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Category — art exhibition

More Mad Crazy

Oooh hello, it’s been a while. You know what it is like around these Stroudie parts – a week can be a long time, with lots of different, unplanned things popping up all over the place.

This week has been about the magic that happens when women get together.

We gathered for our annual opening of our Red Hearth House by the light of the new moon, and danced, drummed, sang and howled with the most witchy of whiskers. 

This is such a special place that we have created, in Kesty and Martin’s beautiful woodland, and it fed my soul once more to be there, with many different wonderful women and all the stories that they bring to weave in with my own.

Oh you mad, crazy week…I didn’t see you coming. But in I leapt, as I knew I would, with my fast beating heart yearning for adventure and change. There have been camp outs, dawn choruses, badgers, burial chambers, axes, art, get togethers, cake, bitey things, and lots and lots of laughing and chit chatting.

It is also the month that Fiona and John Owen throw open their chapel studio doors to let us all have a peek inside at their wonderful, most magical of creations.

If you live anywhere near Gloucestershire, their exhibition is on until 30th June and is breathtaking. You will love it.

And so my week has rolled on, with a daughter learning to skateboard, puzzling over strange pub quiz questions, rainstorms to be caught in, and art students arriving at our house in a lovely impromptu gathering.

And today, Sunday, it ends as it so often begins, with wool, cake and friends – with Prema’s PicKnit in the Park – and as much as I need to collapse on my sofa and rest, I skip along with my pink peace scarf, dodging raindrops, and slide into yet more mad crazy…..

June 16, 2013   No Comments

A few February days…..

Am I meandering through these days, tumbling through them, or just standing still and staring at my feet?

A little bit of all three probably. February does that to you sometimes. So to begin with, a Fairy Mouse (that I promised to show a while back) – because knitting small creatures is really the only thing to do when waiting for the light to return. She has a naughty sister that she visits sometimes and together they eat chocolate and scamper around attics causing mayhem and badness.

So back to my February days. There are early mornings making bread.

….and crazy afternoons with my favourite small boy….

There are hills waiting to be walked

…and a Sunday morning escape to our local art gallery to see Simon Packard’s fantastically bold and inspiring work.

Anything can fill a February day, and very often does, such is their disorganisation. February sometimes doesn’t know what it is. Is it deep, dark winter, or is tipping into Spring? It waits and watches, or tiptoes hesitantly, less it shakes more snow and blueness on to us.

If you are lucky, it will give you days of sisterhood, sweet balm to the soul, even if not all your precious sisters can be there.

And if that is so, you will walk those hills, and watch together for that returning light…

….and it will come….

There may well be sunsets the colour of peardrops and happy hearts to match

…with hands held quietly, and strong arms around us. These are a few of my February days.

February 9, 2013   4 Comments

Enchanted Forest

After a grieving heart and the unbounded confessional of my last blogpost, I was ready for some time off for good behaviour. And who better to behave with than my dear friend Bad Jo.
So with this in mind we headed off to Stroud’s Musuem in the Park for a little enchantment of a certain kind.

Here we found The Thirteenth Tree by Corrinne Hockley – a wonderfully visual fairy tale inspired by a train journey she took across the vast, snow silent Russian winter, from the majestic cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow and over the Ural Mountains to icy Irkutsk and primeval Lake Baikal.

Oh what gorgeousness…this rich tapestry of folklore and story telling was set around a birch tree forest that she had built right there in the gallery. A tale of the thirteenth fairy who was excluded from Sleeping Beauty’s story with disastrous results.

But this was no ordinary fairy of badness, for in this forest she was one of the helpful guardians or forces who remain in the shadows, preparing the way and singing over the bones as we reconnect with our own journeys. Sound familiar, all you witchy friends out there?

Far beyond time where few travellers go – the forgotten forest lies hushed in the snow
At its north edge in the fast fading light, a flickering village prepares for the night
Safe in her Dacha ‘tween mother and fire – Tanushka’s bright eyes were beginning to tire
From knitting fine socks and needlepoint gloves for the doll from her mother – a treasure she loves

This was exquisite enchantment with red threads enticing us through the trees. There were red dancing shoes, little Red Riding Hood, and stitchiness everywhere we turned, woven into the story with fable and magic.

And Babushka’s story of princess and witches was told to the rhythm of firelight and stitches
But thimble had fallen and hid from her eye – she pricks her forefinger – draws blood and a cry
Then later in bed with a small fever burning Tanushka’s moon shadow is fitfully turning
As three crimson drops and a tear are all seeping across her doll skirts, Tanushka lies sleeping

Did you notice the Princess and the Pea bed with lots and lots of mattresses? And the tiny key necklace and bones? There were a hundred sweet little details waiting quietly to be found. We didn’t know where to look first. Corinne’s work is simply beautiful and layered with ancient story threads and potent words.

Corinne’s story made me want to snip away all threads of responsibility that tie me to my life and pack up my crochet hooks, wool and notebooks immediately. Waving a cheery farewell to my little Stroud house, I would venture out into the world, by train, boat and gypsy wagon, bound for the quiet snowy whiteness of my own Russian winter, deep into Birch woods.

Well, some day maybe. It was the cafe that we bravely ventured to, as well you know me by now, dreams tucked secretly away in my pocket.


December 5, 2012   3 Comments

Prema – a sweet little outing

Continuing on my sparkly theme (can I? Is it O.K? You will tell me, won’t you….) I have this overdue little offering of art gallery bling.

In the days leading up to my recent REVOLUTION, I needed to fortify myself, and what better way than a small tripette to a charming little arts centre in the neighbouring valley of Uley with a couple of girlies.

This is Prema and it really is a centre of arty funkiness with workshops, performance, exhibitions and plenty of lovely gorgeous things for sale, as witnessed below….

Did you see those blankets? Did you? My girlfriends made me keep my hands firmly in my pockets. Especially as I was probably going to need bail money very shortly.

Lets get down to business. We were actually there to see the amazing work of a Bristol-based artist called Beci Whatley – beautifully intricate and madly colourful pieces that are made from layers and layers of paint, mirrors, gems and glitter. Whooohooo. They were exquisite and I loved them.

Hard to describe, but they were sort of Aboriginal art – meets Klimt – meets Art Deco – meets craziness. Right up my street.

We were so giddy that we had to beat a retreat to the rather red and ultra cool coffee shop below…..

…where we stilled our beating hearts with extra large cappuccinos and calming hot chocolates. It would have been rude not to.

It was ever-so-slightly tragic that I wasn’t able to get my eager chops around the array of homemade cakes that were on the counter (being a tad wheat-free at the moment), but the waitress saw my sad eyes and I do believe that extra chocolate was sprinkled in the direction of my drink. Love.

All in all, one very lovely little outing, two very lovely friends (and fab kids) and a break from every day-ness…isn’t that what its all about?

October 21, 2012   3 Comments

Bees, labyrinths, secret garden…

Are you settled? Because there are rather a lot of photos to see today, I just couldn’t restrain myself in the face of so much colour and lushness….

So here we go…..back in those heady hazy days of summer (three weeks ago), I happened upon something rather magical in a little hillside village a few miles away. A converted chapel studio, two incredible and mystical artists and a garden to die for. Oh, and a very tasty little cakey tearoom over the road. High five.

The Chapel is the home and studio to artists Fiona and John Owen, website here, and is truly breathtaking. They open it to the public once a year so that not only can you swoon at their paintings, but you also get to ramble around their hillside garden, up steps and secret pathways. Oh, and did I mention cake?

There is a knot garden filled with herbs and vegetables, an orchard, a little castle folly complete with gargoyles, and even a serene pond with a hand built  summer house sitting peacefully among its reeds. Gush.

And their paintings? What can I tell you? Glastonbury Tor rising mysteriously in the moonlight. Bees, labyrinths, maypoles, mazes, lots of gold leaf… know me….I nearly passed out, such was my delight.

Now, I know it doesn’t take a lot to please my tender heart, but this was truly special…..this globe that you see above and just below is a piece of work that Fiona is doing for an exhibition of globes at the National Geographic this autumn. It’s so lovely to see a work in progress – I can’t tell you how fine those brushes were, that she’s using.

So, loveliness all round….sunshine, magic, secret garden, dear people…..and of course, cake.

June 15, 2012   10 Comments