Friday, 20 June 2014

Todmorden missing word-spills

Yesterday's missing words
There was no time when I posted about Todmorden yesterday to include the word-spills that I had written about fibre art, and the lovely little town in west Yorkshire. Here they are now.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Todmorden tugs at the heart

The 'Rochdale' canal running through Todmorden, West Yorkshire, UK
The last time I posted on this Blog - back in April - I referred to the two exhibitions at which I had been invited to participate. I outlined some experimental work for the 'Arts & Garden Festival' I will be at in a week's time - in Shropshire. All work on that has been in abeyance whilst I worked on the first exhibition. Those of you who kindly follow this blog may not have seen the many postings on Facebook relating to the  this first event, which opens tomorrow in Todmorden, from where I am writing this. So you may be bemused at what follows:

from 'Mapping Garden Treasures'
For weeks now, I have been working on seven mixed-media creations for 'The Garden of Earthly Delights' at the Water Street Gallery, Todmorden, West Yorkshire, UK. It runs until 31st August, with a preview for invited guests this evening. Five of my pieces are for sale - my zig-zag book structures all based on unusual garden/plant-related themes, some with a distinct twist - images, paper napkins and my own words, stitched to antique maps.

I also had the daft idea back in January of creating an art-installation piece - a 'Dream Coat of Earthly Delights'. And thus began the dream coat saga - a full-size lined coat made entirely of paper fused to muslin; hundreds of photo collaged images and my own word whispers. Here's the explanation I wrote last night at the request of the Gallery curator to accompany the exhibit - it's such an honour to be participating within such an inspiring and ingenious venue.

As with all my recent mad ideas, this began with
a flashback to childhood and 'theatre'
A building re-purposed
Tordmorden is a heart-tugging place in more ways than one. It's amazing how quickly one can discover so much about a place never before visited in less than a day. In this case it's history and heritage, playing a significant part in the Industrial Revolution from around the 1820s - and specifically textiles. A cameo of a northern former mill town, with many of its buildings re-purposed in a significant way.

RQ has nearly demolished this platter of dauphinoise pie with fresh salad
You won't find many shops like this, selling packets of fresh edible flowers
Within a few hours, RQ and I had been introduced to somewhere to eat delicious simple food in the 'The Bear' - a licensed vegetarian cafe-bar. Located almost next to the Water Street Gallery, the cafe-bar is upstairs whilst downstairs are all manner of foodie delights; fair trade supplies, and locally grown fresh produce.

'Incredible Edible' in evidence
A patch of edible herbs and flowers
alongside the canal towpath
And there I learned also of the 'Incredible Edible' initiative - I had spotted small parcels of land planted with lush edible herbs in the most unlikely places as I walked around the town, and discovered more about this amazing venture whilst browsing in The Bear. No space or time to expand on this here, but a subject is one of enormous significance, so I will be writing about it elsewhere when I have investigated further.

I'm adjusting 'the coat' - yesterday at the Gallery
And tonight the Gallery preview, and another discovery! I learned that in the fine art world 'textile art' is referred to as 'fibre arts' - words fell out of my head, onto the page; when typed, they will appear in some guise to be advised. Thankyou to everyone who has supported me in this incredible journey: the gallery for inviting me, FaceBook friends who have 'liked' and commented upon my postings; and not least my husband who (without complaint) tolerated the mess about the house as the whole place became a studio.

Water Street Gallery, in Water Street, Todmorden OL14 5AB
(the Gallery is next to the shop with grey shutter as you walk from this 
If you can visit the 'Garden of Earthly Delights', please do so - there's some amazing art: painting, drawing, sculpture, assemblage and collage, ceramics and prints, fibre art and installation work. Yes, Todmorden tugs at the heart, and no wonder.