Monday, 29 September 2014

"Secret Messages" Bletchley Park Quilt Exhibiton 2012 - Enigma

For those in the know, Bletchley Park needs no explaining.....

For those who have yet to discover it, Bletchley Park (or Station X) was the hub of the British decoding and cipher unit in WW2 and it was here that the mathematical brains of many including the brilliant and gifted Alan Turing solved the puzzle of the German Enigma Machine and developed the first computer - Colossos.
I am a huge history buff and bore my family senseless with the facts and figures of historical events - it all fascinates me, particularly how one event leads and merges with another and why one occurrence is the catalyst to another larger event.

In 2012, Bletchley Park hosted a quilt exhibition - the theme was "Secret Messages" - celebrating Station X and the 100th anniversary of Turing's birth. Anyone could submit work to the exhibition ..... so I did.....

This piece was inspired by the secret documentation used in operations and planning for the D-Day landings on 6th June 1944 - the ticker-tape design is taken from one used to feed into Colossos. The mathematical formula is part of Turing's work in solving Enigma. The Union Flag was foundation pieced and formed the starting point of the design.
The piece was a joy to make - lots of surface design and messing about. I wanted it to look like a well used document..... Made using Irish Linen, the pillowcase method, top stitched edges by hand with no binding..... this is how I made it..... I wanted it to look like an old document.

A foundation pieced Union Flag was the starting point to the piece.
Turing's mathematical formula
Bigot - is higher than Most Secret; ticker-tape from Collossos 
' Operations ' that made D-Day possible.
The finished piece

Monday, 22 September 2014

MODA - Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture

Over the summer The Museum of Domestic Art and Arcitecture (MODA) in London, offered a rare opportunity for the public to view their exclusive collections... which include the work of the design house Silver Studios (1880-1963), Crown wallpapers' archive, vintage textiles and selections of vintage magazines and journals. The MODA collection includes lots of other goodies, but I was particularly taken with the vintage hand cut, Japanese Katagami mulberry paper stencils used in making indigo dyed fabric for kimonos.

Here is a flavour of the day.

Large tables for viewing the collections
MODA Archive
MODA Archive
MODA Archive

Hand cut, Japanese Katagami mulberry paper stencils

They are so fine

Here are a few pages from the wonderfully colourful vintage magazines in the collection

Had to share this!

Monday, 15 September 2014

A Day in London at Tate Britain - The long awaited Folk Art Exhibition

I had been waiting for this exhibition for over a year - and I wasn't disappointed. British Folk Art Exhibition celebrated work covering every medium from textiles, metal, leather, paint to carved wood -  some were 18th Century shop signs.... I was in heaven.

Bootmakers sign 
Bottle full of lace bobbins
Cockerel made from Bone by French Napoleonic Prisoners of War
Signage painted onto planks of wood
Boody Mosaic from Northumberland
Quilts made from Army uniforms and cottons
The exhibition has now moved to Compton Verney where one of the largest collections of British Folk Art is held.

...Then it was off to the Tate Cafe for a well deserved coffee and cake (my brain was buzzing) - Oh, the Lemon and Clementine Tarte was tasty.... then home.

The Spiral staircase near the Cafe

Pimlico Underground Station on the way home

Monday, 8 September 2014

A Day in London - Tate Modern, Matisse Cut-outs, Shakespeare's Globe & the Millennium Bridge

Tate Modern, London is a building and a half. The former power station is architecturally impressive and awe inspiring. This was my first visit, and to tell you the truth I found it quite overwhelming - I had heard of the Turbine Hall,  but the scale of the open space it offers is so huge, families picnic in it!
Before viewing the Matisse Cut-outs, I had time to visit the fantastic cubist collection on public display - Picasso, Gris, Kandinsky to name but a few - lots of wonderful inspiration for mixed media and textiles.

Turbine Hall
Freidrich Vordemberge-Gildewart
Robert Delaunay
Georges Braque
Juan Gris
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Wassily Kandinski

The Matisse Exhibition was not at all what I expected... it was better!... all I can say is that two hours of my life were spent in colour heaven. All the cut-outs were created in solid colours, all cut from papers painted in gauche ..... lots of colour, colour, and more colour. The scale of his work ran from small journals to designs for huge, stain glass, church windows. I am stunned at what Matisse could create with failing eye sight, plain painted papers and a pair of scissors.
There was 'no photography' allowed within the Matisse Exhibition, but here are a few images from the shop that give a flavour of the display.

.... Then a quick look next door at Shakespeare's Globe and a wander along Southbank and under the Millennium Bridge..... another brilliant day in London... I was on a high all the way home.

Shakespeare's Globe
Millennium Bridge

Monday, 1 September 2014

Vintage heaven in Brighton

A must every year, is a trip to Brighton - I love the place.  Sun, sea, sand, shopping....
I always start the morning in The Lanes with such good intentions of spending the afternoon on the front, but inevitably my 'rummaging and shopping' inner self takes over and I eventually hobble to the beach early evening accompanied by a large portion of Fish & Chips.... a very good day.

First of all a flavour of  The Lanes... vintage and eclectic heaven.

GAK Guitars

A small pause in the shopping for Ice-cream

Early evening and down to the beach for Fish & Chips

Smugglers Chip Shop in Rottingdean, near Brighton

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