I promised to tell more of the superb exhibition I visited last week, when I was in London for the NFWI AGM in the Albert Hall. 

“hidden places hidden spaces” was an exhibition presented by a group of textile artists from all over the country.  Though I’ve wanted to see their shows in previous years, so far they’ve eluded me.  But finding out that the Private View was on the very afternoon I was going to be in London was perfect timing.  I was there like a shot!




The Mall Galleries are so well located and offered the perfect canvas for this eclectic mix of work.  I’m not sure my chum Nita would take all the credit for the superb hanging, but I’m going to give it to her anyway!  I was lucky to time my arrival perfectly to have her show me around and have the bonus of her insight and the stories behind the pieces, too!




Plenty of space to stand back and admire, because some of the work was pretty large.




That’s Paulene’s  very effective piece “Down the Drain” over on the wall.  A huge piece of felting, there was an added dimension in the form of sound effects triggered by movement in front of it.  The reaction of those passing was amusing to observe too!  I love to see textile art that isn’t “pretty” and Paulene is the master of creating such work.




Another of Paulene’s works, created collaboratively with her colleague Celia, is “Departed Soles” – a collection of “footprints” which fit perfectly into this little outdoor space within the gallery.




“blown” into the corner of the space, this was a really effective presentation of the concept!




Nita’s work often consists of exquisite knitting and her “flying jewels”, tiny hummingbirds knitted from iridescent wire twinkled beautifully in the light, their shadows adding to the effect.




Each little jewel was different, their lace wings beautifully worked.  Her fingers must have been so sore, because wire isn’t the most comfortable or accommodating of yarn to work with.




Her work “stolen jewels” fitted the exhibition title perfectly – a statement on the theft and illegal import of exotic birds, the mere idea sent a shiver down my bird-phobic back!




Sadly, my photograph of Caroline’s bird inspired pieces doesn’t do them justice.  My apologies, Caroline!




And what of the meeting?  Well, I was in excellent company and I’d say my seat in the Albert Hall was the best ever.  I’d feared that the number 12 on my ticket meant I’d be somewhere up there in breathing apparatus territory, amongst the chandeliers perhaps.  But no, I found myself in Box 12, sitting with the National Trainers and rewarded with a perfect view of proceedings.




Notable moments from the day include Maggie Aderin Pocock  who delivered her presentation with two year old daughter, Lauren, on her hip.  What a remarkable woman!




Later in the day, the worldwide record for the greatest number of people knitting at one time was challenged.  That’s still being verified but surely, that one is in the bag?




The audience enjoyed a performance from some of the Strictly dancers, who managed quite well in such a limited space, but thankfully the meeting was brought to a close in a more traditional manner, with a final “Jerusalem” and the National Anthems.




You really have to be there to know how incredible that is.


Through the rainy window