Wednesday, 7 December 2016

As the Crow Flies

Exhibition Poster

It's fair to say I've been a bit remiss with my blogging recently. I've had lots to write about but I just haven't felt like it. There have been several quite big projects I've worked on and haven't blogged about and because I haven't written about them it put me off writing about other things until I had, which is a bit silly really but there you go.

Wire sculptures: Flight I and II

Flight II

Sculptures and drawings

Anyway, for the past few months I've been busy working on my first solo exhibition. This has been both really exciting and really stressful! I often find that my personal practice gets shunted to the bottom of the 'to do' list so having this exhibition has been a great opportunity to move it up the list and to spend some time in the studio working. The exhibition is at the visitor centre at RSPB Geltsdale, it's a lovely little gallery space with great light and as it is quite an irregularly shaped room there are lots of small wall sections, allowing me to break the work into 'mini exhibitions.' The reserve itself is also very beautiful and there are lots of good walks.

My Magpie triptych. From left to right: Curiosity, In the Shadows, Hail to the Thief

Detail: Curiosity

In the Shadows

Having this show has given me an opportunity to review my work and processes as well as to try out some new things and consolidate some existing ideas. I decided fairly early on to not attempt too dramatic a departure from what I'd been working on and so have focused on refining some of my ideas and techniques and developing current ways of working. It's also provided the perfect opportunity to build a coherent body of work, something I've been trying to do for a while.

Cyanotype pieces

I chose to focus my show on my crow pieces because this has been the main focus of my work for a long time now and this seemed like a good chance to bring it all together. The show is a mixture of drawings, textiles and sculpture.

Chough (applique and machine embroidery)

Rook (Paint and machine embroidery)

Jackdaw (paint, dye, print and machine embroidery)

I was really nervous about hanging the show, Although I'd planned it all out I couldn't be sure how it would all work together and what it would look like but I'm really happy. It came together better than I expected and I'm pleased with how all the pieces work together. There are of course always things that could be improved but overall I feel good about my show and I'm excited about it. I also feel that it's given me a confidence boost and a good incentive to keep going and move my work forwards.

Jay (fabric pastels and hand embroidery)

Crow (fabric markers, paint and hand embroidery)

Some practical notes: If you'd like to visit the exhibition it is free (although donations to the centre are gratefully received.) There is a free car park and the visitor centre (Stagsike Cottage) is about 1 mile walk along a reasonable track from the car park. You can park up at the centre by special arrangement, please contact them for details.

View from the visitor centre


  1. This looks Great Helen, I hope to visit. What are the dates of the exhibition please. Therese

    1. Thanks Therese, the show is on until 25th February 2017. The centre is open from 9-5 every day. If you go and see it I'd love to hear what you think. Thanks! Helen