Saturday, 31 October 2009

Sophie Calle

While in London I visited the Sophie Calle: Talking to strangers exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. It included a selection of work where she has reported on various encounters and situations that she has become involved in, for example when a stranger asked to mourn his break up by sleeping in her bed, or inviting an author to take charge of her destiny by directing her on how to go and meet it...
It was a fascinating and beautifully designed could easily spend a day there reading everything. Unfortunately I didn't have time to so will hopefully have a chance to go again.
I particularly liked a set of writing and photography that was made in response to a project where Calle asked strangers in the Bronx to take her to wherever they wanted (within the Bronx) and explain why.
Another interesting project was 'Prenex soin de vous' where Calle invited 107 women to interpret an email where her partner breaks up with her.
It is free so if your in London it is definately worth a look.

Street Dog

When I saw my friend Jenny Tondera's streetdog design in Topman I just couldn't resist trying it on....

Cecil and Ada

This has been my favourite ever find at a fleamarket. A suitcase full of about 100 letters dating between 1957-59 between two sweethearts, Cecil and Ada, who appear to have written religiously every few days to each other until their marriage. Although I find it sad that something as precious as this would turn up for sale on a market stall, I am secretly pleased that they have come into my possession! Haven't managed to read through many yet but the few I have are fascinating. Can't wait to do a project with these...
I found Cecil's interest in Ada's possibly transparent nightie, and desire to rub her cold ridden chest, particularly amusing.

The Pattern Sourcebook

This book is going to be on my Christmas list. Full of beautiful surface pattern designs from the 20th century.

The Wife's Guide and Friend

I recently found this interesting and unusual book at the Brighton Sunday fleamarket. It is basically a book of all the things that tended to be edited out of old magazines and books etc....pregnancy, sex, periods....Quite disconcerting in places, but interesting nonetheless. Also not sure I'm impressed that it was written by a man!

Medicinal Labels

Chamber miscellany of useful and entertaining tracts

Bought this book recently just for the cover...reminds me of my friend Bronwyn's blog. Have a look, she always posts beautiful finds.

Alice Eleanor

My Mum and Dad bought me this old french cashes name tags...they actually managed to find my initials!


Some boxes from my hoardes.

The sacred made real

Looking forward to going to this exhibition at the National Gallery in December with my Mum and Dad. We all love these religious icons and traditions having spent several Easter holidays in Spain celebrating Semana Santa for ourselves! It has had really good reviews so if your in London sometime, check it out!


It has been great over the last week to have a catchup with old friends from America....hopefully it wont be so long till next time till we meet again!

Nuit Blanche

Last week for the hour change, there was festival all through the night in Brighton, with loads of things going on- for example tours of Brighton by bus with bingo on at the same time, films being projected into the swimming pool for you to watch and swim in, Project films and animations on various buildings, music and exhibitions, late night life drawing, pianos were dotted around the city centre for you to stop and have a play on....and all for free! Didn't manage to do it all but it was a great night to just wander around Brighton, with a really nice atmosphere...and was made all the more special as an MCAD reunion took place too! Some photos courtesy of millie!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Ex Libris

I have just finished teaching a relief printing course at Horsley Printmakers ( on a book plate theme. Its surprisingly hard to design a book plate which allows space for an image, a bit of text and space for the book owner to write their name. Students produced some lovely lino cuts but one, Kim Lewis, experimented with producing book plates which were wood engraving combined with letterpress. Here are her designs lined up under the engraving block.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Supremes

I am just hone from an evening of glamour at the Shipley Art Gallery. The story of the Supremes has arrived in Gateshead complete with slinky, sparkly outfits from the Mary Wilson collection. Mary Wilson was friendly and looked great . I think I need to get my husband to buy me some diamonds to wear over my elbow length black gloves. Last week Alice mentioned she had got Grayson Perry's autograph, well I think I did better and here is the autograph of Mary Wilson, an original Tamla Motown legend.

There are lots of associated events  including  Shipley Lates : Fashion Fix next Friday 30th October with a talk by Fee Doran, creator of the Mrs Jones fashion label,  who has worked with Kylie, Madonna and Matthew Williamson. On Friday 27th November there is a pre-Christmas girls night out with tips and hints on wigs and make up and a chance to take on some Motown hits on the Karaoke. In the new year on Thursday 21st January there is a clothes swap and customisation evening.
More information at

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Design Exchange

New weaving from Fiona Rutherford

Design Event 09 is on in Newcastle. One of the most interesting shows is on at Sage, Gateshead. Design Exchange is a showcase of collaborative artwork made by 4 pairs of French and English designers and is curated by Charlie Arnold. The French artists come from St Etienne and the North east artists are Designed and Made members Nick James, furniture; Fiona Rutherford, tapestry; Joanne Mitchell, glass and Fiona Thonpson, ceramics.
I particularly liked the collaboration between Fiona Rutherford and furniture designer Philippe Moine. Fiona was inspired by the local ribbon weaving industry in St. Etienne.
The project blog is at The web site is at Fiona's colourful website is at

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Tea fit for the queen

Me, Verity and Rachael went here AGES ago but I have only just recieved photo evidence. Although quite a treat it was similarly disturbing when we realised the instructions in the menu on what times to sing God Save the Queen were not in fact, a joke.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Grayson Perry

I went to an interesting talk by Grayson Perry last night at the Towner contemporary art Gallery in Eastbourne. I love his work and it was interesting to see what he has been up to recently...his 'map of nowhere' was at the gallery and was stunning in the flesh. He also showed some images of his 'Walthamstow' tapestry which he has recently finished which was really interesting too. I think it might be going in the new Saatchi gallery?! The Towner seemed like a lovely gallery so if your even near check it out! Also just because the oppurtunity was there I got his autograph! haha. Geek!


I found the perfect purple cardigan today. But this is an awful photo. Hey ho it made me happy. Oh and the cool brooch mother sent me has gone straight to good use! Thankyou.

Land Girls

I went to an interesting exhibition today at the Brighton Museum about the Women's Land army. Go have a's on till March 2010 though so there is no hurry! Looks like there are lots of fun events attatched to this exhibition so might have to try and go to some of those too!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Incubator II

I went to see Incubator II today at the DLI Museum in Durham ( An exhibition of artists' books and multiples which were contained within three themed areas entitled Study, Log Cabin and Landscape. Each area had site specific handmade conceptual wallpaper, floor coverings and chairs which created a particular mood or ambience in which to relax and handle the books. It was curated by David Faithful.
It was wonderful being able to touch all the books . The ones which were more homemade, limited edition screen prints or letter pressed stood out because you could feel the ink under your fingers and there were interesting combinations of colour, text and composition. Some lovely work, for example, by local artist Theresa Easton. Sara Ogilvie's books made us smile ( but there were too many digitally produced books which sometimes seemed to merely contain photographs rather than ideas.

Ash Wednesday by Jim Butler. The most beautiful book in the exhibition. Letterpress and blind embossing.

Mambo Moves. A flick book featuring dance sequences by Irene Miguel. (

Special Delivery by the wonderful Sara Ogilvie. Her screenprints are always so lively. Fantastic drawing and collage elements.

More Sara Ogilvie.

Roadkill. Lucy May Schofield.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Work in Progress

I've been making dolls today. The one in a red dress has a beautiful mane of hair. Thanks to the Blue - Faced Leicester sheep who contributed the fleece. I'm hoping with a wand in her hand she will do as a Christmas Fairy.