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Music Makers

Music Makers / Friday 21st March 2014 - Saturday 3rd May 2014

We approached the textile artist Michael Brennand-Wood to invite him to curate an exhibition for our 2014 programme, Music Makers is his response.

‘Anyone who knows or has spent time with me is probably waiting for the moment where I career from Art making into Music making in all its diversity and sonic excitement. I’m convinced that there’s a soundtrack to most people’s lives, a song, title, lyric that inspires. I’ve never made anything when I haven’t been listening to music. It fuels my work, drives a process and allows me access to the experience of others, whether sound, rhythm, title or lyrical snapshot.

Over the last few years there’s been Record Store Day a celebration of all things musically collectable, special editions, limited releases, hidden tracks, coloured vinyl and the like. Music Makers will open on the 21st March – 3 May 2014, Record Store Day is 19 April, so the two events will coincide.

The concept for Music Makers is relatively simple I’ve invited artists to make a single work that references the three classic musical storage formats pre digital, the12” Vinyl or Album, a 7” Single or a 4.5” CD in size. The subject of their work can reference an Album or particular track/song. It could be popular, classic, iconic or wilfully obscure, in any media or combination of media.’ Michael Brennand-Wood

Artists include Julie Arkell, Mike Badger, Louise Baldwin, Stephen Bird, Michael Brennand-Wood, Lucy Casson, Kai Chan, Paul Derrez, Warwick Freeman, Sally Freshwater, Gavin Fry, Pamela Gaunt, Matthew Harris, Rozanne Hawksley, Tom Hill, Mike Holmes, Rachael Howard, Jeanne-Marie Kenny, Ester Knobel, Cleo Mussi, Floor Mommersteeg, Jim Partridge & Liz Walmsley, Wendy Ramshaw, Philip Sanderson, Paul Scott, Verena Sieber-Fuchs, Anne Smith, Elizabeth Tarr, Christine Toh, Elizabeth Turrell, Jessica Turrell, Audrey Walker and Liz Williamson.

Local musician and Music Makers exhibitor Mike Badger and Eighties Vinyl Records will release a 7inch single John Got Shot with his band Mike Badger and the Shady Trio on Saturday 19th April. The single will be available for sale in Probe Records on School Lane in Liverpool, Mike will also produce a limited edition print of the sleeve artwork made from his trademark recycled tin cans and old tin boxes which will be for sale exclusively at the Bluecoat Display Centre. Mike Badger and the Shady Trio will play the new single as part of a short acoustic set in the BDC on the release date.

Mike will also run a music inspired or related sculpture workshop on Sunday 30th March.

Pamela Gaunt

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Trained as a textile artist, Elizabeth’s work explores memory and story-telling. She aims to unite the darker tones of experience with a delight in the every-day. The work is narrative and inspired by stories: Greek myths, fairy tales, folklore, poetry, life stories and events.
Indigo-dyed fabric is the basis of much of the work: the indigo dye produces many shades of blue, evocative of the tones and moods of the time between the end of the day and the night. Currently Chinese-dyed indigo fabric forms the basis of the pieces, worked on with stitch, appliqué, screen-printing and quilting.
Elizabeth has work in private and public collections throughout the UK, Ireland, Germany and America and has been a member of The 62 Group of Textile Artists since 1989. A graduate of Goldsmith’s College, London (1986), she was awarded an M.A. (Distinction) from the University of Ulster, Belfast (2000).

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Gavin trained as an embroiderer works in a variety of mediums employing stitching and collage methods. His work seeks to contest and invert using highly illusionary compositions rich in art historical imagery (which he views as a costume trunk to be rummaged through at will) and tell of narratives gone array that feature hybrid and fantastic characters. The works utilise the artist’s natural instinct for subversion and dispel any purist compunctions about textiles that he may have; these works are not about the ubiquity of textiles but speak instead of the shifting nature of reinvention and play within the medium.

 

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Louise has exhibited her work throughout Britain, in America, Japan and Germany. Baldwin’s recent pieces now incorporate found imagery colour and domestic packaging alongside fabric and simple stitch to produce rich small scale textiles that explore some of the complexities of contemporary life.

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Having initially trained as a painter, Stephen now works in a variety of mediums, in particular ceramics and sculpture. His work features densely patterned and collaged ceramic platters and figures. The surfaces of these highly complex compositions are rich in imagery and reference to domestic, social and political life, having captured these images from my recent trips to India and Australia. He tries to reveal narratives by combining things which are obviously fantasy, things that are real and domestic, along with black humor. He likes to disorientate and confuse at first and then to slowly reveal events and characters that punctuate the journey as you traverse through both the familiar and the strange.

Stephen Bird studied a Degree in Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, and also a Post graduate diploma at Cyprus College of Art. He lives and works in Dundee, Scotland and Sydney, Australia.

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"My work comes out of life. It is my way to learn to live with the world and to experience the passage of my time. My immediate surroundings provide the closest elements that inform my work. I focus on everything that frees up anything I know to invent a new realm that is in reference to and questioning the enigmatic and ambiguous in everyday living. The mystery of being is the most powerful and seductive challenge in my creativity."

Kai Chan has exhibited his work across Canada, the United States, Japan, Australia and Europe.

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Paul Derrez is the driving force behind Galerie Ra and sees this as his priority. Nevertheless, besides running the gallery he has created an oeuvre in jewellery design, which over the past decade also includes silver work.

His Wisselring from 1975 has become a classic and is still available. Derrez often links his designs to particular social statements like his Pill-roulette brooches and Condom Monstrance. Self-taught in the art of silversmithing, he remains close to its basic techniques and the function of a design. His fine silver beakers, bowls and boxes are given a touch of colour by the addition of plastic lids or handles.

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Textiles clearly have a strong constructional dimension for Pamela Gaunt. Imagery is formed via the fusion of tiny thread or fabric units, woven, sewn, interlaced, twisted, looped and plaited. The ground is a constructed record of the processes that shaped its manufacture. Michael Brennand-Wood, Machine Stitch : Perspectives.

Pamela Gaunt is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Art & Design, Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia.

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Rachael has been a successful practising textile artist and designer since leaving the Royal College of Art in 1992 as one of the first post graduate students of Embroidery.  Since then, she has become one of its most respected practitioners and one of our foremost narrative textile artists.  Her graphic, lively sketches of everyday life typify her powers of observation and knack for catching the moment.  She has pioneered a lively mix of embroidery and screen-printing techniques, using image, text and object to tell – often autobiographical – stories of the everyday.

Rachael regularly exhibits her work nationally and internationally.  In 1998 she had her first monograph with Ruthin Craft Centre – a “phenomenally successful” show, which toured nationally for 2 years, with the final destination at the Geffrye Museum, Hackney, London where 32,500 people visited the show.  She recently had a solo show of new work titled, “Lost and Found” at the National Trusts’ Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire, 2012.  Rachael is a committee member of the highly regarded 62 Group of Textile Artists; they have an active exhibiting program, with a forthcoming 2013 show in Tokyo, Japan.  Rachael has been involved in a variety of public art commissions from cushions for benches in Newbury Library to a wall-hanging for the Museum of Science and Industry in Berlin.  She also has worked as a freelance designer and illustrator for companies including Paul Smith, Habitat, Liberty and magazines such as Selvedge.  She has her own collections of ties and interior accessories which she sells at events such as the Crafts Councils’ Origin Fair.

Rachael has been visiting lecturer at many universities and colleges in the UK and abroad including MMU, Goldsmiths and Central St Martin’s.  She has received awards for her work and teaching, in 1997 she was shortlisted for the prestigious Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts and won the Artworks Award for Art in Education in 2003 and 2004, when she was artist in residence at Lauriston Primary School in her then home town of Hackney.  This lead on to a live appearance on children’s TV, she is also a featured artist in the BBC Education series The Art of Drawing.

Rachael recently relocated to Wirral, after living nearly 20 years in the creative hub of Hackney, East London.  Since arriving on the Wirral, Rachael has lead workshops for The Big Draw and outreach art workshops in the local community.

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Jeanne-Marie creates three dimensional, decorative boxes:

Inspired by Fabergé  Eggs, I make each box from recycled offcuts of mounting board, paper and glue. I layer images from various sources, mainly magazines including fashion, art, home décor, and National Geographics. The inside is as important as the outside and no two boxes are the same.” – Jeanne Marie Kenny

Originally from South Carolina, Jeanne-Marie studied printmaking at the University of South Carolina where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1994. After living in the UK for several years, she returned to the US to study painting at the University of Memphis where she completed her Master of Fine Arts degree in 2004. She is now based at the Bluecoat in Liverpool.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

November 2012 ING Discerning Eye – group show, London, UK

September – November 2012 This Wild Kingdom – solo show, 69A Intandane, Liverpool, UK

September – November 2012 Zoological Society – solo show, A La Mode at the Bluecoat, Liverpool, UK

September – November 2010 – Dolls in the Dream House, Independents Biennial solo installation, 69A Intandane, Liverpool.

May 2006 – We Stopped at Perfect Days – Solo show, Arena Gallery, Liverpool, UK

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Cleo Mussi is an established Mosaic Artist and respected within the Applied Arts both Nationally and Internationally.

Originally training at Goldsmiths in the late 80’s she graduated from The Textile department run by and a team of practicing artists and technicians who were knowledgeable and passionate about materials techniques and process. This quiet evolution in her working practice shows how the processes in her work have developed and matured with an obsessive emphasis on ‘Making and Materials’. Her interest in recycled fabrics, knowledge of pattern, print, weave and stitch translates easily into reclaimed ceramic.

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Jessica Turrell trained in jewellery and enamel at Central School of Art, London. On graduation she set up a studio in her home city of Bristol. Over recent years she has undertaken a sustained period of research into mark-making using non-traditional enamel techniques. Her current studio practice includes the production of both jewellery and larger scale enamel work.

I have developed an approach by which I seek to create work that moves away from traditional enamel practice in order to achieve a more ambiguous and expressive material quality. In both my jewellery and my larger scale work I strive to obtain a tactile delicacy whilst making pieces that reward the wearer’s close attention with an intricate and detailed surface.”

 

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Esther Knobel is a highly original investigator and maker, strongly motivated and attached to such themes as family and nationality. Acutely aware of the potency and importance of making, craftsmanship and artisan skills: the interaction between head and hand, skilled worker and society.

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Philip Sanderson studied at both at Middlesex University and the Royal College of Art before taking up the position of Creative Director at the Professional Tapestry Studio at West Dean College.

Sanderson has designed tapestries for numerous clients most famously the New Parliamentary Buildings in Westminster.

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Rozanne Hawksley is regarded as one of the UK’s great textile art innovators, whose work lies far beyond simple categories. Rich in allegorical references, her work charts an odyssey encompassing the universal and intensely personal. Recurrent themes are the fragility of the human condition and the immorality of war. There is a fascination with revealing the darker side of existence but within a unique and life affirming embrace. She is an artist of major significance whose story is all the more remarkable for her only coming to national prominence twenty years ago when she was already in her fifties.

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“I am not interested in ‘perfect’ textiles’ but rather in a cloth that is made imperfect as a result of tears, patches, darns and frayed edges. Held together with a utilitarian stitch, these random and chaotic interruptions in the pattern and surface of the cloth provide the impetus for my work.:

“Pieces are constructed in response to drawings of things I have seen. Lines, marks, shapes and stains of colour are made to shift and seep their way across and through a ‘whole cloth’ that is built in sections. The resulting fragmentation and mismatching of pattern, line and image as it travels, creates the visual jolt or jarring which gives the pieces their discordant characteristic.”

- Matthew Harris

Matthew Harris works with both cloth and paper to create series of drawing/ collages and textiles. By a process of dyeing, cutting, piecing and stitching he constructs work that is primarily concerned with the translation of drawn marks into cloth.

Matthew Harris has taken part in many shows throughout the U.K , Europe, U.S.A and Japan. He has work in the Crafts Council Collection and the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. In 2009 he was short listed for the first Arts Foundation Award for Textile Art.

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I grew up in the north of France and discovered printmaking when I moved to England in 1992. In 2008 I graduated from John Moores University, Liverpool with a BA (Hons. 1st Class) in Fashion and Textile Design.

My work takes its inspiration from nature, landscapes, the urban environment and its ideas from the concept of memory. I am particularly fascinated by the disintegration by the elements surrounding us as our memory is fading slowly as we are moving on through our life.

I like working using a mix of medium and techniques: paper, textile, photography, printing, painting, drawing, stitching, cutting…

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Michael Brennand-Wood visual artist, curator, lecturer, arts consultant. Is internationally regarded as one of the most innovative and inspiring artists working in textiles. He has occupied a central position in the research, origination and advocacy of Contemporary International Art Textiles.

'Anyone who knows or has spent time with me is probably waiting for the moment where I career from Art making into Music making in all its diversity and sonic excitement. I’m convinced that there’s a soundtrack to most people’s lives, a song, title, lyric that inspires. I’ve never made anything when I haven’t been listening to music. It fuels my work, drives a process and allows me access to the experience of others, whether sound, rhythm, title or lyrical snapshot.'

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Floor Mommersteeg constructs light, transparent volumes – jewellery pieces and vessels – from nylon thread. The flattening and manipulating of the material give it structure and direction. Glossy and refined colouring give the works a rich glow.

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My work is inspired by observations of people and animals; their gestures and moods; scenarios and narratives. I work with tin and found objects, using the colour of collected tins in contrast to other materials such as plastic and aluminium objects. The scale of work varies from small pieces to large site specific public commissions using a variety of different materials.

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Sally Freshwater’s work emerges from a continual fascination with the architectural potential of textiles. Working with a combination of pliable and solid elements she creates forms where all the parts work in harmony, each reliant on the next to maintain the structure, the works relating to the body through scale and how they occupy the field of vision. The intention is to provide a focus. While the textile is for the most part treated as a sculptural material, a detailed knowledge of the inherent qualities of the fabric is necessary for the structures success.

The works are deliberately abstract, not replicating other forms, though shapes and materials may echo familiar objects, creating associations in the mind of the viewer. Many of the works have implied movement, while in others this potential has become a real factor, using natural air currents and exploring mechanical interventions to power the way the work moves.

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Thomas Hill works in mild steel wire in various gauges, with additions of sheet steel, copper and brass. Tom also adds colour using enamel paint heating the metal before and after application to create depth of colour and texture.

Trained originally as a jeweller in London, he has since moved to San Francisco, USA.

“I use wire as it enables me to create a 3 dimensional drawing and to capture the feeling of animals in motion with the energy of a quick sketch.” Tom Hill

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Mike Holmes studied jewellery and metal arts at the California College of Arts.

As well as making jewellery Mike is the co-founder of Velvet da Vinci which is a contemporary craft gallery based in an Francisco specialising in art jewellery and metalwork.

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Jim Partridge and Liz Walmsley have worked together designing and making furniture and other functional woodwork for the last 22 years.  The scope of their work ranges from the small and domestic to monumental outdoor pieces.

Their studio furniture, much of which is carved from blocks of green oak, often scorched and polished to a lustrous black finish, is in public collections across the world, including the V&A in London and Manchester Art Gallery.  The work has twice been shortlisted for the Jerwood Furniture prize.

They have always said that their intention was to make “work with a strong but quiet presence in the landscape”.

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Paul Scott is a Cumbrian based artist with a diverse practice and an international reputation. He is well known for his research into printed vitreous surfaces, as well as his characteristic blue and white artworks in glazed ceramic. These can be found in public collections around the globe - including the Victoria and Albert Museum London, The National Museum Stockholm Sweden, The National Decorative Arts Museum Norway and The Museum of Art and Design New York.

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Verena Sieber-Fuchs initially worked with textiles on a monumental scale, creating tapestries and textile installations for the interiors of large public buildings.

In 1973, she began making jewellery, first using traditional materials including glass and metal beads that she crocheted into cords and collars. In 1983, she started incorporating light and transparent materials such as tissue paper and gossamer filaments into her designs, making her jewelry airy and spacious.

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Like many artists Elizabeth Turrell is interested in boundaries, edges, crossings and connections - both physical and metaphorical. She finds vitreous enamel the appropriate medium for her work; it gives her a range of surface and line that she can't achieve in any other media. She enjoys the process of drawing through the soft unfired enamel to the hard metal surface below. The process of making marks and line is often known as sgraffito, a pleasurable and engaging process that can produce a hypnotic and rhythmic sound that varies depending on the tool used; this becomes addictive.

Her hope is that the work shows the creative potential inherent in vitreous enamel as an expressive medium beyond the usual associations of enamel - the traditional and decorative.

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Audrey Walker was born in West Cumberland in 1928. She trained as a painter at Edinburgh College of Art (1944-48) and the Slade School of Fine Art (1948-51). Ten years after leaving the Slade she was drawn to the potential of working with fabrics and threads. She responded to their physical qualities but, most importantly, she dicovered the rich and diverse history of textiles which are stitched by hand and machine with simple, direct , non-decorative marks. To begin, a variety of fabrics are assembled together to act as a support for the stitching and to establish broad areas of colour and tone. Layers of fine stitches are then built up to modulate the whole surface and to allow the gradual emergence of the image. The imagery is figurative and derives from observations, memories, poetry and myths. It sometimes references the work of such artists as Piero della Francesca, Rembrandt, Titian and Greek sculptures. A few simple objects can prompt a "still life" which is concerned with the qualities of quietness and light. Explorations of colour and light are essential ingredients in all the work.

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Liz Williamson is an internationally respected textile artist who began weaving in the late 1970s. Her work reflects a long standing interest in the history, use and construction of cloth itself. She has designed for industry, produced unique works for major exhibitions and maintained ongoing studio production, specializing in hand-woven scarves and wraps, since establishing her own studio in 1985. Passionately researched over three decades, her knowledge and skills in relation to textiles are a remarkable resource. In her work she embraces some of the oldest techniques of her craft along with new and innovative computer aided processes. Williamson’s work is represented in most major public collections in Australia including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Powerhouse Museum.

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I was taught traditional ecclesiastical embroidery in school by a nun, and later trained in ceramics, focusing on 3D sculptural figures. My MA (a few years later) involved combining ceramics with stitch, and overlaying sheer fabrics to create moody surfaces. Surface qualities and a concern for finding the spirit within my materials has always been (still is) intriguing to me. My aim is to reach the soul through the use of very simple materials and techniques. When I left college I decided to work solely in textiles. I enjoyed ceramics but it involved waiting around for kiln firings etc, and I wanted colour to be more immediate and spontaneous, which I could do using the ‘palette’ of my fabrics.

There are so many different ways to express your ideas in art, that you could spend all your time wondering which is best. Focussing on the familiar constraints of the quilt format (3-layered, structured) actually frees me up to concentrate on surface quality, colour, composition, construction and expression.

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Warwick Freeman is one of several jewellers who have redefined and revolutionised jewellery in New Zealand in recent decades.

Born in Nelson 1953, Warwick’s skills are largely self-taught.

He took up jewellery-making in Perth, Australia, in 1972, following two years of travel. Returning to New Zealand in 1973, Warwick initially established a workshop in Nelson before moving to Auckland in 1975. After a brief stint as a manufacturing jeweller he first joined Lapis, a co-operative jewellery workshop, in 1977, and a year later became a partner in Auckland's now highly successful jewellery co-operative Fingers.In the 1980s as a prominent member of this group, he revolutionised contemporary jewellery practice in Aotearoa. This work was characterised by the use of natural materials such as bone, stone and shell.

Warwick regularly exhibits in New Zealand and Australia, as well as in Europe and the USA. His works are held, to name but a few of the institutions and none of the many individuals who cherish his works, in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; Auckland Museum; the Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt; the Pinokothek der Moderne, Munich;the Houston Museum of Fine Arts; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Te Papa - Museum of New Zealand, Wellington.

His international standing was recognised by the Françoise van den Bosch Foundation, based at theStedelijk Museum, who named him their 2002 Laureate, in the same year he received an Arts Foundation Laureate Award.

Warwick has been represented in survey and thematic exhibitions including: Given Jewellery by Warwick Freeman, Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam (2004); and Ornament as Art, Smithsonian, Washington D.C (2007). Recent solo exhibitions include: Its Black or White, Starkwhite (2007) ; Shadowboard, Bowen Galleries, Wellington (2008). His survey exhibition, Given toured national galleries around the country in 2005-2007.

Warwick Freeman lives in Auckland.

 

 

Interview with Warwick Freeman

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