Salisbury Cathedral: Threads Through Creation

Round & About

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Threads Through Creation. Photographer: Ash Mills

Creating the world in eight million stitches… On Tuesday 17 August Threads Through Creation, a magnificent embroidery display created by textile artist Jacqui Parkinson will go on show at Salisbury Cathedral. Twelve enormous panels, some 8ft by 11ft, will be displayed in the medieval interior until 26 September.  

The exhibition took Jacqui Parkinson three years to prepare – a vibrant combination of eight million stitches and layers of silk, using quilting, applique, and specially dyed fabric to tell stories from the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.  

Jacqui’s magnificent re-creation of the Creation story features all the familiar figures and animals from the serpent in the garden of Eden, to Adam and Eve, who were asked to leave the garden because they ate the forbidden apple. Each work is accompanied by a reading from the relevant excerpt of the bible, accessible by QR code. A visual and poetic feast that is not to be missed. 

Threads Through Creation comes free with Cathedral entrance, which can be booked by individuals online – or if you are coming with a group contact either [email protected]  or phone 01722 512156. 

Supporting the exhibition are a special Children’s Trail and family weaving workshops in the Cloisters. The workshops can be tailored to suit all ages, and children can choose which design they want to make from a range including flowers, turtles and butterflies. Workshop tables cost £6 with space for six (must include one adult) and the sessions run hourly from 10am-2pm (finishing at 3pm) on Wednesday 18 August and Wednesday 25 August. 

Threads Through Creation. Photographer: Ash Mills

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Interview with local artist Catherine Cook

Liz Nicholls

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“From an early age growing up on the family farm, inspiration was never far away, whether it be our rescue dog asleep in the chair, my dad’s herd of Charolais cattle, to the farm buildings around me, I would be sketching.”

Catherine Cook’s desire to draw and create has taken her down several paths since she studied decorative crafts at art college and university, but drawing has always been her starting point whichever medium she is aiming for – glass, digital graphic or paint.

Having gained her degree she worked for a number of years in an auctioneers office but says “the yearning to create was always there” and so she returned to the pursuit of developing her glass artwork.

With the arrival of her two boys, family life took over and creativity was on hold briefly until the creation of a family birthday gift involving a collection of watercolour dog portraits took Catherine back to her paints and pencils and she has been drawing pet portraits continually ever since, working in watercolour, oil paint and pen and ink.

“When I paint a pet portrait for a client, I feel there is a great responsibility to capture the special character, which is achieved through seeing those fine details accurately,” Catherine explained.

“The power of a portrait and the emotional response from clients, when presented with the final artwork can be very moving and rewarding.”

“The process of drawing and observing your subject is a discipline which makes you stop and really look; this is an aspect I especially enjoy. You can become completely absorbed in the process of drawing, it is therapeutic, it is a form of escaping all other busy thoughts. During lockdown weeks, anytime I could find to draw was valued.

”Living in the Hampshire countryside she never tires of watching the seasons change and enjoys having an “endless list of plants, wildlife and breeds of animals to draw”. And her work can be enjoyed through everyday objects such as greeting cards, tea towels and coasters.

Catherine added: “I love constantly seeing new ideas around me on every country walk and during these lockdown months, there have been many!

“I take photos when out and about and use the images to build compositions. Capturing those magical countryside moments of a Robin chirping on a branch or a squirrel busy in the garden, greatly inspires my artwork style.”

While in-person events have not been possible – and much missed – you can discover Catherine’s work at thecatherinegallery.co.uk and shop on Etsy.com


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Win! A portrait of your pet

Liz Nicholls

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Love your kitty? Adore your doggy? We always knew that we Brits loved our pets passionately. But the last year has deepened our appreciation for our animal companions!

April is National Pet Month, and National Pet Day is on 11th April. To celebrate, we’ve teamed up with Surrey artist & pet-lover Bri to offer you the chance to win a portrait of your pet…

Artist Bri had planned to launch her drawing and painting workshops for beginners in March 2020… until the world put a stop to that! She jokes: “Timing has never been my speciality but this takes the mick!”

Keeping motivated

Bri decided to offer free pet portraits to local people… “This was an exercise to get some practice and to bring a smile to people’s faces,” she tells us. “I know how important a pet’s company is: I live alone with my dog. She’s my best mate, haha! And I couldn’t have been more grateful for the distraction she gave me. Also, she was a legal reason to leave the house! I thought pet portraits would be nice to keep me motivated as I was unable to tutor. I’d never done a pet portrait before but after I put up a couple of posters I was inundated.”

Hundreds of responses

Bri completed almost 50 portraits, 31 alone last April. “When I first thought about the type of work I could offer free to encourage people to commission me, pets were the subject I thought would attract most interest,” she says. “But hundreds of responses and the copious positive feedback was on a scale I didn’t imagine! It proves we’re a nation of animal-lovers. From dogs to cats, and the odd gecko thrown in, we love our pets. It’s particularly worthwhile to hear how someone got genuine happiness from seeing a pet who perhaps isn’t with them any more celebrated in paint.”

Rebranded as The Isolating Artist, Bri evolved to virtual workshops. “Online teaching is a fantastic way to communicate in what otherwise would be an impossible situation, but classroom tutoring is the best way to learn to draw and paint,” says Bri. “I hope soon to bring together a beginners’ art group. I want to introduce students to the fun of art and give people a chance to be creative, to look at the world differently. If there’s anything we need after all this it’s to leave the house so what better reason than an art class?”

As for influences, Bri says: “As a kid, art was the only thing I was any good at, so that was a natural inspiration. I remember coming across a book about Francis Bacon at school. It changed my opinion on how I should draw and paint; something I’ll never forget seeing for the first time”. Bacon remains one of Bri’s favourite artists, alongside Frida Kahlo, Vincent Van Gogh, Egon Schiele, Edward Hopper and many more.”

Visit isolatingartist.com to find out about Bri or sign up for an art class.

WIN your pet’s portrait!

We want you to share your love for the pet in your life. Share a picture, poem or photo of your beloved animal companion on our social media channels. Tag Round & About (our links below) and #petportrait in your post and Bri will select the winner who will be immortalised in portrait form! Deadline: Tues 4th May.


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Keep memories alive with Fusions Craft

Round & About

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Discover millions of creative and crafty ways to share your life stories for future generations

In the time of the most advanced technology on record, the most money humankind has ever had, and more ways to get entertained you could possibly wish for, the strange truth is that the levels of stress, depression, and anxiety are also the highest they’ve ever been.

According to studies, children doing GCSEs today experience the same levels of stress as veterans in the times of the Vietnam war. How did it happen exactly that as we’re moving faster and faster toward the next thing exclusively designed to make us happy, we often feel like the most important thing is missing?

How does today’s lifestyle affect our mental health and what psychological benefits can art provide? Is it true that art cleanses your soul? And if it does, could it make you feel so much better you’ll actually feel the difference?

According to the world-renowned scientist Mikhailo Csikszentmihalyi, the feeling of flow created by intensely crafting (for example, writing, scrapbooking, working with clay) can cardinally change your life, infusing it with never before seen clarity, passion, purpose, and quantifiable changes in happiness. Don’t take our word for it though!

Although it can feel like modern technologies have taken over our lives to the point where our phones are controlling how we feel, how much time we spend with our family, and who watches our every move, you’ll find that there is one simple solution that includes a surprisingly old technology.

Have you ever felt that visceral emotion brought back by music or perfume or place when you remember your loved ones? Memories could very well be the most important thing in our lives, and it would be a great shame for them to fade with time.

As a family business, we know there’s nothing more important than family. With Fusions Craft, you can discover a panacea to stress, frustration, and a way of stopping the frenetic rat race and slowing downtime to a halt so you can spend it in a truly Buddhist fashion, inspecting scrapbooks you created.

In the days to come, the next generations will cherish these and learn about you with tender wonder. It’s one thing to hear about your grandma’s life story, but it’s entirely different to see the photos and feel the smell of the ink.

Fusions Craft specializes in the almost lost art of keeping your memories alive. Starting off as a small hobby, the craft unfolded and grew like a flower leaning toward the sun; soon it became a family business that specializes in scrapbooking supplies: if you need
• Paper & Card,
• Scrapbooking paper,
• Stencils,
• Embossing powder and Moulds
• and tons of other supplies you can possibly think of, you’re in the right place.

Why Fusions Craft?

Fusions craft is about so much more than photo albums. We provide you with every tool you can think of so you can produce nothing less than works of art to tell the most amazing stories, like so:

With stencils, moulds, flowers, embellishments, stamps, sprays, and much, much more, you can discover the magic of artistry that can be taken with you anywhere.

Learn of a million different ways of decorating the pages of your love stories, family sagas, photos of children and travels, adventures, tales of forest fires and heroic doctors, life wisdom learned from the darkest nights, indescribable beauty and courage and faith – with items that best reflect the emotions that will now, thanks to your contribution, will never be lost to the world.

2020 may have been called the most difficult year in history, but it also saw humans at undoubtedly their best: we saved animals in burning forests, spent more time with our family and loved ones, cried together, got saved by governments we criticized so much, stoically battled the virus and died like heroes, gave each other masks, and helped strangers.

Fusions Craft is your chance to let those who will come after know how we stood together even though we were forced to be apart. Create postcards, panels, decorate boxes, build mesmerizing scrapbooks with photos of your loved ones, adventures, your stories, unique moments caught on camera, and all those things you’d be heart-broken to forget. Now you never will.

It’s up to you what you want to remember. You could choose to remember this year as the toughest on record. Or you can keep documentary proof that along with everything that happened in 2020, it actually didn’t make us less human but instead much more. How will you remember this year?

Fusions Craft isn’t just a shop. It’s a place where you will write history.

Our Website: fusionscraft.com

Read our tips on creating a locldown time capsule

Art from your armchair

Round & About

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 Local artists open up virtual exhibition for Oxfordshire Artweeks Festival

Artists looking forward to welcoming the public to their studios for Oxfordshire Artweeks are now doing so virtually until May 25th.

The 13 resident artists and associate members of Ayres House Studios, Wallingford, were looking forward to inviting visitors into the previously derelict building; throwing open their studio doors to exhibit both art work and studio space – now sadly impossible due to social restrictions.

In October 2019 the artists took over Ayres House on Station Road. The building was used as a rectory until the 1950s and had been empty for many years and was officially opened with a launch celebration in December.

Studio Manager, Emma Souter of Adumbration Arts said: “It’s such a lovely building with so much potential, I think it needs us as much as we need it.”

On show ‘virtually’ will be paintings, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, upholstery, jewellery, photography, installations, artist’s books, performance and art restoration. The artists are from both academic and self-taught backgrounds, including those from high art, conceptual, fine art and applied crafts.

Daily content will be shared to provide a creative overview from the studios, highlighting what the artists have been doing before and during the coronavirus.

Among those helping out has been Becky Colwell who has used her textile skills to help make scrubs for the NHS and is looking forward to being able to teach sewing classes when the studios re open to the public.

Emma of Neoteric Dance Company has created a new dance film A Home in Isolation, documenting the experiences faced by so many at this time. Alongside this she is also supporting individuals who may be struggling emotionally and physical at this time, by offering virtual spaces to talk and process their experiences, seeing her transfer her Dance Movement Psychotherapy skills to a virtual platform.

During lockdown the studio is welcoming applications from artists who would like to join the studios and for those who would like to join as associate members. They are also seeking proposals for community and collaborative projects so they are ready for when restrictions are lifted. Once back they will re-open Monday Makers and the various courses, workshops and exhibitions which were suspended due to Covid19.

Until then why not visit Ayres House Studios online from the comfort of your homes throughout May.

During Artweeks there will be a chance to view works online via https://www.artweeks.org/festival/2020/ayres-house-studios and on the Studios social media pages https://www.facebook.com/ayreshousestudios and https://www.instagram.com/ayreshousestudios where new posts will be shared daily throughout the festival.

More info

For those interested in visiting Ayres House, signing up for a class or joining the studios after restrictions have eased, please email or call Adumbration Arts on 01865 819869.

Go with the Flow

Round & About

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Flow is the first exhibition of 2020 at Lingwood Samuel Art in Godalming and features a selected group of artists from FLUX Exhibition 2019. 

It will be supported by new ceramic work from Cathy Butcher and Claire Ireland as well as the ongoing collection of ceramics, jewellery, sculptures and prints. FLUX has established itself as the platform for contemporary artists to be discovered. 

Among the artists who will be exhibiting are: Amy Oliver, a self taught conceptual artist, using photography and digital manipulation to express her ideas; Lindsay Simons, a figurative painter living and working in London; Nick Huck, a largely selftaught figurative artist working with oil paints on layers of perspex over wood and canvas and Sophie Wake, a contemporary artist using oil or gouache, known for her animal figure paintings.  

Flow runs from Saturday 8th until Saturday, 25th April at the exciting and original contemporary art and craft gallery in Church Street which incorporates studio space for the artist owners: Caroline Lingwood and Margaret Samuel.  

The gallery holds four to six exhibitions a year showcasing carefully curated work from artists from all over the UK: paintings, ceramics, sculpture, mixed media, glass and jewellery. Work is displayed in a setting very different from the traditional white cube gallery, to give an idea of how art can be incorporated into the home. 

More info

The open day this Saturday is from 11am to 5pm. 

For more details visit

 

Wallingford Art Club

Round & About

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With the dark nights here, Wallingford Art Club’s November demonstration evening is very appropriate.

Melanie Cambridge’s demonstration on 19th November (7.30pm) titled Capturing Night Scenes uses oils and will offer some invaluable hints and tips.
A future date to put in your diary is the club’s Christmas Exhibition on 30th November and 1st December which coincides with Wallingford Christmas Festival and the Santa Dash.

This is always great fun and a chance to buy original art for presents, or treat yourself, all at reasonable prices. The venue will be in the centre of town, so look out for our posters and notices in November. The exhibition will be open 10am to 5pm Saturday and 10am to 4.30pm on Sunday.
IN addition to all the extra events, Tuesday morning fee paying tutored classes continue and these are proving very popular, the afternoon classes have finished for now but will start again with a new tutor in December/January, more details to follow.

The Tuesday evening club painting sessions start as usual at 7.30pm. If you would like to paint or draw then go along and join them.

Non members are very welcome to attend these evenings and the demonstrators for a cost of £3. We cover all mediums throughout the year so there is always a subject to tempt you, or perhaps to try something new.

All events apart from the exhibitions are held at Centre 70, Kinecroft, Goldsmith Lane, Wallingford.

More info

Further information can be obtained on the website Wallingford Art Club or call David on 01491 681400.

Naturals wonders

Round & About

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Giant bird boxes, crocheted funghi and a striking metal sculpture are among the artworks you can enjoy as part of this year’s Heathland Artworks.

Now established as an annual event, all work is inspired by the RSPB Farnham Heath.

Local emerging artists studying craft, fine art and textiles at the University for the Creative Arts have explored the wildlife, geology and history of the heath all year to develop a series of artworks that are temporarily placed on Farnham Heath and incorporated into a walking trail.

This year pieces include giant bird boxes, crocheted funghi, ceramic birds and a striking metal sculpture. There is also the added bonus of The House of Invisible Hands by sculptor Walter Bailey and a result of his research into historical forest glassmaking locally.

Heathland Artworks is a Surrey Hills Arts project and provides a new way to view and learn about the heath. Visitors can get up close to each of the 12 artworks by following a specially created trail.

The project has given the students an invaluable experience in preparing a proposal, presenting this to a panel, and developing the necessary skills to create and install the works.

Surrey Hills Arts aims to engage and inspire people in the natural landscape through the arts programme, promoting heritage, health and tourism.

Programme co-ordinator for Surrey Hills Arts, Ali Clarke said: “It has been fascinating seeing the students develop their artworks in response to the wildlife and environment on the heath.

“The final pieces will be enlightening for visitors of all ages providing pauses for thought along the route.”

Heathlands Artworks is free to enjoy and open to visitors until 27th October at Farnham Heath which is next to the Rural Life Centre. Visitors are welcome to use the facilities.

For more information

Full of pride

Round & About

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There’s extra reason to take pride in the Royal Borough as The Lions of Windsor & Maidenhead 2019 sculptures go on display for the next three months.

The public art event will feature a giant pride of super-sized lions displayed from 10th August to 27th October to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria and raise funds for local charities.

The colourful individual lions are sponsored by a range of businesses and organisations and have been decorated by leading artists, designers and illustrators. There’s also a mini pride of lion cubs which have been decorated by schools across the area.

The display also has a serious message with the aim of highlighting the plight of lions, which have become endangered with only 15,000 left in the wild.

The pride will go on show on the streets of Windsor, Eton, Ascot, Datchet, Maidenhead and beyond for the duration before being auctioned off for charity.

You’ll be able to ‘go on safari’ and follow the lion trail with maps available from the start of August and take a tour of the borough visiting the noble beasts on the streets.

The lions were created by sculptor Alan Dun who had previously created the Lions of Bath in 2010 and last year’s Owls of Bath.

Having shaped and moulded the original lion, a fibreglass mould was made to create the prototype from which the pride was born.
He also sculpted the lion cub to be decorated by schools, charities and community groups to then display on the trail.

Once the lions are taken off display they will be restored by the artists and then gathered together for one last roar goodbye on 9th and 10th November before the charity auction on 21st November.

All proceeds from the auction will go to local charities – Thames Hospice which provides care for people with life-limiting illnesses in East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire; Windsor Lions Club which helps a wide range of people and organisations in the community; Look Good Feel Better equips people to face cancer with confidence and wildlife charity Tusk.

Lions represent nobility, royalty, strength and stateliness so are the perfect choice for the Royal Borough and to raise awareness of their decline – over the past 50 years, the number of wild lions in Africa have fallen from 200,000 to less than 15,000. Tusk, which is working to highlight the decrease in numbers, has declared 2019 to be the Year of the Lion.

Find out more

Visit the Lions of Windsor site

Presence, Cornerstone

Karen Neville

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Kate Aries

Four emerging Oxford based artists are showcasing their work in an exhibition at Didcot’s Cornerstone.

Presence is a group exhibition featuring the work of Kate Aries, Manon Franklin-Fraiture, James Lester and Jack Whitney.
Combining drawing, textile, illustration and digital artworks, the artists have created new works that question what is means to exist in the contemporary world, physically, sexually, virtually and digitally.

Visitors will be able to engage with works perceptually and/or physically, encouraging them to also contemplate these questions.
Kate Aries explores perception and illusion through experimentation with the camera, using different techniques to obscure and restrict her body. Kate’s practice focuses not only on embodied experience, but also the manipulated and processed image in our changing society.

James Lester
Jack Whitney
Manon Franklin-Fraiture

Manon Franklin-Fraiture’s quirky illustrations incorporate conversations and questions she overhears and brings them to life, shining a light on how human existence can be in our modern life.
James Lester is a portraiture artist whose work contemplates the shaping of humanity within a modern context. Throughout the duration of the exhibition James will be creating large-scale charcoal murals of an array of celebrity figures, offering visitors the chance to watch the artist in action.

Jack Whitney’s practice challenges normative notions of gender, sexuality and politics, for this exhibition Jack has used embroidery as a way of drawing humorous yet thought provoking images.

Exhibition

Presence runs from today, 6th, until 18th August and is free to attend.

Visit the Cornerstone site for more information about this or any of the other productions on.