Studio postings….eight weeks and counting

Our studio posting this week is with Ann Wheeler who as a tutor and TSG member will be well known to many people. During a quiet moment over coffee I asked Ann about her work for DIS/rupt.

Ann, can you tell me which area of the DIS/rupt project you are investigating or exploring?

Disruption to people’s lives has happened in the past in many ways. As a practising lacemaker with an ancestor listed in the 1851 census as a lacemaker, I was interested in exploring how the industrial evolution had affected their lives.

Can you tell us something about the piece you are working on for DIS/rupt?

The early lace-makers, many of whom lived in rural areas, worked 9 to 10 hours in order to supplement the family income. Children, both boys and girls were sent to lace schools at an early age to be instructed in the skills. I am focussing on trying to illustrate this in my piece.

What are the materials and processes that you are working with?

Antique lace, contemporary bobbin lace worked in paper yarn and stitched lettering.

Are you able to give us an idea of the scale of your piece and will it be free standing or wall mounted?

130cms x 70cms approx. and will be wall mounted

Thank you Ann for this fascinating insight. In our age of manufactured lace, produced on an industrial scale, it is all too easy to forget the hours necessary, not to say the amazing skill, in the production of lace. I think even a look at the ‘tools of the trade’, the complexity of working with bobbins and the fine needles, are testament to the place in our heritage these women deserve.

All information about DIS/rupt can be found at the group’s website TSG

Further information and booking details about the workshops running concurrently can be found at the link here SIT select 2017

Also information about the Symposium can be found on the SIT select 2017 website at Symposium

Looking forward to seeing you all in Stroud.

Studio postings

Organising an exhibition of this scale requires team work and to take the germ of an idea through to the hanging and opening involves hours of work for many people. However our Exhibition Convenor for DIS/rupt is Sarah Burgess, well known as an artist and tutor and it has been her role, amongst many others, to maintain an overview of all the details and keep the project moving forward. As well as the organisation Sarah has also found time to produce work for the exhibition. At our recent weekend meeting Sarah spent a lot of time discussing with various members different aspects of the work needing to be done to have the exhibition open as planned. So I was really pleased that despite her busy schedule Sarah was able to sit and tell me about her piece for DIS/rupt. I started by asking her which area of the DIS/rupt project she was investigating or exploring?

I am working with ideas about global warming and the disruption that will result due to rising sea levels.

Can you tell us something about the piece you are working on for DIS/rupt?

I am making two pieces of work to reflect the likely effect of a 2 degree and a 4 degree rise in global temperatures and the resulting increase in sea levels on ten world cities.

What are the materials and processes that you are working with?

I am using the differing properties of fibres in a range of hand stitch threads to wick dye up into a piece of stitched cotton organdie so that it gradually turns blue drowning in dye and picking out the white stitching so that the words and statistics become more visible before they disappear into the cloth. The results are unpredictable it all depends on the temperature and the dampness of the fabric. But this reflects the risk and uncertainty of global warming and the unpredictable nature of the flooding.

One piece of cloth is being dyed now but the other will be dyed during the course of the exhibition, changing its appearance during the exhibition.

Are you able to give us an idea of the scale of your piece?

I expect there to be two pieces about 140 long by 54 wide – but we will see!

Is the finished piece to be free standing or wall mounted?

Mounted away from the wall on brackets – I think

What message do you hope the viewers of your work will take away from the exhibition?

I hope the work will bring a difficult scientific statistical subject to life and demonstrate the literal flooding process. I cannot be sure what will happen with the dye, it is risky and full of uncertainty – as is the risk of burning of fossil fuels and ignoring the danger of global warming.

You are one of the TSG tutors running workshops during the DIS/rupt exhibition, briefly, what can your students expect from the class?

I am running two half day workshops entitled Lost and Found – disrupted which will give students a chance to build a collection of mono-printed papers and fabrics. We will cut and piece the papers, disrupting and overlaying cut-outs on cloth to build a collaged piece of work and beginning to stitch into the piece to secure and develop the design. Students can either bring their own found objects to work from or use the items I provide.

Students will be able to complete the piece in their own time.

That sounds very exciting Sarah and I am sure visitors will be fascinated to see how your piece changes during the course of the exhibition. Thank you for taking time out of your weekend to talk to me.

For details about all the workshops being run during the exhibition then please click this link to the SIT select 2017 website. More information about DIS/rupt can be found here TSG

More interviews will be published  in the coming weeks as we enter the final countdown to the opening of the exhibition. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter at these links.

Another studio posting

Last weekend TSG members met for the first of our twice yearly get-togethers and because DIS/rupt is coming ever closer, I took the opportunity in between the workshop sessions with Georges Wenger, to find time with members and ask them about the work they have been developing for the exhibition. Over the coming weeks I will post more of these interviews but today I thought you would like to hear about the work that has been created by Julia Triston. Living in the North East of England, Julia is well known to many through her teaching and books. This is what she had to say. As always, I asked Julia about the specific area of the DIS/rupt project she was investigating or exploring.

My pieces for the DIS/rupt exhibition investigate personal conflict and the trauma and issues surrounding divorce. A breakdown of a relationship can have a lasting effect physically, mentally, emotionally and financially; this disruption can impact the whole family. I have drawn on my own experiences for this exhibition, which has been both painful and liberating.

Sketchbook and detail

Julia, can you tell us something about the piece you are working on for DIS/rupt?

I am working on two pieces for DIS/rupt. The first, ‘To Know A Veil’, concerns my writings and personal responses to my feelings, over a four year period, whilst going through a lengthy divorce. Reflections of the disruption caused to my life are translated directly from my journals.

Detail, in progress

My second piece is interactive. ‘Divorce Discourse’ explores communication; there are many times in life when we wish we had or hadn’t said something that could have made a difference to ourselves, our relationships or the paths we have taken in life. I have started some sentences and I invite viewers to disrupt my work by completing them in their own words.


What are the materials and processes that you are working with?

‘To Know A Veil’ is worked on a full length vintage veil (from 1938) and contemporary bridal netting with free machine embroidery. ‘Divorce Discourse’ is presented in three A3 frames and also worked with free machine embroidery on contemporary bridal netting. Both pieces will be wall mounted.

What message do you hope the viewers of your work will take away from the exhibition?

My aim is to give viewers an insight into the fragility of relationships and to consider the impact of communication in our daily lives, especially with our loved ones. I hope my pieces will resonate with others in a positive way and inspire viewers to express themselves in their own relationships as well as through my exhibition work.


You are one of the TSG tutors running workshops during the DIS/rupt exhibition, briefly, what can your students expect from the class?

My ‘Text in Textiles’ workshop will involve stitching letters and/or words onto collaged backgrounds using upcycled materials. The content of the pieces will be personal – a special memory, an important poem, a specific word or name – and the texts may include imagery to support the sentiment expressed. Techniques will include layering, collaging, appliqué and hand embroidery. The workshop will be busy, messy and fun!

The workshop sounds fun, Julia, and your work very thought provoking, I’m sure it will resonate with many people. Thank you for taking the time away from the workshop to speak to me about your piece. I’m really looking forward to seeing the pieces in the Gallery.

As always, full details about DIS/rupt can be found on the group’s website at this link  TSG  and booking and details about the workshops including Julia’s can be found at this link. SIT select 2017

Embroidery magazine article about DIS/rupt

March already and the most recent edition of Embroidery magazine has a lovely article about DIS/rupt, our exhibition opening in May. Readers of this blog have been treated to interviews with several members of TSG, and there are more to come, however we thought that you would like to read the article and learn more about the ideas and concepts of the exhibition.

Written by Dr Melanie Miller, curator of the exhibition, it offers a glimpse of the variety of approaches and the areas of interest that have been the catalyst for the work you will see in Stroud. Click on this link to read the article.


Shelley Rhodes, detail
Shelley Rhodes, detail

Further information can be found at TSG  and information about the workshops and all booking details can be found at SIT select 2017

Enjoy the article.

#disrupt #textilestudygroup #selectfestival2017