Monday, 20 June 2016

June Meeting - Maria Walker

Our speaker at the June meeting was Maria Walker. She describes herself as 'a contemporary artist who explores the concept of embodiment and memory through a variety of media and techniques, but which often involve using textiles or which reference textile techniques and technologies due to their innate tactility and flexibility'.

Her talk centred on the Lightfoot Letters. A body of work which grew out of a collection of letters she found in a Cheshire antique shop.

The Lightfoot letters (image taken from Maria's website)
These turned out to be a set of letters written from a mother to a daughter who had gone to live with an aunt. The letters  were full of the details of everyday life and gossip, and Maria took selected phrases to use in her work.

Ada (image taken from Maria's website)
Then, with a curious stroke of fate, Maria met poet Angela Topping, who was the grandaughter of the letter writers. A collaboration started, and Angela was able to provide photographs of the subjects of the letters. This led to an exhibition of The Lightfoot Letters, which toured to several venues.

Maria uses many mixed media and textile techniques in her work, using scans of the original letters, photos and found items including skates and an old typewriter. She explores cut work, machine embroidery, digital printing and screen printing to create multi layered pieces of work.

We were fortunate that Maria was able to bring lots of her work to the meeting and we were able to see these techniques up close. It was a really interesting talk, and showed how a small starting point for inspiration can turn in to a magnificent and thought provoking body of work.

Other things . . .

A reminder that there will not be a July meeting at the Folk Hall. Instead, there will be a trip to Scampston Hall to see the Capability Brown exhibition. The aim is to meet in the Conservatory at Scampston at 11:30am.  If you are able to offer a lift, or would like to have a lift to Scampston, the plan is to leave the Folk Hall at 10:30am. Please contact Kath if you still need to make arrangements.
There is an entrance charge to Scampston Hall. This is a link to their website.

The August meeting is on 6th August and is the Big Stitch Day from 11:00am to 3:00pm. The meeting will be open to the public, and there will be no admission charge for members or visitors that day.  Bring some work to do! Hopefully this will be an informal meeting with an opportunity to meet friends and share ideas. Lunches and tea will be provided as usual.

The Shadow work competition will be judged at the August meeting.

And a reminder that the Ida Barber Trophy will be judged at the September meeting.