A day off. A day out.
I’d seen the notices about this exhibition here and there. When I pinned an image from Laura Kemshall’s blog to my Pinterest board, it provoked a couple of enthusiastic responses from friends who had already visited and who recommended it highly. So yesterday, my Hero and I took the day off to visit Wolverhampton.
As you do.
Bilston Craft Gallery is an interesting place to visit regardless and from the minute we stepped inside, we were glad we’d come. It was friendly, very accessible and there was an interesting permanent collection to see and in some cases, handle.
Amusing local relevance too, like this canal boat full of polar bears – legend has it that some polar bears escaped from Dudley Zoo! We were captivated and hadn’t even seen a quilt yet!
When we did turn the corner and see quilts, we were equally delighted. Quite a few of them were right up my street, including this piece by Alicia Merrett inspired by a map of a port.
If I move right along to this piece by Clare Smith (“Bitter Harvest”), you’ll get an idea of what’s floating my boat right now. If you follow my Pinterest boards, then you’ll have noticed a lot of pojagi appearing and this clever, clever piece was the one which provoked my interest in this exhibition.
It’s actually part of an installation, with small dyepots dripping dye into the white, seamed cloth. The piece is a commentary on the environmental damage as a result of textile manufacture and dyeing and is so original, so thought-provoking. Love it.
Other exhibits which really caught our eye were Olga Prins Lukowski’s Maya Temple, where the exquisite stitching and geometry pressed all of my Hero’s buttons!
What textile artist couldn’t love the sight of Annabel Rainbow’s “studio”? It made me feel right at home!
I enjoyed Susan Lenz’ I do/I don’t installation too – imagine creating that for a significant wedding anniversary? Once again, there was a “handle carefully” label on her sketchbook, so of course, I did!
Lettering is another interest and the idea of free machining all those phrases onto tulle sends a shiver down my spine, even if it was done with water soluble fabric as well.
So the detail of Sarah Impey’s “Stitch by Stitch” had me peering at it with my nose to the fabric. The regularity of the lettering and the even stitches would have you believe that a computer was involved….but every bit was free machined. Wow.
Of course, there were other works which provoked our curiosity but there are so many reviews and reports online, I’ll leave it there.
Suffice to say that, if you are at a loose end and within travelling distance of Wolverhampton/Bilston, then there can be few better ways of spending the day.
Just don’t go car cruising whilst you are there, will you?