After three weeks at the Oxmarket Gallery in Chichester, the time came last Sunday to take down our work. I thoroughly enjoyed the run, meeting lots of new people, chatting to other artists, and of course handing over five pieces of my work to their new homes. Nicola Hancock did a great job of curating the exhibition, displaying her own work along with four other artists who each came from different walks of life, offering up different methodologies and outcomes, but whose work all reflected on how creativity offered release to those suffering mental anguish in some form – here the title “Creative Redemption.” Several visitors told me how good it was to see some contemporary work displayed in this gallery in a new and exciting way.
I sold two collages and three pieces of sculpture …
“Porcelain in orbit”
… and, just as importantly, received lots of positive feedback and encouragement from visitors. Several said that they were off to the beach to see what they could find and I would love to hear from them – as long as they took a bag to pick up the rubbish at the same time, that is all fine with me! Others related to the theme of the exhibition and chatted about the restorative power of stitch or other forms of creativity.
So, I am now thinking about my next project. I will certainly exhibit at this venue again and am thinking in terms of combining my found objects with recycled everyday items to create a new body of work.
Thank you to the Oxmarket Gallery, Nicola Hancock, Terry Hancock at ReFrame, and to my husband for helping me along the way. Until next time ….
Most days I walk along the beach – I call it “Beachcombing” but it is just noticing what is around me and picking up any items that “speak” to me (as well as litter and marine debris). I don’t necessarily know how I will use the pieces that I collect but there will be something about the colour, shape and most often, texture, that draws my attention. The object might be metal, wood, plastic, cloth, rubber or any manner of material but there is usually a common thread. This is that the item will have started out as useful – mass produced, neat and tidy. By the time I find out, when the sea has done it’s work, the once pristine, utilitarian thing has become a unique piece – worn and tattered and no longer of any use to anyone – except me and others who appreciate this kind of thing. Here are some items from this morning’s walk from Climping to Littlehampton.
Back home, my finds are all “filed” according to material but only after I have photographed them and added them to the appropriate folder on the computer. Thus I have two ways of looking for items that I think will work together although I am pretty good at remembering what I have.
I had brought some papers with me and decided next that I would create a series of collages using, for the most part, genuinely “found” papers. So often the term “found” is used to describe items which are actually “bought” from second hand shops, car boot sales, online auctions etc. I try to work, as exclusively as possible, with items that I have found along the Chichester Harbour coastline, adding to them when necessary but always using them as the starting point for my work. The papers used in the pieces below are:
disposable plate; take away coffee cup; take away sandwich wrapper; take away cookie bag; sandpaper; cider cardboard packaging; miscellaneous plastic; paper from an oil filter; and, most importantly, a tide table.
Disposable food service products made from paper, paperboard, and corrugated fibreboard, including cups, plates, bowls, napkins, take away bags, trays, egg cartons, doilies and tray liners, can also include or be coated with plastic to improve wet strength or grease resistance.
So, my collage collection includes hidden plastic and the title “Turning the Tide” refers not only to the use of a local tide table in the work, but also to the fact that I hope that we are now turning the tide in the fight against plastics and other rubbish in our seas. This is and will remain the core inspiration behind the work that I produce.
Collins Dictionary – “Turn the tide” – to change the general course of events.
Earlier this year, my husband and I had a wonderful two weeks in beautiful Northumbria. It was our first visit and won’t be our last. Three things summed it up for us – glorious unspoilt beaches, warm and friendly people, and excellent well priced food! What more could you want? The weather was fantastic and, apart from the day that Storm Ali came and blew my husband’s prescription glasses into the North Sea, but that’s another story!
Due to the kindness of a couple of folk on my favourite Facebook Page – “Beachcombing, British Coastline), I found my way to a great spot near Seahouses and also to Seaham in County Durham. Here I found not the plentiful sea glass, pottery or limpets in plentiful supply elsewhere, but my sort of found objects:
Conveyor belt parts
Rubber on textile
Old boat nails
Light bulb parts
When I got home, I had a lovely time putting together mini assemblages from these and other bits and pieces
Fifteen mini assemblages
The nine from above
We recently had a long holiday in wonderful Northumbria. Such a beautiful County – the least populated in England – we met many friendly locals and were blown away (almost literally in a gale that took my husband’s prescription specs into the North Sea!) by the stunning beaches … and by the almost total lack of tourist litter on them. One day we came across a party of schoolchildren who regularly beachcomb for rubbish – a marvellous initiative.
I did go to two locations (given to me by friends on a Beachcombing Facebook page) where I found some of my sort of treasure. One of these was Seaham in County Durham – a shrine to sea glass collections from all over the world. Glass is not “my thing” however – my tastes are altogether less pretty ….
Leather and fishing line
Oh Oh Oh
A collection of rubber and canvas
Having now washed and catalogued my finds, the more difficult task is to decide what happens to them next. As you will see above, one item suggested a face straight away but, as I do not usually work in a representational way, I shall have to see what else comes to mind!