‘Discoveries’ Exhibition and ‘Meet the Artists’ Sessions
The Foxlowe is pleased to announce that the August/September exhibition in the upstairs gallery is from the Midlands Textile Forum, starting on Saturday, 21st August.
We are a group of artists who predominantly use textiles and/or mixed media in their practice. We live and work in central England. Our aim is to develop our individual practice, and support and encourage textile based activity in the region, primarily through exhibitions.
The exhibition Discoveries is about our creative journey as textile artists. The starting places are many and various and the results may not be what we expected or anticipated. Some will use the theme to produce a body of work based on ‘discoverers’, whether scientists, writers, explorers, or on events or places. Others will explore their ideas through internal thoughts, feelings and reflections. By research, chance find or personal search we also aim to discover and explore new techniques and find new ways to work. Join us on this voyage of exploration and see what we’ve discovered.
The theme of “Discovery” was fortuitous as it coincided with the Pandemic lockdown and so I was able to spread my wings and go on an imaginary voyage.
This led me to remembering an actual voyage to the Islands of Orkney and Shetland and the resulting piece reflected my experiences during that inspiring visit.
I also was aware of the restrictions which the lockdown imposed and so I pondered the effect this was having on people who were previously free to live their lives as they wished. This resulted in my work which I called “Anxiety in confinement”. This will form part of my series on Women’s Confinement.
This body of work was inspired by the poem ‘Cloths of Heaven’ by William Butler Yeats. During any creative journey the artist discovers options and boundaries around the use of colour, line, form, texture, shape and pattern.
Judith Rowley is a textile and mixed media artist who creates textural and tactile surfaces with natural fabrics and fibres. She then “paints” them with hand and machine stitch to create 2 or 3D artworks.
Judith offers a range of talks and workshops .
I use a variety of media in my work, from felt, weave and embroidery, to mixed media and sculpture. I like to use a combination of natural materials and also materials that may otherwise be thrown away, such as bubble wrap, sweet wrappers and foil. Although I sometimes do rough preparatory sketches, I prefer to develop my ideas as I progress through a piece of work, allowing for happy accidents that may take my work in a new direction.
In 2020 I went on two journeys. There was physical travel (pre-Covid19) as far south as I could possibly get, to the Antarctic peninsula. And there was travel in mind, exploring my inner landscapes during lockdown. Flowers and marking the changing seasons kept me grounded during this time and I found a new interest in colour and mixed media.I am drawn to the natural world of plants, water, stone and ice and use layers of fabric, paper, mark making and stitch to create my work. I am interested in the transfer of memory through fabric, whether inherited, donated or recycled, and how this cloth can be re-imagined into something new.
My items for the MTF Discoveries exhibition interpret the exhibition title in different ways – the flotsam and jetsam hanging displaying how found items have changed over years of beachcombing, the play mat using a range of textures and fabrics to encourage exploration by a 1-year-old, and the ecoprinted fabrics show my experiments finding new uses for old fabrics combined with garden leaves. I have also been exploring combining drawing with machine embroidery in “You and I went down the Lane”
My work is abstract, using rhythm and repetition in print and stitch to create abstract textile art pieces in 2D and 3D. I usually start by working in sketchbooks with paint, inks, collage and print, building up the surface in response to both conscious and unconscious reflections and visual memories. I use much the same process when working on cloth, but with the addition of the ideas from the sketch book work.
Reading also supports my practice, discovering interesting viewpoints, facts and concepts. Exploring new territories led to work reflecting my interest and concern for the land and the current global crisis.
I’m very experimental and enjoy the challenge of finding new ways to work with textiles with any material that ‘speaks to me’ both natural and recycled, I have a ‘no rules approach’ to emulating nature. I am passionate about recreating textures, often distressing fabric to reveal fibres and threads, layering folding and manipulating to add depth and perspective. Using free motion machine stitching, hand stitching and embellishing, often combining, paper, metallic threads, natural wool and fabrics. My seascapes are highly textural and give a real sense of the power and strength of the ocean, they evoke a strong sense of movement and a strong sense of being by the sea.
The following are the dates and artists for Meet the Artist sessions:
21st August- Sylvie Millen and Jane Arthur
11th September- Judith Rowley and Ann Paterson
18th September- Claire Cooper-Walsh
25th September- Janet Gilbert
Midlands Textile Forum
The Gallery opens on Saturday 21st August from 10am to 4pm. From then, opening will be Wednesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm, and the first Sunday in the month until 1st October 2021.