With the vernal equinox last week, spring has well and truly arrived. Although the temperatures here in The Hague are still chilly, my garden has burst into life with bulbs pushing through to the light, daffodils dancing on the fresh north-westerly wind, and the shrubs and trees alight with buds. My Magnolia stellata is awash with its delicate lacy white blooms, so fleeting I know that it will only be a matter of days until she fades. But while she’s here, I will enjoy her in all her glory!
For the love of art: a new collaboration
The end of February saw the launch of For the love of art, or LOA for short, a new platform showcasing the work of a hand-picked number of artisans working in a variety of crafts. The brainchild of Anne-Claire Martens, this new online gallery and store has been brought to fruition by her tenacity and determination. Anne-Claire first contacted me last autumn, and it was a grey November day when she visited me in my studio armed with her camera, her infectious enthusiasm and a determination to bring her dream to life. Her energy and talent have captured the essence of my studio wonderfully, showing it in its very best light, as you can see in the beautiful photographs on LOA’s website. What Anne-Claire has achieved in a few short months is astounding, and LOA already also has a physical presence as a pop-up gallery in Den Bosch in The Netherlands. Check the website or LOA’s instagram feed for pop-up opening dates (usually once a month at the moment).
Honouring the past
In my previous blog, I mentioned that I had been approached to weave a number of decorative wabi sabi style pieces that would honour the memory of the fire damage sustained to the owner’s house. These were completed towards the end of February and have been a both a learning process and an inspiration for my future work. I love the way commission work pushes me to think outside the box. Such a wonderful project! If you would like to commission a piece please do get in touch.
I recently came across this beautiful book of Sue Lawty’s, purchased from the artist herself. It gives a fascinating insight into her work, the research and thought processes behind her pieces. From thousands of collected stones to woven, beaten lead, Sue’s work is elemental, speaking of time and the eternal force of nature.
“Sue Lawty’s work explores ideas of individuality and universality, a single thread within a piece of cloth or a single stone on a beach formed from millions of stones. In doing so she invites the viewer to notice the subtlest of nuances present in our world. … Her work is rooted in these journeys [she has travelled extensively] and in her emotional and physical engagement with the land. Her process of creating is slow, meditative and meticulous.”
You can read more about her creative residency and 2019 exhibition in collaboration with Toast here and you can follow her work on her instagram account.
Maria Bartuscová: an infinite universe
Finding myself once again passing though London en route to the Midlands, I had enough time to make another whistle-stop trip to the Tate Modern, and specifically the exhibition of work by Maria Bartuscová. Working in the former Czechoslovakia, she experimented with different methods of casting, especially using inflated balloons, where the plaster sculptures retain her presence, shaped by her breath into natural, living forms and negative spaces. Despite working with heavy materials, her work has a lightness, an airiness, fragile, ephemeral and intriguing. The forms are inviting, asking to be touched, and she was indeed guided by intuition, play, therapy and meditation. It is no surprise that some of her objects were used in expressive workshops for blind and partially sighted children. This exhibition runs until 25 June 2023 (recently extended) and I would definitely recommend a visit if you happen to be passing by.
During the half term break, I visited Bradgate Park on the outskirts of Leicester. Home to clusters of ancient trees, remnants of the dense forest that once covered this area, the trees are a fascinating collection of gnarled and twisted forms reaching skywards. Walking amongst them was like stepping back in time. What stories they could tell.
Morning light in the studio catches some new drawings that I’m making as part of the 100 day project, which I’m currently taking part in. I set myself the task to ‘draw something’ every day, for 100 days as the title suggests. So far I’ve (more or less) managed to keep up. I wanted to develop my drawing skills using as many different materials and mediums as possible. Having reached day 29, I realised that, actually, I can still draw, and so I’ve started to explore different motivations for drawing. After having drawn from objects and still life, I have now begun a series of drawings where I draw by ear, listening to music, simultaneously interpreting this on paper. So far the results have been interesting and it feels good to be outside of my comfort zone.
In the background is the beginnings of a new warp, an off-white mercerised cotton, which I intend to experiment with dip-dyeing before putting onto the loom. Watch this space for new developments!
…so much for your support and for joining me on my creative journey through the seasons. If you’d like to see more of my work and inspirations, I post regularly on Instagram @veronicapock and my work is available online at LiminalWEAVE on Etsy.
Looking forward to seeing you again in late April,
with best wishes, Veronica