I was literally in Birmingham for an hour and a half this morning, but I was able to get quite a lot into that time. First port of call was the office at Margaret Street, after filling in an assessment receipt form, I handed in all three copies of my draft proposal. I've got a tutorial with 3 staff members on Tuesday to discuss the proposal and iron out any creases.
I left Uni after 5 mins and decided to kill some time before my train. I nipped across to the Waterhall Gallery, where i was greeted cheerily by the lady behind the desk. Veering round to the right I entered their current show art of the STITCH. The BM&AG website says of the exhibition:
This acclaimed international open exhibition from the Embroiderers’ Guild aims to represent the role of stitch in contemporary artistic practice, and is presented in association with Coats Crafts Europe. An unprecedented 944 entries by 608 artists from 37 different countries entered art of the STITCH 2008/9, highlighting the continued and ever increasing popularity of stitch around the world. In total 56 works were selected by a panel of international professionals and representatives from the arts and business sectors. art of the STITCH 2008/9 represents 54 artists from 13 different countries including Lithuania, Cyprus, Hungary, Canada and Japan.
It was a really great show, a testament to the skill of the artists and the versatility of sewing and needlework. It wasn't as you might suspect, a show of Women's Institute samplers and amateur cross-stitch, rather, a refreshingly varied and vibrant array of sculpture, drawing, applique and other sewn items. Some of the more stand-out pieces include a 'quilt' made of up Guinness cans cut into square pieces and stitched together. The squares were jumbled in such away that created a sort of disorientation akin to that of having drunk that many pints of the stout. The 'format' of a quilt also is no accident, it references what many a tipsy bloke (or woman for that matter) reaches for when home from the pub... a comfy bed and a chance to sleep it off. I'm not sure how comfy aluminium is to sleep under though.
The other piece that raised a smile was M Van der Stoep's Hermit Crab (pictured - taken from www.bmag.org.uk) a great example of 3D needlwork and soft sculpture. Hand stitched and embellished with fabric paints and wire I could almost see a cheeky glint in his eyes. The show is well worth a look if your able to get down.
art of the STITCH 2008/9 is a touring exhibition showing at the Waterhall, Birmingham, Deutsches Textilmuseum, Krefeld, Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, Hungary and Fundación Valentín de Madariaga-MP, Seville, Spain . A fully illustrated colour catalogue accompanies the exhibition at £6.00 (10 Euros) and is available through the Embroiderers’ Guild and at exhibiting venues.