The Art Of Storytelling

In my last post, I reported on the video interview that was filmed by documentary-maker Owen Nutkins featuring me and my quilling, during my recent residency in Taunton.

The finished documentary containing this footage has now been released and you can view it here:

 

Its title, ‘The Art Of Storytelling’, reflects the content of the video which examines ways in which a group of different artists – myself included – endeavour to tell stories through their art.

It was a privilege for me to be involved in this project, and it was great to have the opportunity to speak publicly about quilling in a way that may, hopefully, help to bring it to the attention of a wider audience.  The other participants represent a wide variety of artistic genres, and so we all had very different ideas to contribute.  Storytelling through art is certainly a very interesting topic to explore.

I have managed to collect a few ‘screen grabs’ from the video, and am posting them here because they provide an excellent record of the exciting two weeks that I spent in Taunton.  Here they are:

The interview at Hestercombe with an inset photo of me teaching quilling

 

Quilling at Hestercombe in a biting easterly wind!

 

Quilling outdoors on your lap is certainly not easy!

 

At work quilling during my residency at CICCIC

 

Quilling a new design using pins on a board

 

A selection of my quilled pictures on the gallery wall at CICCIC during a meeting of the local Creatives Club

 

All these moments have taken on a somewhat dream-like quality for me now, but fortunately it will not be long before I am back in Taunton once again to play my part during the forthcoming Taunton Live Arts Festival 2018, whose organisers – Jenny Keogh and Liz Hutchin – are also featured in the documentary.

I hope to have plenty more news from my activities in Taunton before too long.

 

 

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What’s my story?

I have just returned from a memorable two week stay in Taunton, Somerset, where I had the privilege of being ‘Artist in Residence’ at the vibrant Creative Innovation Centre gallery in the town centre. It was a wonderful opportunity to get a lot of quilling done and talk to visitors whilst doing it …and I also offered workshops at which visitors could come and learn the basics of paper filigree art. A rewarding experience indeed!

At the beginning of my stay, I was interviewed on camera by a local film maker, Owen Nutkins, who is making a documentary entitled ‘The Art of Storytelling’. The focus of Owen’s film is to be an investigation into different ways in which artists tell stories through their creations using many different types of media, and it was a great pleasure for me to talk to him in this context about me and my quilling.

The interview took place in the beautiful surroundings of Hestercombe Gardens, and you can see a complete uncut version of it here:

Owen is going to select some of what I said and include it alongside other artists’ comments in his documentary, which will form part of a wider initiative called ‘What’s Your Story?’ on a website of the same name.  I hope you’ll agree with me that this is an exciting collaboration, and a great opportunity to spread the word about quilling as an art form.

I was filmed at work in the gallery, too, and it is possible that this footage may also be included in the documentary, along with various still photographs which Owen took.  I will publish further links as and when they become available.  Meanwhile, here are some other photos of my space in the gallery taken during a memorable two-week stay:

My quilled pictures can be seen displayed on the far left.

Some happy workshop customers:

One of the best things about the residency was that I got LOADS of quilling done! I took the opportunity to start work on a new project for a very special purpose: I’m creating an abstract piece which is going to appear on the front cover of a book that I have recently been commissioned to write – a comprehensive practical textbook on quilling techniques.  If all goes to plan, the book should be published and available for purchase early in 2020 or maybe even sooner … watch this space! As you can imagine, I am very excited indeed about this new challenge, and will publish updates on my blog as the work progresses.

 

Artist in residence

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A retrospective

Staging my Fellow’s Retrospective display at the Quilling Guild‘s Celebration of Quilling in Hartley Wintney last weekend made me realise what a lot of quilling I have done in the last 10 years, and just how far I have progressed! It also reminded me that I haven’t posted anything about the various competition pieces I have quilled this year, so I am remedying the situation now.

Firstly, here are some photos of my display at the Quilling Guild event, in which I included pieces that I have managed to win awards for over the years, along with examples of the way my work is progressing to encompass mixed media/collage work as well as conventional paper filigree.

 

This was the first big display I have staged since taking part in the Taunton Live Arts Festival and Taunton Flower Show in the summer, and now that all the competition events for me in 2017 are over, I am finally free to share some of the other new pieces I have been working on during the year to date.

My activities at Taunton Live have been well documented on my Facebook page here, so I am not going to repeat them all over again. Suffice to say that I had a fantastic time at the festival, made lots of wonderful new friends, and have bookings for several quilling workshops in the town as a result.

At the Flower Show, I entered one of the crafts competition categories with this quilled typographical piece which was Highly Commended by the judges. The word “Vivary” is the name of the wonderful Victorian park in which the show is staged, and I tried to reflect its peaceful ambience of fresh green complemented by vibrant floral colours in my quilling. By submitting quilled typography, I suspect that I may have fallen foul of the strict category guidelines which stated that one’s entry should be a “picture” … but no matter, I was very pleased with my commendation and several people I met were full of praise for my piece, even stopping to congratulate me when they saw me taking the picture down at the end of the show!

I also won a Second Prize with this card, which I entered into the category which required an entirely hand-crafted creation (no commercial kit components!) to welcome the arrival of twin baby girls.  I set the quilling within a recessed box frame, covering the roof section with vortex coil tiles and adding a nest for the babies on the chimney which I fashioned from real hair (my own)!

Another piece that I’ve been keeping under wraps is this quilled pendant that I made for the Quilling Guild’s Annual Challenge competition, which I created using a side-looping technique that I developed when trying to quill birds’ feathers.

I also managed to win First Place (Masters) in the ‘Anything Goes’ category of this year’s Quilling Guild competitions with this little creation of a snail which sits inside a coiled ring of LED lights, alongside lots of elements made from kitchen foil to create reflections:

Here I am receiving my award from Jane Jenkins:

So now I think we’re up to date again with this record of my quilling activities in 2017.

There is still much for me to look forward to with the possibility of forming a local quilling group following the success of the Guild’s recent Celebration of Quilling event in Hampshire, and the prospect of an Artist’s Residency at the Creative Innovation Centre in Taunton next year.

Watch this space!!

 

 

Pictures at an exhibition

Just this once, I am going to let the pictures speak for themselves!

Please check out my previous post for more details …

 

A proper introduction for my ‘Arch’

 

I completed this quilled collage picture last year, but never wrote a blog post about it because, at the time, it was destined to be a competition entry into one of the creative arts categories at Taunton Flower Show 2016 and needed to remain unpublicised to preserve the integrity of judging.

I feel it deserves a proper introduction now, however, since I’m thrilled to say that the piece has just been accepted for inclusion into the CICCIC (Creative Innovation Centre Community Interest Company) Contemporary Art Open Exhibition 2017 after I took the decision to enter it into their recent national competition.

The panel of judges (mainly fine artists, I believe) were looking for “work which considers new ways of exploring media, composition and subject material”, and I guess that my pioneering approach of combining collage with quilled tracery patterns and decorations in the style of a stained glass window managed to ‘tick’ all three of these criteria ‘boxes’.

‘Arch’ was the first, and definitive, collage piece that I created, exploring the possibility of segmenting an arch in the manner of a modern stained glass church window, using shapes derived from intersecting curves.  The various segments in the picture contain carefully-selected pieces of background paper, sourced from magazines, gift wrap, marbled paper off-cuts and even a road atlas.  Quilled shapes (some traditional and others ‘deconstructed’) are used as decorations inside the segments, which are delineated using bundles of crimped black quilling strips.  The tracery arcs were created using specialist silver-edged silver and gold-edged gold quilling strips, while the edges of the arch are multi-strip ‘sandwich’ constructions which I moulded to fit around a pre-embossed outline. Because I always like to be ‘different’, I deliberately positioned the tracery on the inside of the arch.

My creation will be exhibited alongside 19 other selected pieces of innovative multi-media art and sculpture that were selected from what I understand to have been 80 competition entries submitted by artists from across the UK. This means that “many were called, but few were chosen”, as they say, and so the sense of honour and achievement that I feel is truly profound.

The exhibition will run from 4th – 29th April 2017 (opening hours 9.30am – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday) at the CICCIC Gallery, Memorial Hall, Paul Street, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 3PF, UK, with a special preview evening event from 6pm – 9pm on Wednesday 5th April. I am delighted to say that I have managed to resolve (diplomatically!) an unfortunate clash of social commitments in order to be present on that night, when the winners of the competition are to be publicly announced. I would not miss it for the world!!