C-Art (Cumbrian Artists Open Studios 2013)
‘Little Bird Gallery’, Askham- Open Studios
Now that the Open studios is coming to a close, I thought I would write a little post as a means of feeding back to the organisers and the Broadhursts. I know it stands for Cumbria Artists Open Studios and originally with the -more than- sign > it referred to ‘seeing more art’. But as far as I am concerned over the last three weeks it has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with new clients and artists and reconnect with old ones.
I have made a wonderful new friend in Mara Broadhurst who runs the ‘Little Bird Gallery’ in Askham near Lowther Castle, Penrith, where I exhibited my hats over the C-Art period.
Mara’s background at VV Rouleaux and Laura Ashley decorators has given her a particular personal style that lends itself to a homely interior. She is brilliant at sourcing vintage and craft treasures, she is even offering customers a gift finding service for Xmas – irresistible. All the customers just seemed to want to stay and chat it is so friendly. I only managed to make a little bit of crochet and a corsage over the six days as they had such a stream of fascinating visitors, from all corners of the UK and beyond.
Stuart continually throws his teapots, tangines, cups and plates in a steadfast and technically perfect manner. He has perfected black and red glazes, which escapes many potters, he is just amazing as he persists continuously hour after hour. Mara and Stuart have adapted Holly House and barn and it is both a wonderful studio and a great example of a cozy Lake District property in a divine little busy village of Askham next to a lovely country pub. So if you need hand-made unusual Christmas presents and want to go far from the madding crowd – just head off there and have a wonderful day out. I am sure you if you have travelled far, Mara may even put the kettle on and tell you a lovely story about the work of a guest ceramicist or jeweller. Mara makes some of her own jewellery and is constantly, creating interesting little corners to investigate as the items disappear. The visitors left us some very positive feedback although many just want to have cultural tours and will probably return to shop later – for Christmas for instance. When you are trained to expect Contemporary Applied Art Galleries showing cutting edge work in white cube spaces – this rustic whitewashed space, with gorgeous yellow barn doors and flowers feels a little bohemian and quirky. But then what is Craft in Cumbria, hats and teapots especially if not a bit quirky, and it certainly gives people the feeling of being at home because it is obvious they really don’t want to leave. Personally, I am looking forward to going back to finish packing up next week, as Mara and her dog Juno have grown on me and I think although we did know each other before this fortnight has nutured a long and creative partnership to form, it is so good to find a kindred spirit.
I have also organised the ‘Contemporary Vision : 20 x 20 events’ which have helped me form very interesting new connections, e.g: Julia Wilmot and her Herdwick cheese and I have lots of new admiration for lots of Cumbrian artists I have never met before. I am looking forward to the last event on 4th Oct @ Rheged in the Gallery, for a final C-Art get together.
‘Celadon ware’ and my ‘Inner Strength’ corset (plus winged candle ;-)) Unique Red glazed teapots with luggage tags, balanced on old books and vintage units.
Textiles the Art of Mankind
New Book by Mary Schoeser which features work from ‘Thinking Caps, by Maggi Toner-Edgar.
Raymond Honeyman’s beautiful textiles for Liberty’s of London and Ehrman tapestries are featured in the book. Toner-Edgar’s work is featured in four separate sections of this phenomenal book. It is a must for any textile department in Schools and Universities along with the Thinking Caps book where Schoeser has sourced some of her images.
NETS Exhibition Australia Geelong Forum
It is great to see all the wonderful textile work shown at the Geelong Forum in Australia, all courtesy of Angie Wyman who took the exhibits from our Textile Network Group over there and displayed them alongside our Australian colleagues.
Angie hard at work doing the prep for the exhibition – Well Done Angie on behalf of the Northern Textile Network in the UK, she did us proud. Here alongside are some examples of her work also showing in the NETS exhibition in Australia.
|Left to Right: Maggi Toner-Edgar, Janet Wilde, Gwyn Hunt and Valerie Kirk
Pieces by Valerie Kirk
The above pieces by me are digital print outs of textile designs if you would like to see a couple of them printed onto silk go along to the C-Art Christmas Exhibition at the Tullie House Gallery in Carlisle Cumbria from 16th December onwards, where you can also buy interesting local craft pieces in the shop by Amanda Mercer and Emma Wiggington. There will be a dynamic night in the final week, Thursday 7th February when I will be hosting the Contemporary Vision 20 x 20 event in the Tullie House Lecture theatre, where Artists will be showing 20 examples of their work. It is a rapid paced event with only 20 seconds per slide and a n interactive audience Q & A session afterwards. Hope to see you there.
http://www.greystokeartsfestival.co.uk/ Come along to Greystoke Church and School to see some wonderful Textile and Ceramic exhibits this weekend. It is on over the whole Bank Holiday weekend with a Private showing at 6.30 on Friday Evening 4th May 2012. If you are in the Lake District for a break come and see us.
See full information at this link greystokeflier
This Arts Show in Greystoke Church last year was spectacular. This year it has included textiles and will be even bigger, better and stronger, showcasing the best of Cumbrian Talent. Go to this page to see the initial page for this show:
See slide show of 2011 festival images below
Really looking forward to the launch of my book – if you can’t make Carlisle on 29th Feb and would still like to come, thats ok. Please come to Cockermouht New Bookshop on 9th March at 4.30pm for a glass of early Friday evening wine and a chat. The local Celeb Alan Dawson @adaptahouse is going to introduce me!
New Book : ” Thinking Caps” by Maggi Toner-Edgar Dec 2011, Published by 2QT.
I am launching a book on Wed 29th Feb @7.30pm at Book case, Carlisle.
1. This book is only one little snapshot of the full extent of my 10 years of work on the creative process. My research findings in relation to the reflective process are hinted at in the book but it is illustrated with my hats. The book is a personal artistic story, along with a sneak view into personal journals, which were a bearing of my soul and about my life experience – during a roller coaster journey, which was the death of my sister and two other family members. The hats are the vehicle used to tell a story – which is poignant in parts and inspiring in others.
|2. The research work I carried out behind this book, investigated how people learnt from their own practical experience. It shows how the creative process can be particularly beneficial for lifting your mind above and away from the
|depressing situation everyday. It displays how clothing and fabrics can have meaning, and transmit visual messages and concepts often not recognised or fully understood. It is a bit of millinery (hat making) and a bit of philosophy quite a quirky and unusual mixture, which sums me up really! This is a mini-memoir, which works as a book in its own right when illustrated with the textile experiments hats.
Launching on Leap year day is pertinent as I refer to the benefits, I gained extra days. At 51 I didn’t expect to be
alive, writing books and starting a Style Business. At the ages of 36 and 49 three of my family members had died, of breast and ovarian cancer, I had surgery and my other sister is just in remission after 8 years and a mastectomy. It is living evidence of a journey through the tunnel and survival at the other end.
- As Only Sisters Can (missdemurerestraint.wordpress.com)