Tuesday, May 22, 2018

TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List expands its online community to a neighborhood in Paducah, Kentucky!


Earlier in the week I interviewed founder and non-stop advocator of TAFA (the Textile And Fiber Art list), Rachel Biel. Rachel has an exciting new direction for TAFA, one that she explains fully in the following interview:



New visions, new directions are always exciting. You have a new vision for TAFA. What is that new vision? 

I launched TAFA in 2010 when social media was just starting to become a powerful tool in how we communicate on the web. The goal was to create an organization that focused on the business side of running a textile/fiber art business along with creating a destination that truly reflected the best of what is happening in our field around the world.

The membership has grown into a true testament of the innovation and broad reach of our industry, from the historical handmade traditions to experimental approaches involving new technologies. As our focus in on the business side of what we do, most of our members seek to make a living at what they do. This led to creating a sister site, Artizan Made, which has a market that links products back to their shopping platforms (etsy or standalone sites). Visit both: www.tafalist.com and www.artizanmade.com.

The technical hurdles have been overwhelming and I have found myself glued in front of a laptop screen for the last eight years. This has affected me physically in many ways (weight gain, weary eyes, fear of heights) but I am constantly inspired by what our members are doing in their corners of the world. The itch for change set in last year (2017) and I began to see that I could replicate some of what our members are doing and have direct contact with people, both locally and through exchanges. The new vision, then, involves setting up a physical space focused on the arts, culture and sustainability. I am calling it the Green Roof Culture Hub for now. http://www.rayela.com/green-roof-paducah-culture-house/


So this new vision builds on what TAFA has already achieved?

Yes! I have learned a lot about how our field impacts the economy and changes lives around the world. We have many fair trade groups that have effected economic change in their communities; partnerships between designers and remote communities that are documenting, preserving and tweaking traditional practices so that they are viable methods for today’s markets; commercial industries that cater to the supplies our people demand, including organic and safe practices; exchange programs that enrichen participants; an increased use of waste as the supply; studio artists addressing social justice and environmental issues, and the list goes on and on. I love what I see happening through TAFA and want to be involved in that kind of work as well.





Many organisations like TAFA proclaim themselves as ‘international’, but that often means little more than North America and Europe. However, TAFA is truly international, it has members from all parts of the planet. What do you attribute to its global appeal?

I have made a concerted effort to bring in people and groups that are often overlooked by our community, but it’s a huge challenge. Right now we have 44 countries represented on TAFA, but many of those countries have only one or two members from there. I would like to see much more representation from Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Some of the challenges have to do with language and possibly access to technology. We have a one-time join fee of $125 for a lifetime membership and that may be steep for some. But, I also think it is a reasonable price as there are no yearly renewals. As for its appeal, I think it’s both about the quality of the work and a curiosity about the “other”. I am pretty strict about who is accepted into TAFA, looking for authenticity, commitment to the practice, and a professional presentation. 





Tell us about the Green Roof Culture Hub.

In thinking about how I can build on what is already happening, I see TAFA and Artizan Made, our sister site (a collective of handmade shops online), as spokes in a larger wheel. There are other exciting projects happening in Paducah and other people who may need space for their ideas to flourish. I am looking for my tribe here and as I can’t do everything by myself, am offering them a place of collaboration for programs focused on culture, the arts and sustainability. There will be a new website for Green Roof which will serve as a poster board for all of the activities and programs it supports.

TAFA and Artizan Made are currently projects of my art business, Rayela Art. In time, I would like to see parts of what I want to do spin off as non-profits or become member owned. I am 56 years old now and figure I have about 10 more years where I can work hard towards this goal. After that, hopefully, I can enjoy the community and work on my own art work and maybe do some traveling.

I am documenting ideas on my personal site at this point: www.rayela.com.  I like the name Green Roof because I also have a great interest in green architecture and it points to both sustainability and hosting. Plus, it would really be fun to have a goat on a roof someday!




You have set up the ‘Give a Hand’ fundraising effort. What does that entail, and what do you want to achieve with the fundraiser?

I plan on taking out a mortgage or business loan to get this project going. Unfortunately, my income has been very low since I launched TAFA and I have lived a simple lifestyle. I don’t know how much I can borrow, but am shooting for $100,000, which is not that much for a project like this. I don’t have any savings so am running this fundraiser to raise enough for a down payment and to pay for whatever initial costs there may be. My goal is to raise US$30,000.  The fundraiser will also help me show that there is community backing for my ideas and it will stimulate local interest to see that there is international interest in what happens here.

Public art is a core part of how I want to develop Green Roof’s presence in the neighbourhood I am moving into. I could go ask for money on something like Go Fund Me, but instead, would rather have a true contribution from the funders by having them submit hand art that will be embedded in an installation. Imagine visitors and locals placing their hand on to the hand that someone sent from far away… 300 Hands will make an amazing installation and will reach my goal. This idea is basically the same as a common one used in fundraising where people pay for a brick and get their name on it. I just changed it to make it more personal.

This video is a good example of what I have in mind:




Funders will have a permanent profile on a dedicated page on our new site. The fundraising page has more info and examples of hand art: http://www.rayela.com/give-a-hand-fundraiser-for-green-roof-culture-hub-and-flower-power-club/

The funder profiles are at the bottom of that page for now. They are also thanked on the Facebook pages that I run. Our TAFA page is one of the largest textile ones and has a great following:  https://www.facebook.com/TAFAList/

Our first hand has been sent in by Melanie Shovelski, a felter and activist from Wyoming!  http://www.melanieshovelski.com






What other ways can members and non-members support TAFA and its goals?


Any money that comes in right now is going to support my transition to this new project. I still have work to do here in terms of networking and meeting with local people, but it is a challenge financially to meet bills and take that time. Any amount can be sent to my PayPal account, rayela.art@gmail.com, but I would prefer people got something for their money.

Here are some of the ways beyond the fundraiser:

Artizan Made Membership: $125 plus $12.50/month  
TAFA Sponsorship: $250/year for members, $1,000/year for non-members  https://www.tafalist.com/tafa-sponsors/
Classified Ad: $10/month  https://www.tafalist.com/classifieds/

Getting the word out and sharing any of these links also helps and gives our people exposure, too.


Sustainability, or lack of it, seems to one of the most pressing problems that we face today. What do you see as being ground work solutions to that problem?

This problem weighs on me heavily. The documentation we see daily of plastic in the oceans and garbage everywhere makes me so depressed. I mourn the loss of habitat and the decimation of our natural world. We all have to blow the horn, stomp our feet and do the best we can to decrease our personal contribution to these problems. The textile industry has a horrible record starting at how fibers are grown, raised or manufactured to the end products and fashion industry. Recycle, reuse, upcycle and educate. The Story of Stuff is a great site to use as an educational tool: https://storyofstuff.org/

All of us, as makers, need to learn about what materials we are using and move to non-toxic or recycled sources. Many of our members use their art to honk the horn and educate. Janine Heschl from Australia’s machine embroidery are powerful portraits of endangered species, for example. https://www.textilewildlifeart.com/





Tell us about the Flower Power Club.

The neighbourhood I plan on working in is traditionally an African American area that has historical significance for our City. There are many empty lots there along with small houses that were built in the 1970’s by a program similar to Habitat for Humanity. The houses are owned by their residents and are now deteriorating. In thinking about economic development ideas for this neighbourhood, I thought the approach should be about families with these small homes as the main target. The Flower Power Club will be a free membership for any home owner in Paducah, but based in UpperTown.

Members commit to creating a flower theme with their home, staying away from pesticides, going organic, recycling, picking up garbage, and planting bee and bird friendly plants. They have to come to six meetings a year and will have their homes listed on the site. Each Saturday, I will host a potluck and then we will work on a craft together, using garbage. My hope is that some of them will start cottage industries and we can help them sell their work and give them feedback on product design. I will also look for support from local businesses that can give them perks to improve their homes.

I believe that many of these people will actually be open to painting floral designs on their houses. This will transform the neighbourhood and make it a tourist destination. I actually found one resident who is already doing this!





We will also have a product line, Flower Power Art, which will help fund programming. It will be sold through Artizan Made’s market. We do not recycle glass here in Paducah and I weep every time I throw out a bottle. So, we will make bottle bricks and melt them into a variety of crafts. I don’t know how to do this, so will have to find a glass artist to head this project!




 Bottle house on Prince Edward Island


You are a big fan of Earthship Global. Can you tell us more about what Earthship Global is, and why you are such a fan?

Yes! When I first found out about what Michael Reynolds was doing, I watched his videos for hours. He is now my hero. They basically build homes and structures that are completely self-sustaining, all out of garbage. Unfortunately, we are so backward in the United States that much of what he is doing and what I want to do is not allowed, blocked by city or state ordinances. He has to go to remote areas where these laws are not in place, so much of his work has been in the deserts of New Mexico. They also do a lot of work around the world and are now building a teaching site in Puerto Rico where residents can learn how to build small homes out of tires that are hurricane resistant.  https://www.earthshipglobal.com/
I want to send people from here to get trained by them. 


One of the earthship homes. It's just big art to me!


So that ties in with one of your ambitions, which is to build an eco-village?

This is a long-time dream. I’ve worked with the handmade community since the 1992 and grew up in a creative environment in Brazil during the 60’s and 70’s where everyone was making something. About 15 years ago, I was sitting at my desk thinking about the gallery I had in Chicago and how all of this stuff from around the world had stories connected to them that people needed to know more about. I am not a visionary person but that day I sat back and basically watched a video in my head about a place that had structures from around the world with people living in them from those countries, hosting guests and teaching them about those cultures. I explored the idea for about six months, but couldn’t find the right team of people to do it with me.

I’ve adapted some of that to how it could work here in Paducah:

I’ve met with our City Planner and unfortunately, there are State ordinances that would forbid many of these structures. However, we can build small ones, as public art and use them to learn techniques and showcase possibilities that could be adapted if this State becomes more progressive. Aside from all of the garbage that we generate, we are also rich in clay, wood, local stone quarries. 


Batak house, indonesia


Who knows how all of this will unfold? I met a builder recently, scruffy and down to earth, who works on mainstream homes and I showed him a couple of my books on ethnic structures. He didn’t want to put the book down. He had longing in his eyes and said that he has loved this stuff for years and that he spends hours on YouTube watching videos about all of this. These are the people I need to find, the beginning of my tribe!


How can people join and support TAFA?

Members to both TAFA and Artizan Made go through a screening process. They must show a serious body of work, have a professional website or shop and see their work as a business. Both sites have information on how to request membership.

As for others who are not professionals looking for membership, everything we do truly depends on building relationships and community. What happens here in the US does impact life in Australia. We need to build friendships internationally and look for constructive ways in which art can participate in the future of our planet. Start out by becoming familiar with our members and sharing what they do. Buy their work if you can! We all need patrons and supporters.  Leave comments on their profiles so that they know people are seeing them. Just engage on any level that you can. Do it with us, with other groups and with your local community! My mantra has been and continues to be:

“Together we can do great things!”


A note about John: John joined TAFA in the second month after we launched, back in 2010, making him one of our pioneer members. It has been a delight to follow him all of these years and watch Inspirational develop. His advocacy for the arts has been determined and fierce. He reached out and offered exposure for this new venture of mine, which I greatly appreciate. We may have different angles of approaching things, but we raise our voices and stick with it because life without art is a sad place indeed. Please offer your support to John, too, whenever you can!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

ARTIST: Lidija Seferović


The designer and artist Lidija Seferović who is renowned for eclectic designer scarves and textile art on silk.

Born and raised in Dubrovnik, Croatia, Lidija Seferović expresses her creativity through paintings on silk in the form of eclectic designer scarves and textile art - everything is hand-drawn by Lidija in her London studio.

Having always enjoyed drawing and art, even in an abstract sense, Lidija enrolled at the Luka Sorkočević Art School of Dubrovnik before embracing her love of fashion at the State School of Fashion Design in Stuttgart, Germany.



Then moving to London, Lidija continued her studies at the London College of Fashion where she received a BA in Womenswear, after which she pursued a career in fashion, in which she has designed, illustrated and embroidered for the likes of Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, Bruce Oldfield, and Ralph & Russo.

Classically trained in portraiture, figure drawing and sculpture, both Lidija's designer scarves and textile art embrace a variety of medium techniques (oil, aquarelle, pencil) to project peculiar yet lively, imaginative stories onto stretched silk canvas.

Mainly, Lidija aims to create items that not only work as incredibly stylish fashion items but also as pieces of art suitable for display alone, in their own right.



As well as committing herself to at least one collection of designer scarves a year, Lidija creates bespoke items, including designer scarves and pocket squares, and textile art for private clients.

Discover more of Lidija Seferović's work via her website: http://lidijaseferovic.com/

Limited edition artwork stretched on wooden battens is also available via Saatchi Art at: https://www.saatchiart.com/lidijaseferovic



Thursday, October 05, 2017

THE SECRETS QUILT



Psst; do you want to know a secret?

First, you'll have to tell us yours!

According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the average person keeps a whopping 13 secrets and five secrets that they have never told to another living soul!

Everyone knows that keeping things in is bad for us, so how do you find a safe and therapeutic way to let it go?

Well, you can sing about it, talk about it, write a letter and freeze it, write a poem and burn it, or shout your secret to the wind and let it carry your words off scattered in the breeze. 




Or you can give it to us: stitch your secret and send it to us for safe keeping.  Trivial, funny or deadly serious, it matters not.

Letting a secret go in a safe place allows you to forgive yourself and let the past go.  Sharing a secret is an act of self-love.

We are the Profanity Embroidery Group of Whitstable, Kent and you are invited to stitch your secret (profanity free) and make it part of an American style crazy quilt. 





The Secrets Quilt is a social media-generated art quilt celebrating therapeutic stitching. The aim is to excite people to stitch and feel the benefit of collaborative creativity.  We hope that by taking time to relax and unwind, whilst unburdening themselves, people will feel happier.

Feedback has already showed this is happening.  One stitcher, recovering from breast cancer told us, 'it has given me something quiet and soothing to do amongst all the annoying bits of life.'

Another stitcher said, 'while my depression not something I keep secret, I definitely don't acknowledge it as much as I should, especially to myself. So this secret is actually about me facing up to my challenges and learning to treat myself more kindly when I am having a bad time.'





Another said of her secret, 'it’s funny but since stitching this secret I feel empowered to be braver and 'come out' to my friends instead of saying nothing.'

We are inviting people to stitch their secrets on fabric no bigger than an iPad and send it to us by December 31 2017.  The secrets will be transformed into a quilt for national display in 2018.

The process is anonymous and anyone can contribute. All are welcome to take part in this project, beginners as well as experienced individuals.





Find out everything you need to know at:


Instagram @lovesecretsand

More information contact:

Bridget Carpenter bridgetmcarpenter@gmail.com



Thursday, September 21, 2017

THE SLEEP QUILT


Tracy Chevalier joins forces with charity to help prisoners build their self-esteem and hope


“It was a challenge. I had just joined Fine Cell Work. Caroline, the volunteer teacher, asked me to do a square for the quilt and explained what it was about. She said what do you guys dream about when in prison. I said to be honest I don’t dream any more. I haven’t dreamed for years. To me prison is all about madness and chaos and tattoos. Caroline saw my tattoos and said we haven’t got one of those on the quilt. To me tattoos and people are very similar. It tells a story of a time and a place, it’s a permanent marker. It’s like me on this earth. ”Prisoner partaking in the Sleep Quilt project



“Prisoners may initially agree to work with Fine Cell Work because they will be paid, but most of them get far more out of the experience than money … Many inmates suffer from low self-esteem. They have never made anything constructive or beautiful before, and have never been praised. Doing so is like watering a dried-out plant and seeing it come back to life.”Tracy Chevalier

The Sleep Quilt is unlike any other quilt you will have seen. Commissioned by Tracy Chevalier, it is entirely stitched and quilted by prisoners in the UK.

Each of the 63 squares explores what sleep means for them. A moment of escape for some, for others a dark return to all they most regret in life, sleep has a great significance in jail that is only strengthened by the difficulty of finding it in the relentlessly noisy, hot and cramped environment.

By turns poignant, witty, light-hearted and tragic, The Sleep Quilt shines a light on lives that few outside can imagine. An essay by Tracy Chevalier and an Introduction by Katy Emck, Director of Fine Cell Work, the charity that made the quilt possible, as well as many quotations from the people who have embroidered the 63 patches, frame this remarkable work launched by Pallas Athene Books on 31st October.

Each square, printed in full colour, appears on one page so that readers can fully appreciate both the outstanding craftsmanship required (often the fruit of weeks of patient dedication on the prisoners’ part) and the meaning conveyed by the artwork.

All royalties from the sales of the book will go to Fine Cell Work.

“The word ‘sleep’ conjures up memories of when I put my children to bed. ‘Wynken, Blynken, and Nod’ was a favourite bedtime story that I read to them frequently. My sleep quilt tells this story of three children who go fishing for stars in a wooden shoe.”

“I have always suffered with insomnia and often had to resort to using an eye mask… The sleeping woman represents me and my dream – love of the outside, the beach, owning a beach hut and a vintage VW camper van to drive around in and be a free spirit once again.”

“Sleep in prison can be sporadic. It is usually interrupted by thoughts of the past, maybe good ones but also regrets. Thoughts about friends, family and loved ones. Hopes and aspirations for the future. In designing my block I have taken my sleep thoughts and represented them as four hearts, each standing for a family member and their children, and also a close friend. The buttons inside the hearts represent the family members. Across the rest of the design is a scattering of buttons. The smaller ones represent dreams, aspirations and past happy thoughts and events. The large buttons represent the things in life that make it hard to achieve positive goals. However, these buttons can be broken and shattered into smaller particles, given time and the right direction in life.”
About Tracy Chevalier: An American-British novelist, best known for The Girl with the Pearl Earring, her interest in quilting was sparked by her research for a novel, The Last Runaway, and she is now a committed quilter. When the novel was published in 2013, she was contacted by Danson House, a Grade I Listed Palladian Villa in South East London, to curate a quilt show which she decided to call What We Do in Bed. At the same time, she was contacted by ‘Fine Cell Work’ to come and talk about her book to a group of prisoners. This experience made such a strong impression on her that she decided to commission a quilt from the prisoners for her show. It would be called The Sleep Quilt and prisoners were asked to express their feelings about sleep, either in images or words or both.

About Fine Cell Work: a charity and social enterprise that runs rehabilitation projects in thirty British prisons by training prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework, undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells, to foster hope, discipline and self-belief.


“I pondered the necessity of prisoners having something worthwhile to do during their long hours of lonely idleness. I wanted that work to be creative, enjoyable, worthwhile and saleable. I was determined that the work should be a professional standard, no whiff of charitable acceptance about it, and should be something of which its creator could be proud and our future buyers wish to own. I wanted the prisoner on release to have as much money as he or she had earned.” Lady Anne Tree, Founder of Fine Cell Work

“As an officer you have to wear two hats. It's a bit of a split personality. With Fine Cell Work you suddenly realise you're a human being and not just a uniform. Prisoners come and talk to you and realise you're a human being too. I am doing something for a worthwhile charity and possibly giving inmates who have an entrenched view of ‘The System’ a different angle to consider”. Officer, HMP Wandsworth


The Sleep Quilt, a collaboration between Tracy Chevalier and charity ‘Fine Cell Work’

Published by Pallas Athene Books

Hardback; 80 colour photographs; 145 x 145 mm 240pp; £14.99

ISBN: 978 1 84368 146 5


A Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign has been started, through which the publisher is planning to fund at least part of the books’ printing (all funds raised via Kickstarter will go towards the book and to the charity itself). Kickstarter is a website allowing people to raise money for arts-based projects.

The Sleep Quilt’s Kickstarter initiative ends mid-November. The link is: http://bit.ly/TheSleepQuiltKickstarter

Sunday, September 03, 2017

EXHIBITION: DAMIEN DREW



Black Eye Gallery is pleased to announce the September 2017 exhibition:
WABI- SABI by Damien Drew.

The Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi is an appreciation of a transient and understated beauty in the modest, imperfect, ephemeral or decayed. Drew’s exhibition expresses this notion through his perspective of modern day Japan.


Japan has one of the world’s largest economies and a population that is shrinking due to low birthrates. With employment opportunities predominantly found in large urban centres there has been a marked decline in rural regions. Drew’s images seek to document that which is temporary and to celebrate its beauty in turn. The viewer is invited to consider details and qualities in paired scenes that may be inconspicuous, congruent or contrasting. In a world that is increasingly homogenised through global retail chains, Drew carefully observes
the melancholy beauty of the many towns and villages that have now become neglected.


“We do not dislike everything that shines, but we do prefer a pensive lustre to a shallow brilliance, a murky light that, whether in a stone or an artefact, bespeaks a sheen of antiquity. We love things that bear the marks of grime, soot, and weather, and we love the colours and the sheen that call to mind the past that made them.”

- From Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, ‘In Praise of Shadows’ 1933


Damien Drew is also an award-winning Art Director and Production Designer whose feature film credits include Alien Covenant, Superman Returns, Star Wars, The Great Gatsby and The Matrix films.

Exhibition details – September 5 – 24, 2017
Opening night- Friday September 8, 6-8pm


Mandatory credit line:
From WABI-SABI by Damien Drew, courtesy of Black Eye Gallery.

For inquiries, images and interviews with the artists please contact
Kath Wasiel 0411 806 958 kath@blackeyegallery.com.au

3/138 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst 2010 02 8084 7541 blackeyegallery.com.au Tues-Sun 10am- 6pm


Thursday, August 17, 2017

EXHIBITION: ARMANDO CHANT


Black Eye Gallery is pleased to announce the August 2017 exhibition
Liminal by Armando Chant

Liminal builds an interest with the potential for engagement that exists with the relationship between imagery and objects that sit within an in-between state of emergence and realisation.


This series proposes an encounter with the liminal image in construction, where there is an exploration and interaction with the blurred boundaries between the real and imaginatively unreal, and images that are in a process of slow and gradual emergence.


Chant depicts an abstract landscape composed of marks and gestures that are indeterminate and indefinable, embodying both bodily contours and vast panoramic gestural landscapes.

“My practice aims to explore and open up potentials for the dressed body to be reframed or represented within an ephemeral and transient context across site and surface, and contribute to another way of experiencing image and body within the disciplines of both art and design.”
– Armando Chant, 2017


About the Photographer: Armando Chant has worked internationally across diverse creative disciplines and industries including fashion and textile design, art direction and curatorial practice. He currently lectures at University of Technology Sydney, for the Fashion and Textiles Program.

Exhibition details – AUG 23- SEPT 3, 2017
Opening night- Thursday August 24, 6-8pm
Mandatory credit line: From Liminal, by Armando Chant, courtesy of Black Eye Gallery
For inquiries, images and interviews with the artists please contact
Kath Wasiel 0411 806 958 kath@blackeyegallery.com.au

3/138 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst 2010 02 8084 7541 blackeyegallery.com.au Tues-Sunday 10am 6pm

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

SUE STONE EXHIBITION

Sue Stone: Faith, 2017 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, acrylic paint)


Sue Stone: Displaced
April 28 - May 28, 2017
Owen James Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Time, memory and family are at the heart of Sue Stone’s mixed-media works. She merges the past and the present to connect personal histories and local identities through dream-like narratives. Starting with old family photographs, she interprets and transforms them through techniques that include hand & machine stitched embroidery, fabric collage, writing and painting.

Stone is also deeply influenced by the history of her native Grimsby, England. For many years, Grimsby supported a major seaport and fishing industry, and where Stone’s father was fish merchant. The industry declined over time, but allusions to it remain in her work.  Stone started sewing early on, learning from and working with her mother who was a tailoress until her early death. This sense of loss, and of displacement, in both emotional and economic terms, is an ongoing theme for the artist.

Sue Stone: Fate, 2017 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, acrylic paint)

Sue Stone: Hope, 2017 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, acrylic paint)

While she will often make preparatory designs and studies, Stone “draws” her figures by directly stitching on fabric. At times she will use odd swatches from a piece of clothing once worn by the figure she is creating. At other times she carefully creates the figure’s clothing through a series of exquisite stitch techniques. We see parts of the unadorned base fabric come through, an indication perhaps that what lies beneath is as important as what is above. Hand-stitched text, relating a certain figures’ story, will sometimes also be added into the background.

Sue Stone: Remember Me Study #7, 2014 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, acrylic paint)

Sue Stone: Study for The Boys Go Down To London Town, 2014 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, acrylic paint)

The figures that populate Stone’s imagery waft back and forth through time. In some works she shows several generations of relatives, all at once but at different ages. For example, in The Boys Go To London Town (2014) we see the artist’s father-in-law, along with his own father and uncle. They are dressed for a jaunt about Grimsby, with a classic car from the period. However, they are standing in a present-day London street. Interestingly, sometimes the location is Grimsby Street, in London’s East End. Sharing the same name as her home town, the area in London has also seen seen better days in the past, but is now currently undergoing gentrification as one of the city’s more interesting artistic hubs. Stone photographs graffiti during her travels, and has recently been incorporating it into her works. Graffiti can serve as a liberating symbol, a statement of fact to the world that an artist once existed in a certain place at a certain time. In this same way Stone often incorporates the image of a fish, a personal symbol of Grimsby’s economic past, and of her own. This combination of the real and the unreal, and of the then and the now, is also a balance between playfulness and intimacy.


Sue Stone: Study For The Unknown Statistic (Never Forget), 2014 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, acrylic paint)

Sue Stone: The Boys Go To London Town, 2014 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, fabric paint)

Sue Stone is currently the chair of The 62 Group of Textile Artists, an international select membership of textile artists. She studied fashion at St. Martins School of Art and embroidery at Goldsmiths College, London. 

Check the Owen James Gallery for more details of this exhibition, and much more.

All imagery and text were kindly supplied by the Owen James Gallery.

Sue Stone: When Will This Ever End?, 2014 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, acrylic paint)