Sunday, 10 April 2011

Spring and a Bum Bag

Looking towards mainland Shetland from west Yell
My time in Shetland flashed by, it seems no more than a few days ago that we made the slow voyage north. Perhaps it was the excitement of setting up the exhibition again, the anxiety of having an ambulance rush a house guest off Yell into A and E and this combined with the dramatic changes of weather that have left me feeling as though I might have just dreamt it all. Being spat out of the plane into the 25C heat and sunshine of Poitiers yesterday  was a bewildering experience. When I left four weeks ago it was still winter, now it seems we are into summer  but where did spring go? The only evidence that it might have happened  are the withered stems of  daffodils.

The gallery tour at Bonhoga and the  workshop last weekend at Quarff were apparently enjoyed by all. The theme of Coiling and Looping for the workshop resulted in a wide variety of objects and although I don't normally select individual items of students work for comment, because everyone always does interesting things, I am sure the other students would agree, in this instance, that  Kristi Cummings' new take on the  'bum bag' deserves  a special mention for its audacity and ingenuity.  The coiling and looping were all on the bottom!

Kristi Cummings' bum bag
There are also  apocryphal tales of people visiting 'Urban Baskets' more than once and  the exhibition was honoured with a 'review' in the Shetland Times which you can read here:

On Monday I head back to England  to Norwich where I will be teaching a two day workshop at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia. These workshops  tie in with their current exhibition 'Basketry: Making Human Nature' in which I  have a piece of work on show. This will be followed by a conference "Basketry and Beyond: Constructing Cultures" where, on Friday  I will be delivering a paper on the global use of recycled and post consumer waste amongst basket makers.  This will be the first time I have had an opportunity to deliver a paper  publicly since obtaining my doctorate in 2003 and I am looking forward to it, but with some trepidation!

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