Walford Mill is a historic mill building in Wimborne, Dorset which houses a centre of excellence for contemporary craft with a shop, gallery, onsite makers and a bistro as well as beautiful surroundings.
Colour is ubiquitous. We perceive the colours of the world everyday and most of the time without much regard. At other times we are acutely aware of its hues, tints and intensity. We note the visual sensations of colour and how it communicates to us.
Deliberately open-ended, Colour Notes began with the premise that each Studio 21 artist tends to have their own particular palette of colour to which they return, consciously or unconsciously.
Each artist reflected on this habitual practice: reviewing why and how they use and choose colour. The process was surprisingly challenging for all. We realised how much we individually took our use of colour for granted and how hard it is to separate colour from the other elements of our work, in particular texture and line.
Initially we worked in our group, reviewed generic colour theory concepts and worked through exercises. Soon, however, theories were relegated to the background so that each piece could be worked intuitively to reflect each Studio 21 artist’s personal practice.
Instead of a riot of colour, the exhibition comprises a broad range of hues and tones in a varied imagery of space, light and shadow. All of the pieces represent searching and thought-provoking responses. With a wide range of responses including: material colour in and of the landscape; colour created by the changing light of day or season; and capturing a moment of being in a specific place and time. Most notably, colour is described as conjuring and materialising the immaterial: emotional, experiential and memory.
Thank you to photographer Jonathan Dredge for capturing the exhibition for us.
Colour Notes will be at Walford Mill in Dorset 2 March – 7 April 2019.
The Colour Notes exhibition travelled to the following venues in 2018:
Knitting & Stitching Shows:
11-14 October 2018 at Alexandra Palace, London
8-11 November 2018 at RBS, Dublin
22-25 November 2018 at ICC, Harrogate
Farfield Mill, Sedbergh, Cumbria
27 November – 31st December 2018
Other venues will be announced.
If you are interested in hosting Colour Notes please get in touch.
Studio 21 toured its award winning exhibition The Sewing Machine Project: a contemporary view of the ‘Iron Needlewoman’ to each of 2017’s Knitting and Stitching Shows: Alexandra Palace 11th – 15th October, Dublin 9th – 12th November and Harrogate 23rd – 26th November.
It is always interesting to show work to others and watch and hear the different reactions, but The Sewing Machine Project had a particular resonance with so many of the visitors to the Knitting and Stitching Shows. Many visitors came up to us with personal stories or memories triggered by different pieces. We should have collected the stories!
Here is a selection of the feedback from our visitors book:
What a wonderful exhibition! So considered, such an array of interpretations – definitely one of the best in the show! Gwen Hedley
Beautiful work in a thought-provoking project. Cas Holmes
Very “thought-provoking” I enjoyed seeing how individual’s work interprets the theme. H Colling
Wonderful project – loved the creativity and ingenuity. The concept made me think of the woman engineer who patented over 50 sewing machine mechanisms, now there’s inspiration fr me. Thanks. Anonymous
The most exciting original work here and very funny. Congratulations to all. S Tullock
A really inspirational study of all aspects of sewing machines – very enjoyable to see. JR
A Summer Exhibition by Studio 21 artists is at the Well House Gallery this June. During the Hornden Feast & Fayre weekend (24th June & 25th June) seven Studio 21 artists will be at the Gallery to talk about their work. It would be lovely to see you there.
Exhibition ends 30th June.
The Well House Gallery
Horndon On The Hill
Thurrock, SS17 8LF
Studio 21 is pleased to announce that this exhibition has been awarded the prestigious Hartlebury Award for 2016. Presented annually during the Select Festival. The awarding judges said :
The Sewing Machine Project showed an eclectic mix of work from wrapped up de-constructed sewing machines, fascinating insights into the piece work machinists, to beautifully machined fabrics. The pictures of men milling the sewing machine and the women at work using them provided a historic background to the work, together with the professionally produced and informative booklet. It was an inspiring and professionally presented exhibition.
For more images and information about this project click here.
This well-researched exhibition explores all aspects of the sewing machine. Projects range from sewing machine mechanics, decoration and operation to personal and social histories. Each member of Studio 21 has produced a comprehensive body of work that reflects their personal interest in this transformational machine. You can see how they interpreted the challenge by clicking here.
Following a preview at SIT in early October 2015, the Sewing Machine project was first exhibited at South Hill Park, Bracknell in October/November 2015 and will travel to Stroud in 2016. Our visitor’s book contains praise for being thought-provoking and for its variety of interpretations and media. The word inspirational appears regularly as you can read here.
The project was developed over two years with the group working individually and collaboratively. The work falls into three parts. Parts 1 and 2 were exhibited together in the main gallery and Part 3 in the small area alongside a working treddle machine and pieces by pioneering machine embroiderers Dorothy Benson and Winifred Reed.
Part 1: A Visual, Aural and Tactile response to the Sewing Machine
This part was the main focus of the first year of the project and began by taking apart three abandoned sewing machines. The nuts, bolts, levers, drive belts and camshafts were stripped, leaving the solid metal hulk of the machine. These elements became the focus of group drawing, sculpting and printing sessions and as each artist was inspired by different aspects of the shapes, lines and textures individual responses emerged.
Part 2: A Cultural, Social, Historical or Personal response to the Sewing Machine
Each Studio 21 Artist researched a particular aspect of the sewing machine in the context of their life and created a piece as a response to what they discovered. There was a great deal of diversity in approach to this challenge however overall the connection between the pieces is still clear.
Part 3: A group project using the sewing machine as the main method of construction and stitching
This part of the project is a collection of pieces which each artist created in response to a challenge set by one of the group. Over the year five different challenges were set:
Little Boxes, Little Boxes
We have created a booklet detailing the Sewing Machine Project, if you would like to purchase one for £5 please contact us by email.
A selection from The Sewing Machine Project made its debut at SIT Select Showcase at Cheltenham Town Hall as a prelude to the South Hill Park exhibition and to exhibiting at SIT 2016. For further details visit sitselect.org