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Anne Griffiths :: Contemporary Textile Art

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Distance Learning Course


ometime ago, I began offering the old 1 year, level 2 City & Guilds Machine Embroidery course as a Distance Learning offering. As I am no longer affiliated to a college and cannot offer any kind of certificate, it does work out as a much cheaper option and allows you to take as long as you like to complete the work. See work completed by the first students here!

I have now added the option to buy the units as a spiral bound book, for use as a reference in your own work. For more information or to purchase the book

Email anne@pocketmouse.co.uk



y newsletter follows, if you would like to sign up to receive it by email then please use the form at the bottom of the page.

It has occurred to me though that some of the programmes and exhibitions I refer to may be finishing by the time you get the newsletters. I do usually try and put links to them on my Facebook page if you would like to hear about them earlier.

Old newsletters may be viewed by clicking on the archive list below.

Of course I am always glad of any news or comments that you would like to make so please do email me.

October 2017


am very excited to say that I am about to move in to a new studio!

I have almost finished the decorating and after having worked from home for the last few years, this will allow me all sorts of different opportunities for the type of work I can make and also give me some space for teaching.

To kick this off, on the 8th December I thought it would be nice to have a relaxing craft day, making something for Christmas, either a piece of beaded jewellery or a Christmas bauble! This is the kind of day you could do with friends who aren't necessarily stitchers but have a general interest in creating. The cost would be £50 for the day plus you would need to bring your own materials. With a maximum of 4 people you would get plenty of one to one tuition and leave with lots of ideas for taking this craft further. There is more information and images information and images of what might be achieved on my website but do contact me if you want any more information or to book a place.

The studio is at Magdalen Road, East Oxford and is part of the Magdalen Road Studio's artist's collective free parking is available. Alternatively, if you are interested in one to one tuition, some help with a specific piece of work, a class with a couple of friends, or hiring the space to work on a large project for a specific period of time, then get in touch and we can discuss options.

On the subject of courses, there are quite a few that might be of interest.

I will be returning to the wonderful Cornish coast 23rd February - 2nd March for a brand new course on Architecture. During the week we will look at patchwork techniques from an embroiderers perspective, including cathedral window and trapunto techniques, creating your own printing blocks to make backgrounds with emulsion paint and gesso and burning and melting manmade fabrics, and I'm sure a few other ideas will sneak into the mix as we develop personal projects during the week. The cost of the week is £470 which includes substantial lunches, two dinners and accommodation. There is also access to the pool and sauna. For more information have a look on the webpage, or feel free to give me a ring and we can discuss your own thoughts on what you would like to achieve during the week.

Other courses that are booked for the next few months include:-

Indigo dyeing, printing and discharging with potassium permanganate. There are a couple of last minute places available on 18th-19th November 2017 when I will be teaching two days at Oxford Summer School Plus.

A one day version of Indigo Dyeing 4th April 2018, is available at Ardington School of Crafts with a follow up day planned on potassium permanganate, later in the year. I will also be running with these other courses at the same venue.

Handmade Paper with Colours, Plants and Threads 20th April 2018

Japanese Stab Bound Book Making 21st April 2018

Machine Embroidery for Beginners 6th June 2018

Making Your Own Cushions 7th June 2018

After all these, it will be time for Oxford Summer School again, and I will be teaching 'All that Glitters …' which is an investigation of Medieval Manuscripts in stitch and mixed media, from July 30th to August 3rd. If you are interested in this course either email me or Liz Bryant at oxfordsummerschool@talktalk.net

For all these workshops you will need to get in touch with the organisers directly through the links provided to book a place.

The felt hangings made with families on the Great Western Park I showed at the making up stage in the last newsletter are now up and hanging in the Great Western Park community centre. I think that they look really great and will brighten the place up as well as being a permanent reminder and contribution to this shared space by those who took part in the project.

I also mentioned a project that I had been working on for Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. For anyone who has never visited, it is one of the four university museums, the others being the Museum of Science, The Oxford University of Natural History and The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments.

The installation, called 'Made in Imagination' is a set of seventeen artefacts I have made based purely on the descriptions found on the Pitt Rivers database and is on display until March next year. I will also be doing a talk about the project on 17th November at the Lost Late: Night at the Museums if anyone is interested in coming. For more details on the objects in the installation see my Fine Art website.

Of course the summer hasn't all been work and moving into the new studio, there has been plenty of time for holidays and visits to exhibitions as well as pursuing my hobbies of taxidermy and mudlarking and one exhibition that I will definitely try and visit before the next newsletter with a connection to taxidermy is Iconoclasts: Art Out of the Mainstream at the Saatchi gallery. Here, Kate MccGwire is exhibiting sculpture 'Corvid' which is a sinuous writhing mass of crow's feathers and is part of her continuing exploration of the opposites of beauty and disgust.

I have been lucky enough to visit 'Documenta 14' in Athens, 'Documenta' is an international art exhibition which takes place every 5 years in Kassel in Germany, however for this show they were sharing the exhibition with Athens, the first time this has happened. Over 160 international artists were invited and it was a fantastic show in over forty different sites, public institutions, squares, cinemas, and university locations.

You can imagine how difficult it has been to distill all this work, but here is an image of one of the pieces by Maria Lai 'Sheet' 1989. Lai uses weaving, embroidery and literature to inform her practice. In this piece, indecipherable patterns are organized so as to simulate pages of a book. Despite their beauty, the work is tantalising, it is an abstraction of the system of writing, an object that merely appears to be a text. To look is enough the content is unimportant.

Interestingly, Lai's work was also on show at the Venice Bienalle which I visited for four days in September. This was my first trip to Venice and the city is as beautiful and romantic as it is advertised! It was a very different experience to Athens though which was calm and easy to look around, I found this much less accessible, both in terms of the number of visitors and also the work on show.

That said, it was an amazing experience, and the Israeli pavilion particularly interested me with the installation 'Sun Stand Still' by Gal Weinstein. The installation’s title refers to the biblical miracle performed by the ancient Israelite leader Joshua Bin-Nun, who sought to win his battle against the kings of Canaan before darkness fell. By commanding the sun to stop in its course, Bin-Nun attempted to arrest the passage of time. The pristine white exterior of the pavilion is juxtaposed with a crumbling interior where damp creates rusted and mouldy patterns which have been painstakingly created on the walls from a mixture of coffee grounds, metal wool and a variety of liquids. In this work Weinstein investigates Zionist ideals in terms of the present the past and the future and creates another work which can also be seen as an interpretation of the themes of beauty and disgust.

Probably the most poignant moment of the whole trip however, was a visit to the Diaspora pavilion to see the work of twenty emerging British artists including Khadija Saye the amazingly talented photographer who at 24 died so tragically in the Grenville Tower fire. Much has been written about the events of the fire and what might have been for Khidija, but this link is to her work and what will be her enduring legacy.

Finally, I must end on include a more cheerful note and include this beautiful piece of work by Romelà Lorek, who is now starting the final unit of the Distance Learning Machine embroidery. I am not sure, but I think it is probably based on a piece of stained glass, and is one of her 10 extended samples. This one is made into a cushion cover a great idea to not only present a piece of stitching but also construction techniques.

I am hoping it will inspire all those who have had their summers filled up with children's holidays and a never ending stream of activities to get out their machines now the evenings are finally drawing in.

As always, I am looking forward to receiving lots of your news, so do keep in touch.

Best wishes,

Contact Information

Anne Griffiths Textile Art
4 Gabriel House
Newbury Street
OX12 8DJ

tel. 0845 643 1511 - local rate call