Here is some of my latest work: applique, machine and hand embroidery on hand painted fabric.
These pieces were based on handmade felt.
I’m currently working with 3 groups teaching textiles, here’s some of their work:
The year kick started with 3 new Arts on Prescription courses entitled “Tell Your Story” see http://artsop.blogspot.co.uk/ where I blogged the 12 week tutorials for the course.
The aim of the course was to introduce students to creative writing through physical, visual and written exercises. By the end of the course the students had to work collaboratively to produce a story and make a book. Three books were made, one by each group which were exhibited at the Ace Centre in September as part of their Arts on Prescription exhibition. The standard of writing was very high and the students all loved working together. The groups took place in Burnley and Clitheroe and were funded, amongst others, by Pendle Borough Council & Lancashire County Council as part of their Arts on Prescription scheme.
In June I worked with Mid Pennine Arts, Helmshore Textile Museum & Year 6 Haslingden Primary School on the No Match exhibition by Clare Morgan. The aim of the project was to introduce year 6 to mark making and to use this to create their own installation in response to the exhibition. This took place over a month with some pupils taking part in a Bronze Arts Award.
At the same time I worked on a large textile book for the 50th anniversary of Darnhill, a housing estate just outside of Heywood. This is displayed in Darnhill library.
At the moment I am running a 12 week Introduction to Textiles course at Colne library (Mondays 9.30am-12) and a Tell Your Own Story course at Barnoldswick library (Thursdays 1-3.30pm) as part of the Arts on prescription scheme. In the textiles course I am teaching felting, making felted jewellery, colouring fabric including painting, dyeing, printing, fabric collage, making fabric beads, hand and machine embroidery, applique, bonding and burning fabric. The latter involves a mixture of art techniques including painting pages, printing, collage, creative lettering, basic bookbinding and creative writing where students make ther own creative journal by Christmas. There are places on both courses so please just turn up to a session. The courses are free and a £15 materials fee for the course is by donation.
Please see my Facebook page ‘Artist Karen Alderson’.
What a summer 2011 has been! Project Pride Nelson finished on Thursday 7 July and two days later I was sitting on the beach in Erressos, Lesvos.
Here are photographs of a roadside shrine.
My daughter and I didn’t have a good holiday, perhaps it was the political and economic changes in Greece that led the local people to feel negative but it certainly came across to us. It was very quiet and was overly expensive. So, we cut the holiday short and flew home after 7 days. I guess the best bits were swimming in the sea at Erressos-I have a fear of swimming in the sea but the water was so beautiful. I needed to just be immersed in the earth’s waters to let all the stress dissolve.
The journey back was pretty awesome. The ferry was ginormous. We sailed at 10pm to arrive in Piraeus at 7am. At 1am the ferry staff came round and told us that they would be putting the lights out and everyone had to go to sleep. At one point I opened my eyes & about 300 people were asleep–no-one with ipods, or talking or being a nuisance.
Then there was the sunrise.
People were just standing on the deck of this vast floating vessel, silently just watching the sun come up in the warm morning air.
By the time I returned to England I needed to do something creative. It had been so long since I had done the conventional holiday abroad thing that I forgot why I stopped doing it. It was an expensive reminder that my joy comes from creative pursuits & not sunbathing.
Here’s some things I made at Touchstones Gallery Rochdale.
Jill Randall, sculptor and tutor at the University of Salford led the contemporary sculpture day and was a fantastic facilitator & inspiring role model.
Next, I attended a creative textiles course at Helmshore Textile Mill. The group of women were a total tonic and the work that they produced in two days was amazing, here’s a selection:
Dance Camp Wales
In August, as usual, I went to Dance Camp Wales. This year was the first time I had been away on holiday without children for 21 years. I was ready for the space, and spent quite a lot of the time being on my own, thinking and writing. I camped with a different circle of people and made new friends; Lula helped me to improve my crochet, Chris kept me on my toes. It was good to rest which was fortuitous as half way through the camp I received a message that I would be moving house.
The house move took four weeks, we downsized from a four to a two bedroomed property. It was more than just a house move, it felt as if I was letting go of holding a large family space. There were so many things that I no longer needed, it was enough to put me off visiting charity shops and splurging on Amazon for a very long time (well, not that long!). .