Archive for February, 2013

Class Art?

Have you ever been uncomfortable with your choices?

I have Big Time!

Eltham Palace

Although a working class lass from Yorkshire, I love Art Deco. I have never seen any Art Deco in a working class home, the concept itself is !!!! (choose your own words)

I indulged myself at Eltham Palace, positively an orgasmic experience (well almost).

A Marian Dorn Donegal carpet! I want one. it would need to be substantially smaller though.


A single bar on this fire would certainly not keep anyone warm (but the underfloor heating probably would).

The Great Hall

The mansion’s backdrop is a medieval royal palace from Tudor times, with magnificent Great Hall, the childhood home of Henry VIII.


Historic Art with Relevance Today.

The Spring Door

     Schwitters in Britain (Tate Britain) is the first major exhibition to examine the late work of Kurt Schwitters, one of the major artists of European Modernism. The exhibition focuses on his British period, from his arrival in Britain as a refugee in 1940 until his death in Cumbria in 1948. Schwitters was forced to flee Germany when his work was condemned as ‘degenerate’ by Germany’s Nazi government and the show traces the impact of exile on his work. It includes over 150 collages, assemblages and sculptures many shown in the UK for the first time in over 30 years.

Chicken and Egg 1946 by Kurt Schwitters 1887-1948Schwitters was a significant figure in European Dadaism who invented the concept of Merz – ‘the combination, for artistic purposes of all conceivable materials’. Whether those materials were string, cotton wool or a pram wheel, Schwitters considered them to be equal with paint. He is best known for his pioneering use of found objects and everyday materials in abstract collage, installation, poetry and performance.

He boarded the last ship to leave the country before Nazi occupation. On arrival at the Scottish port of Leith, he was detained as an enemy alien. He was one of many German exiles, including a significant number of artists, who were interned on the Isle of Man during World War Two.

World Eco-Fiber and Textile (Weft) Art

 Finishes: 23 March 2013     Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery      Room: Brunei Gallery Exhibition Rooms

A must for all interested in Textiles, art, craft or life in general – EXHILARATING and WONDERFUL!

World Fibre Exhibition

WEFT explores the three dimensionality of textile art through installations and sculptural constructions, where contemporary textile artists are currently taking fibre sculpture into new areas. This extraordinary exhibition gives an insight into these current trends, showing how textile art can be considered as another genre of fine art. Exhibits include the work of contributing artists from over 35 countries the world over.

All woven

This rich exhibition highlights the manner in which traditional resist techniques such as ikat, tritik, shibori, yuzen and batik, together with the art of embellishment such as embroidery and quilting, are applied to contemporary textile art. The emphasis is on hand-woven and hand-made textiles, as opposed to the machine-made. Hand-made textiles display the skills of the designer and the producer and reflect a long history of artistic and cultural tradition.

The textiles themselves illustrate and display the use of natural yarns and dyes as a means of artistic expression. Natural fibres such as cotton, silk, ramie, abaca, pina, hemp and bark are employed. Colours which derive from natural dye materials such as plant roots, leaves, flowers, fruits, insects and molluscs are also part of this process. The use of natural mordants in the interaction of fixing colour to the cloth is also emphasised in this vibrant exhibition.

Spinster for a day

A spinster is a women who spins to make her bottom drawer, well I’m just spinning on my bottom!

top spindle

I attended a class on spinning run by Helen Neale, I had a thoroughly good time. We learned how to card, when to comb, how to use a spindle, lusted after some of them (see Turkish spindle below) used a wheel and plied!


I found I’m getting better on a spindle …

Turkish Spindle

but the wheel was torture for me – however others seemed to get it going from the start.

Perhaps this is a good as I will not hanker after one.

The activities applied in spinning can be practised in small sections ideal for me when I have only a few minutes of energy. Nothing is lost if the action is interrupted.

Helens next course is on Natural Dyes.

contact Helen at :


Women, women everywhere …

Fantastic turnout in Sheffield, all ages, all cultures, all dancing!

1 Billion women rising, filled me with hope.

Learning to Spin …

Just booked an introduction to spinning course with Helen Neale   at Sue Lancaster’s studio in Sheffield.

Really looking forward to it.

Helen is such a practised tutor, knowledgeable and patient at the same time – just what I need.

Spindle for yarn

Rights and Wrongs

The DWP have suffered a crushing defeat after a university graduate and a mechanic took them to court over being forced to do unpaid labour in return for their benefits.  Having lost in the High Court, the duo, supported by the public law project, have now won their case at the Court of Appeal.

Most of the government’s back to work schemes have been declared illegal by the court and no-one can now be forced to do unpaid work until new regulations have been enacted.  In addition, any sanctions against claimants who failed to participate in forced labour will now have to be repaid by the DWP.

The DWP has, however, already indicated that it will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court and that it will refuse to repay any benefits until all legal avenues have been exhausted.

Tessa Gregory, solicitor, Public Interest Lawyers states:

“Today’s judgment sends Iain Duncan Smith back to the drawing board to make fresh Regulations which are fair and comply with the Court’s ruling. Until that time nobody can be lawfully forced to participate in schemes affected such as the Work Programme and the Community Action Programme. All of those who have been stripped of their benefits have a right to claim the money back that has been unlawfully taken away from them from the DWP.

cited in

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