Category Archives: Exhibitions& Shows

Fashioned From Nature

In May I visited the Fashioned from Nature exhibition in London at the V&A with my great friends Anjum and Jane. The exhibition left us inspired and stopped us in our tracks, making us question our shopping behaviours.

‘Bird-witched’ shoes, Masada Kushiro (Japan 2014)

The exhibition examines how nature has inspired and influenced our tastes in fashion and the impact we have on nature to satisfy our tastes over time.  Fashioned from Nature begins on the ground floor with historic costumes and the raw materials used to create them, it then progresses to the late 20th and 21st century fashion on the first floor.  There are many beautiful, nature inspired designs, textiles and garments…but Beware! This may at first seem like an gentle exhibition of historic garments, it’s not!

The exhibition curators have devised a show that lulls the viewer into a smug revery at our ancestors extraordinary tastes in fashion and their silhouettes. In reality it takes us on a journey, exposing our ever changing tastes and relentless drive for new fashions. Scratch below the surface and they expose the impact our thirst for raw materials has on the animals, ecosystems and our fellow humans. All of whom become victims in one way or another to supply our ruthless appetite for immediate gratification and fast fashion.

Fashioned from Nature challenges our purchasing habits and how we source our clothes and tries to offer solutions to change our reckless consumption.   The lifecycle of a typical garment is examined, and we are asked to question our use and aftercare of garments too. How often a garment is worn, washed and disposed of, are just as valid questions as becoming informed about the garments source, materials and production process.

The exhibition concludes with a glimmer of hope, showcasing some of  todays designers searching for sustainable ways of working with innovative new processes, techniques and materials. Natural dyes, wearable ‘paper’ (see above) and mushroom fabrics are just some of the innovative materials on display.

Fashioned from Nature leaves the visitor with plenty of food for thought, demanding we think and question before we buy, and nudges us to seek out a more sustainable fashion cycle.

Fashioned from Nature is on in Gallery 40 at the V&A, London until 27th January 2019.

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Vision for the Future – MA Fashion & Textiles Show

 

It’s been show time! This month is the end of the academic year for the MA Fashion and Textiles students at BCU (Birmingham City University) – a stressful but exciting time!  I have enjoyed seeing my fellow students work come to fruition, (…I have all this to come next year as I’m studying on the part time route). This has given me a great behind the scenes insight into the work that goes into preparing for and organising Vision for the Future, the MA Fashion & Textiles Shows.

The Textiles Show was  @parksidegallery on Cardigan Street, Birmingham from 11th – 13th July, with the preview night and Fashion Show held on the 12th at 6pm.

Amy Sweeney, (Fashion Promotion), did a fantastic job planning the fashion show, directing the designers’ models, and curated a fabulous evening. Congratulations on your award too Amy!  To assist Amy’s direction, I helped out backstage, overseeing the smooth running order of designers and models. A special thanks must be given to the course tutors, Rebecca Russell-Turner, Heather Orr & the technicians, for all their patience and assistance.  Everyone worked so hard to make it a great success; the designers, the artwork & marketing team [Amber Leigh Prescott, Sophie Jacks, Ilaris Di Gasparro & Gaia Pomelli], the makeup artist [Miriam Besrat Nedash] and all the models. It was a long day & such a hot July evening, but a very rewarding experience!

Congratulations to ALL the designers and modelsthe exhibition and garments looked wonderful. Good luck everyone with your results and your future plans!

 

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Made in Kings Heath 2016 Invitation

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Autumn has definitely arrived with falling leaves, frost and beautiful blue skies and so has November. That means this month also welcomes the return of our annual Made in Kings Heath open studio Christmas fair. We would love to invite you to come along on Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th November to share a glass or two of mulled wine and festive nibbles. This year we have expanded to include two open studios and yet more Kings Heath linked artists, designers and makers for you. You can find out more about the artists participating this year and and the event at www.madeinkingsheath.com

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Made in Kings Heath 2015 Invitation

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We are very excited to announce the dates for our second Made in Kings Heath Christmas Fair. Once again we are opening our studio doors and inviting you to come along to join us in a glass of mulled wine and festive treats whilst enjoying a friendly start to this year’s search for unique Christmas gifts.

This year in addition to Melanie Keevil and Emma Jackson (Silversoles), we are delighted to have textile artist Jane Bradsaw and jeweller Sarah Carlton- Gray as our guests, exhibiting their locally produced art and designs.

Pop in any time over the weekend;

Saturday 28th November 11am – 5pm and Sunday 29th November 11am – 4 pm

Venue: Silversoles Studio, 129 Hazelhurst Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 6 AG

Direction: Silversoles Studio is at the rear of the house at 129 Hazelhurst Road, which is situated at the Featherstone Road end of Hazelhurst Road, (from the road on the right hand side, woodwork painted blue). Reach the Studio via the garden door on the right hand side of the house, following the signs to the rear of the garden to the studio.

Travelling by – Bus: No. 50 bus from town/ to / Kings Heath High Street. The stop is opposite the doctors surgery & Featherstone / Tenbury Road junction. Cross the Alcester Road and walk up Featherstone Road, turn right onto Hazelhurst Road. 129 is half way on left hand side. (Walk max 5mins).

Walk/Cycling: From Kings Heath High Street walk down Vicarage Road, turn left onto All Saints Road and take the first right onto Hazelhurst Road. Continue down Hazelhurst Road crossing Howard Road and Tenbury Road junctions. 129 Hazelhurst is on the right.

Car: Sat Nav users post code is B14 6AG. If coming from north / central / east follow directions to Kings Heath join Alcester Road A435, turn in to Featherstone Road and onto Hazelhurst Road. If coming from west join the A4040 and follow directions to Kings Heath. At the junction with Red Lion turn right at second traffic lights onto Howard Road. Follow Howard Road to second exit on right, turn on to Hazelhurst Road, cross Tenbury Road. 129 fifth house on the right.

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BCTF 2015: British Craft Trade Fair, Harrogate

A number of people ask how and where I sell my work, so I thought I would write a short blog on one of the ways I do this. As well as selling directly at retail and craft fairs, online and from open studio events,  I also attend trade fairs.

This April I made my annual visit north to Harrogate, to attend the British Craft Trade Fair. This is a three day event where I display current work and share my new collections as Silversoles. The event gives me an opportunity to meet buyers (from retail outlets, museum representatives and gallery owners), who are looking for work to show in their exhibition programmes or stock in their outlets.

It’s a wonderful event, organized by Margeret Bunn and her team with attendance by selection. Only UK makers can take part with all work having to be made in Britian. It has been an honour and privilege to exhibit my work at BCTF along some of the best makers in the UK, producing exceptionally skilled work of such a high standard.

We arrived on Saturday morning to set up and transform the bare shell scheme, ( see below). Initially the walls have a clean, then we start installing furniture, electric cabling and lighting ( thanks Dad), before beginning the process of displaying the work.

Starting with an empty shell scheme and in boxes…

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Beginning with the empty shell scheme…

Transformed to this…..

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The space transformed and ready for the show to open on Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

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made at mac: Exhibition

Student samplers for made at mac:textiles exhibition invitation 2014

Student samplers for made at mac:textiles exhibition invitation 2014

This week we’ll be hanging the fantastic work created by my  wonderful students, who attend the Paper, Fabric & Stitch, ready for their exhibition opening on Friday 23rd January 2015.

Made onsite at mac in the textiles studio, the artwork in the exhibition demonstrates the process of creating  and shares the expereinces of the students.  The course is a practical exploration of surface design, delivered through a combination of demonstrations and exercises, encouraging the learners to develop their own creative language.

The students worked extremely hard last term to produce work inspired by the theme Edible. Their original print designs use a range of techniques including block and screnprinting on paper and fabric, and many are then embellished with hand and machine embroidery. It would be great if you visit the exhibition & if you do please tell me what you thought.

Example sketchbook form Paper, Fabric & Stitch course for made at mac:textiles exhibtion

Example sketchbook by Sara Packer from the Paper, Fabric & Stitch course for made at mac:textiles exhibtion

Preview: Friday 23rd January 2105, 6-8pm, Studio Gallery, mac, Birmingham Please RSVP Marcia Springer, Senior marketing & Communications Officer at; marcia.springer@macbirmingham.co.uk

made at mac: textiles exhibtion runs from Saturday 24th  January – Sunday 3rd May 2015 in the Studio Gallery, First Floor, mac, Birmingham. Free entry.

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