Friday, 13 October 2017

Sky High: Exhibition at Farfield Mill

Around about this time last year I was busy working on my first solo exhibition 'As the Crow Flies' at RSPB Geltsdale. It was a really good experience for so many different reasons. It gave me an opportunity to focus on my personal practice and an incentive to see ideas through to finished pieces and it had a huge effect effect on my confidence; creating the work and putting it all up showed me that I could create a professional exhibition on my own and the feedback I got was so positive, the exhibition was extended as it proved very popular with visitors to the site. I also sold quite a few pieces of work which is always a good confidence booster too! It was also a good opportunity to bring my work together and see what I'd done and where I wanted to go with it.

As the Crow Flies, RSPB Geltsdale 2016/2017

As the Crow Flies, RSPB Geltsdale 2016/2017

Following on from the success of 'As the Crow Flies' and feeling inspired and positive I made an enquiry at Farfield Mill in Sedburgh about the possibility of exhibiting there. Farfield Mill is an arts, crafts and heritage venue based in an old Victorian Mill. I always enjoy visiting as they have a good range of exhibitions (with a strong focus on textiles,) lots of artists studios and an excellent cafe! I was delighted to hear back that they would be interested in displaying my work and would be in touch. Not long after they got in contact and asked if I'd be interested in exhibiting this Autumn. I was a little hesitant at first as it was not long away but I really wanted to show my work at the mill so I said yes.

Farfield Mill, Sedburgh

Installing (along with work from previous show!)

I went down to visit the mill and met Anne Mackinnon who as well as being a talented artist organises the exhibitions at Farfield Mill. It was interesting talking to her, especially as we had both done the Embroidery degree at Manchester Metropolitan University, albeit at different times. It was good talking about our work and looking at the different spaces. The space that the mill wanted to house the exhibition in is the Howgill gallery, a lovely big open space with lots of light. As it was quite short notice and it's a big space Anne suggested sharing the gallery which I thought was a good idea; it takes some of the pressure off but is also a good chance to work with other artists and see how my work interacts with theirs. We looked at several artists and decided that the beautiful, moody landscapes of Daniel Cooper would be perfect. Luckily, Daniel was happy with this idea to and so we set about getting the show organised.

Exhibition Views: Cyanotypes

Exhibition Views: Cyanotypes and banners

Exhibition Views: Banners

Having an exhibition to work to is both exciting and stressful, it is very good for focusing the mind and makes you really prioritise what you have to do, especially if you are working in a limited time frame. Daniel made a beautiful poster for the show and I did something I hate doing but which is quite useful; making a spreadsheet. I catalogued all my work with dates, dimensions, prices and lots of other information, I can't claim to have enjoyed it but it's a useful thing to have!

My Magpies in the windows...
Curiosity 2016

My Magpies in the windows...
In the Shadows 2015

My Magpies in the windows...
Hail to the Thief, 2014

Installing the exhibition was surprisingly easy. The people at Farfield Mill were really friendly and helpful and the hanging system is very easy to use. The downside to the system is that it's not always easy to get pictures, particularly smaller ones, to lie flat against the wall. What I like about it though is that it's easy to rearrange and there's no banging of nails and drilling of screws.

Exhibition Views: A Drop in the Sea, 2015

Exhibition Views: Sky Collar, 2017

Exhibition Views: Flight I and Flight II, 2016

I'm really excited to be showing my work at Farfield Mill and I'm really pleased with how my work looks up in the gallery. It's also very exciting to be exhibiting with another artist and I think our pieces complement each other well. I think it works well because although our subject matter is different we share similar colour palettes and are looking at similar ideas; the natural world and our place in it and our response to it.

Exhibition Views

Exhibition Views

Exhibition Views: Daniel Cooper's prints

At the end of the month I'm running a Mini Textile Banners workshop alongside the exhibition, which can be booked through Farfield Mill. If you go and see the show I'd love to know what you think!

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