Thursday, 8 September 2011

busy year for all by Amanda

All the Forum members have had a busy year since our residential week last winter, we all have numerous projects on the go as well as juggling family life, work etc. and we are working towards a group exhibition in February 2012. I have completed my signature piece (a signature piece is a starting point for developing an idea) for Stitching the Legend and am working on a series of painted and stitched panels on the theme of Legendary Fashion Designers. The Mary Quant panel is a departure from my neutral colour scheme from last year and ventures into primaries. The panels are on tea-dyed cotton cloth, painting is in process using acrylic paints and fabric medium. My plan is to stretch them over a wooden frame for hanging but, at this stage in the making, plans could change!
Currently most of my time is being spent on various printmaking projects, a learning curve in which I am learning new skills to incorporate into my textile work in the future.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

update from Jan

It's hard to believe that it's been 2 months since the residence week and while there isn't a day that has gone by that I haven't thought of the current project I must admit there have been less where I've actually sat at my machine. I have spent time both on creating samples and also keeping a journal that has saved me time in the end I now see as I can go back quickly to get settings based on the samples. This is my latest sample where I've created characters to follow the yellow brick road that are about 2" in height. I will define the characters with stitching and using ink/pens. I expect to have this top that these pieces will be a part of finished within the week now so I'll be down to quilting the 3 pieces I've completed to date.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Ester Kiely: update on 2011 residential at Ballyduggan

We're just back from our 2011 week's residential at Ballyduggan, Co. Down. This was my second year attending and I think I settled in easier this year and therefore achieved more.

I arrived with my 'signature piece' completed and quite a few sketches, collages and notes in my sketchbook. This helped me to start working quickly.
There were four of us again this year. Jan, Frances Amanda and myself. Tania couldn't make it but hopefully will meet up with Jan soon to get herself up and running on the theme 'Stitching the Legend'.
My initial pieces are based on tree silhouttes against various backgrounds. I have 3 pieces in various stages of progress.
But I also have more ideas in my head based on the next stages of the legend of 'Eithne the Fairy Bride' associated with Knockma, Co. Galway.
Let's hope I can keep the momentum up!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

update from Ester Kiely

For this year's theme, "Myths & Legends" I decided to continue to explore the landscape where I live in County Galway.

My house faces the hill, Knockma (Cnoc Maigh - the hill on the plain). It is the only high ground in a very flat plain of land that stretches to Loch Corrib and to the mountains in Connemara beyond.

According to local folklore, Knockma is a fairy hill and site of the palace of Finnvarra (Fionnbharra) King of the Fairies. There are many stories of people being 'spirited away' by the fairies and lots of superstitions.

Another legend says that Queen Maedbh is buried there. There is also mention of Ladra, a Nordic explorer, who apparently populated the surrounding area! Not to mention St. Patrick who passed by his way to Downpatrick. The old abbey of Donoghpatrick is just a mile away. I'll soon be follow St. Patrick to Downpatrick as I head to Ballyduggan for this year's residential.

But back to Knockma and a legend of 'Eithne the fairy bride' where a local chieftain's wife, fell into a trance and was spirited away by Fionnbharra, King of the Fairies. With this in mind, I began to collage and doodle in my sketchbook to see what images might come up.

A photo-collage of tree-silhouettes against a night sky.

A torn-paper tree with the words 'mo ghrá thú' (literally translates as 'you are my love' but is said as an endearment).

Metallic continuous line drawings to simulate metallic thread stitching.

Black calligraphy pen drawings on white. White pen on black background.
This sketchbook page was the one I decided to work with for the challenge.
The challenge is for each member to create an initial piece based on their own interpretation of 'Myths and Legends' but it must include black and gold metallic thread and tea-dyed calico, stretched over a 50x50cm canvas.

Monday, 7 February 2011

exhibition update - don't miss it!

The Forum's exhibition "Make it New" is now showing at Ards Arts Centre in Newtownards Town Hall, Conway Square, until 25th February. Open every day except Sunday, until 4.30 Mon - Thurs and 4.00pm Fri and Sat. There is a variety of work on show including Jans' handstitched hexagon patchwork, Esters' machine embroidered stone wall interpretations, Frances' skillful colour-play and Amandas' experimental fabric composted pieces. If you visit the exhibition let us know what you think, either comment here or sign the guestbook at the Arts Centre.

Monday, 31 January 2011

"Make it New" an exhibition by the textile art forum in co. down

The Textile Art Forum


Make it New

an exhibition of textiles at

Ards Arts Centre,
Newtownards Town Hall,
Conway Square,
Co Down, BT23 4DB

Official opening: Thursday, 3rd February, 2011: 19.00-21.00
Exhibition runs from 2nd - 25th February 2011
Opening times: 10.00 – 16.30 Mon - Thurs, 10.00 – 16.00 Fri - Sat