Had a lovely day today with my friends in the Quinary group. Thanks to Val for hosting the day in your beautiful home. All of the group’s new work is very exciting and will form into a fantastic exhibition.

Matisse Cut Outs Exhibition

Yesterday I went to the Matisse cut out exhibition at Tate Modern and it was a wonderful exhibition.  It struck me how much of this work is textile like; the cut marks can be seen as evidence of the ‘hand’ in the making process.  Two videos of him working showed how he held the coloured paper in his left hand in the air and cut with large tailor scissors with his right hand in a very free way. He often pinned the papers together so that he could move them around with tiny pins smaller than dressmaking pins.  All these little elements for me related to the cutting and shaping that we do so much in our own work.

Many of the larger assembled pieces had a distinct link with the way that African American Quilts are put together and I was fascinated by the way that he had put these together using juxtapositions of scale and proportion – just like a ‘quilt’


A thought

Sometimes its as useful to walk away from the work and reflect on the impact that other elements of our lives have on the work.  I love to read Buddhist poems and literature related – this poem is one of my favourites written by a Zen Buddhist (b.1758) Ryokan


To a Visitor

Listen to the cicadas in treetops near the waterfall;

See how last night’s rains have washed away all grime

Needless to say, my hut is as empty as can be,

But I can offer you a window full of the most intoxicating air !


It tells me that ‘ sometimes’ I have to stop and reflect on other things and look at the ‘intoxicating air’ of my life. 



Linen and Bamboo

Whilst I was working on the sample below I realised that the union between thread and cloth is demonstrated through the individual natures of the elements and the coming together of both.  The quite coarse linen is softened by the quality of the silky bamboo thread; difficult to work as the thread is shredded by the linen resisting the thread being pulled through the cloth. The warp and weft of the linen cloth make a large contribution to the visual outcome of the sample. The patterning forced to cross over the strength of the warp and weft.  The bamboo thread is produced for weaving so gains its strength in the warp and weft alliance when woven. None of the often experienced meditative quality of stitching is experienced in this sample as there is often a ‘tug’ going on to manipulate the cloth and thread into the devised pattern.   

A really aesthetically pleasing piece is achieved in this sample ( not always achieved) the colour of the natural linen and the whiter bamboo thread work together well.