis.

Beverley said...

YOu can't please everyone, so please yourself.
Love the pictures of Powis, we can get there in just over an hour and love the place.

Elizabeth said...

Resist the DITHER!!!! You do not have to justify your choices!!! I completely understand your mounting /display decision and think it makes PERFECT sense. We are our own worst critics!!!!!
Your work is magical and delicious and you are so very gifted!!! Sometime could you post a shot of the piece mounted and hanging on the wall sow e can see how fabulous it looks???/
I am so ahppy that you are back to hand stitch- it has saved me many times!! Thank you so much for sharing these magnificent shots of the castle!! What a delight- I so want to visit!!!
Big Hugs!! your new work is amazing and you should be very proud!! WELL DONE YOU!!!!!

melbatoast68 said...

I think you've done a fabulous job! They do look like they are floating. Don't worry, as long as you like it and are true to you, that's all that matters. Lovely work!

Carol Q said...

wow Jackie - stunning views of Powis and yews. I imagine that exhibition space shows off it's contents very well. Pah! to the person who didn't like the white canvas. The image still looks wonderful sitting on my desktop

Carol Q said...

oop sorry - and of course the beautiful autumnal felt and velvet work. doesn't that vibrant shade of green look stunning on the background

Monica said...

The art work is spectacular and the exhibit setting, perfect. love those garden photos.

JP said...

I think the exhibition space looks great - well done - looking forward to seeing it - ignore the comment - what do they know!!! - probably never put any thing in an exhibition any way!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jennyflower said...

They look stunning on their white back-drop, very appropriate. Those yews are fabulous, like billowing clouds. Having seen that gorgeous plump chap in all his silver glory I am off to order myself a silver cat suit- don't worry, only kidding!

Emma said...

Well, your work looks great, truly an achievement. I've just been looking back catching up & love how those shapes 'grew' from the base in Cricket Sings. Lovely.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I say don't dither! One of the nicest parts of my piece of yours (other than the piece itself, obviously) is how it just stands out so well from the crisp white canvas. To use a somewhat overused phrase, it really makes it POP!

Robin Mac said...

Wow, what a post. those gorgeous pieces of yours - and I love the white background - then those extraordinary photos of the yews at Powis. How wonderful to be able to visit there. Alan looks great in full display, but peacocks have the most awful racket for calling! Cheers

Jules said...

PLEASE excuse my language here (apologies to all) but ...

Quite frankly - B*ll*cks to the miserable so-&-so who couldn't think of anything better to write than something negative.
Your work is quite quite stunning Jackie and I DO wish that the first comment in the visitor book had reflected that.

Thank You!
(and sorry again for the expletives)

hensteeth said...

So glad to read you are pleased with your work and how it looks in the Gallery.
Powis ~ the garden is certainly a very special place. Glad you went along.

Jill said...

Where to start - what a fabulous exhibition space and I am sure you white canvases work well. And then those fabulous photographs of Powis castle, those hedges are mind boggling!

Twiglet said...

Your exhibition piece looks perfect. Next time you come down this way call for a coffee - I am about 15 mins from Powis castle!!

maggi said...

Congratulations on what looks like a stunning exhibition. You can't please everyone with your presentation as we all like different things so don't take the comment to heart.

I am drooling over the colours in that background felt.

Gorgeous photos of the yews and wisteria.

Annie and Lyn said...

'Low Sounds by the Shore' is fabulous! You've hit on a wonderful idea with that. As for that miserable comment about the white canvas (it must have felt like a slap) just treat it with the contempt it deserves! It is the right background for your piece and many others agree.

Shoshi said...

Absolutely stunning work, as usual, Jackie! I think you are absolutely right to stick to your guns regarding your display ideas. You can't please all of the people all of the time, and there will always be someone who doesn't like what you do, but so what? You follow your own creative heart and be at peace with yourself over your decisions.

I love the Powis pictures - amazing yew and wisteria! My hubby and I love going to places like this and always factor them into our holiday plans.

I wish I could have come up north to see your wonderful exhibition. What a stunning gallery!!!

Keep up the good work. You are such an inspiration!

silverpebble said...

I remember sitting on those Powis Castle terraces as a child. I had forgotten about the amazing topiary.

I knew Booths had gone all fancy but I didn't know it had that amazing exhibition space above. Wow. I hope to get there whilst your beautiful pieces are still in place.

Sheena said...

I have just found your blog. I have spent this weekend at my City and Guilds quilting certificate weekend, and have been making a silk paper bowl. I loved your tutorial on silk paper - can't wait to do more. I must agree with all the comments - fantastic exhibition, and it's your piece - you chose white for a reason and I don not do not that it was the right choice. Thanks for blogging.

Anonymous said...

I like both the effect of the white canvas behind and your reason for using it. The embroidery is so detailed and intricate that anything else would have detracted from the work.
It's not on YouTube (I looked!) but Anuna (Irish vocal group) have a hauntingly beautiful arrangement of Yeats' "Lake Isle of Innisfree" on their albums: Invocation and Essential Anuna.

Robin Olsen said...

Looks like a beautiful space for your work. Your latest pieces are just plain gorgeous! And that garden--wow--I never knew what yew hedges even looked like.

The Coffee Lady said...

"Resist the DITHER!!!! " I am having this as my personal mantra from now on.

It all looks fantastic. Over Booths, you say? I never knew.

Linda said...

Hope the exhibition has been a success for you Jackie - you definitely deserve it. I LOVE your shore piece.
Powis Castle is such a special place.....I couldn't quite believe it when we first went there. You've made me want a return visit :-)

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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