Posts made in July, 2018

Textiles and Prints Sicily @ the Exchange Gallery

Posted by on Jul 22, 2018 in Discussion, Exhibitions | 0 comments

The most persistent memory of our journey through Sicily is of the wild flowers – particularly the swathe of purple, blue and deep red of wild sweet peas that astonished us in the countryside near Gangi.    Another memory is the consistent hum of bees when we walked through fields or areas of vegetation on the hills. This is a  noise I have not heard in the UK for a long time, it brought back memories of childhood and feelings of regret for what we have lost, at least for the time being.   We essentially walked downhill from the centre to the sea but there were ups and downs on the way as we made our way over one of Sicily’s  ski-slopes (Piano Battaglia) and then over some expanses of rock.  The descent into Cefalu was beautiful – intermittently seeing the deep blue of sea in the distance, then some small boats, then a jet ski-er. As we got nearer there were more and more flowers again. We had a long walk along the front to get to our hotel – all the time we could see the cathedral towering above the town.  The highlight of Cefalu for us was the Duomo – a magnificent Norman building – built by King Norman II in 1131. It is set in a wonderful sloping square, which is filled with cafes and restaurants. The evenings were balmy and perfect for an evening glass of wine in front of the amazing building. It has the most wonderful Byzantine mosaic (we could only see the reproduction as it was being restored) of Christ which dominates an otherwise sparsely decorated building. There are many ancient lanes and a wide promenade stretches alongside the length of the sandy beach. The sea is safe for swimming, although rocky in parts and clearly draws Sicilians from a wide area on hot days.  It was a restorative place in which to rest after the walk.    ...

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Textiles and Prints: Exchange Gallery

Posted by on Jul 17, 2018 in Exhibitions | 0 comments

Very pleased to be at The Exchange Gallery Saffron Walden again – exciting to have so many comments in the book from different people relating  to different aspects of the work on show.  The work below is mostly made of wood with textile and metal flowers, giant and disproportionate – conjured up by the mysterious forests of the Parco  Delle Madonie.  The exhibition was inspired by a ‘Journey though Sicily – from the Centre to the Sea,’ which I did with my husband in 2017, guided by the superb Alternative Travel Group (ATG). We started in the Parco Delle Madonie, full of wild flowers, amazing rock formations and wildlife and walked downhill, in leisurely fashion,  to the delightful seaside town of Cefalu on the coast.  We fell in love with this country of wonderfully friendly people who  have a rich culture influenced by Europe, Asia and Africa.  I used a number of techniques new to me to produce the prints. One I particularly liked was viscosity printing.   In this a printing plate is constructed in a similar way to a collagraph i.e. a number of  materials of different textures are glued to mountboard and then varnished,  to produce a three dimensional effect when inked up and put through a press.   Lots of materials can be applied to the plate and it’s fun being able to use packaging and odd bits of detritus from everyday life. The old fashioned textured wallpaper, plain white, can provide very interesting printing surfaces.  Fine sandpaper is good too, and the strong, plastic net that is sometimes put round bottles. The board can also be cut and scraped, leaves, tape or fabric applied. It is good to get at least three different layers in viscosity printing to get a variety of tonal effects with both intaglio and relief methods of printing.  The inks are of different viscosities and so do not layer over each other but rather repel so that different colours are possible in different areas.    This print of some of the historic buildings in Cefalu – particularly the fine Norman Duomo, is made from different sorts of wallpaper, cardboard packaging, sandpaper and cutting into the board.  More about Cefalu tomorrow – it is a beautiful place to visit. ...

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