Wednesday, 31 May 2017

A tapestry that really gave me goosebumps

Every summer a group of four of us from Art College get together for a weekend,
a good chance to eat, drink, gossip, laugh and understand more about where we all live. 
This year it was time to go and visit my old room mate in Trondheim, Norway.
A stunning city full of multi coloured wooden building, very walkable and friendly.
And for me, a fantastic museum of Decorative Art and Design,
featuring an exhibition of the work by the Tapestry Artist Hannah Ryggen 

Now I will admit she was not someone I was aware of and I should have been, it was powerful stuff.
But one piece blew me away (I asked if I could take these photos)

'We live upon a star' 1958
This is what the info said and explains the goose bumps.
We live upon a star is a commissioned artwork by Hannah Ryggen for the new government building in Oslo in 1958.  The work is a philosophical depiction of humanity, and was meant to remind politicians everyday of how we should act towards one another and towards the earth itself.  The work was damaged in the terrorist attack on July 22nd 2011 , making it all the more relevant as a statement of  Ryggen's humanistic message and as a symbol for the struggle against violence and destruction.  The scar is still visible in the lower part of the tapestry.

Powerful stuff
I think how they have repaired it also speaks volumes.
It has been mended but the scars are still visible,

what happened in now part of the tapestries story and message. 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

sometimes we need a little help to realise how lucky we are.....

Yesterday I met to a lovely lady in the Gallery, who was an embroidery teacher from Australia.
I was chatting about sewing/embroidery courses I had done,
when she said something that made me stop and think.
'you are very lucky to have access to so many wonderful courses and Museums this side of the world'
Now I have been to Oz and it is a beautiful country, but I think I know what she means.
The wealth of history we have on our door step is truly amazing.
I have shared the links to the Gobelin Tapestry Workshop, West Dean and Lesage embroidery school, all of which I have been lucky enough to visit or attend courses in.  The last image is the Aubusson Tapestry Museum, definitely on my wish list!
Gobelin Factory

These beautiful places are just the tip of the ice-burg, the amount of museum, chateaux, castles and other historic building that allow us to view some truly amazing historical textiles is incredible.  
But I do think when in we live in Europe ( I mean the continent not the EU!) we can get a bit blaze about the treasures we are surrounded by and sometimes we need a stranger to remind us.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

loving our flag

I was having a tidy up at the gallery the other day and I realised just how much embroidery silks and bits of aida I have.  The aida are the off cuts from making up the cross stitch kits that we sell, but often when stitchers are down sizing, they very kindly give us the remains from their horde, and this is how most of the silks have come my way. 
I need to start using them!

Now I love our flag with the crosses of St George and William the Conqueror combined, but the colours (red, white and yellow) aren't soft.  And the silk colours that I have are, almost Autumnal. 
So I am stitching cross stitch hearts with the image of our flag
but each one in a different colour combination. 
The first one (above) flew out of the shop with in a day.  I took that as a good sign! 
So the second one (below) is nearly finished.

and I already have the colours sorted for the third.
They do take along time, but its the sort of thing I do while chatting to our visitors.
So no idea at all how regularly they will be appearing, so if you see one grab it!