Good Grub

I’m pleased to announce that Good Grub is part of the Embroiderers’ Guild 2024 Members Challenge ‘Opposites Attract’.

My first thought on hearing the challenge theme was ‘sweet and savoury’ and of course that meant hand embroidering a recipe or two.

Good Grub
Good Grub

Each design revolves around a memory growing up in Lancashire in the 1970’s. 

My childhood was full of tasty, sweet and savoury, home cooked grub. A good food day was having one of my favourites for lunch, Manchester Tart – a batch-cooked school pudding, filled with bananas and jam – followed by Mum’s Lancashire Hotpot for tea.

The work was hand embroidered with vintage Sylko threads in backstitch, couching and seed stitch. The edges are turned under and topstitched.

I’m delighted with the response I’ve receive so far from fellow stitchers.

The work has prompted others to share their own warm memories of Manchester Tart and Lancashire Hotpot.

Lancashire Hotpot

My latest artwork is inspired by a winter special and a crowdpleaser in my childhood home – Lancashire Hotpot.

My mum had a menu that changed and rotated with each season. When the nights started to draw in hotpot was added to the mix. She made it in a deep glazed stoneware pot in the shape of a plant pot – a pot I now cherish in my own home.

Work in progress
Work in progress

Mum cooked it low and slow then took the lid off in the final 20 mins of cooking to brown up the top layer of sliced spuds. She dished it up with a jar of pickled red cabbage, fresh vegetables from dad’s allotment and a bread plate for mopping up the gravy.

Lancashire Hotpot
Lancashire Hotpot

Recipe for Lancashire Hotpot 

It’s the sort of meal you can pop into a low slow oven and forget about it. If your lucky the spuds will catch and caramelise on the top edge of the dish and taste wonderful. There are lots of recipes on the internet, but this is the recipe I remember at home.

  • Sliced spuds
  • Sliced onions
  • Stewing meat like lamb neck end
  • Stock
  1. Put a layer of spuds in a deep oven proof dish.
  2. Add a layer of meat and a layer of onion.
  3. Repeat layers of spuds, meat and onion. Season well.
  4. Finish with a layer of spuds.
  5. Pour over stock. Cover with a pleated greased paper or a lid.
  6. Cook in low oven for 2 hours, 350’f.

“Tasty with homemade stock, Mum used the saved onion water from making cheese and onion pie, there aren’t any carrots in it, remove the lid and brown the spuds on the top, eat with pickled red cabbage.”

For extra flavour add a bouquet garni and bay leaf to the layers, and add strips of bacon to the top.

Detail - Lancashire Hotpot
Detail – Lancashire Hotpot

Size 11 x 23cm, hand embroidered with vintage Sylko threads onto cotton cloth.

Reverse of the work
Reverse of the work

This piece is part of a collection of work based on Lancashire food.

Comme Ca Art x AWOL Studios 2024 Open 

Comme Ca Art x AWOL Studios 2024 Open 

I’m pleased to announce that the Giant Cauliflower Harvest  has been jury selected for the Comme Ca Art x AWOL Studios 2024 Open exhibition. I’ll be one of 22 artists showing work in the exhibition.

The exhibition takes place Friday 17th May – Saturday 22nd June 2024 at AWOL Studios, 5th Floor, Hope Mill, Pollard Street, Manchester M4 7JA. During the exhibition people can view by appointment, Wednesday & Thursday 11am – 4pm and on Saturdays from 11am – 2pm.

Giant Cauliflower Harvest part of Comme Ca Art x AWOL Studios 2024 Open 
Giant Cauliflower Harvest part of Comme Ca Art x AWOL Studios 2024 Open 
Giant Cauliflower Harvest - detail
Giant Cauliflower Harvest – detail

The judging panel included:

Short Supply: Acclaimed artist-led organisation based in the North West of England that creates opportunities for emerging artists

Sean Williams: Sheffield based Artist, Curator & member of the Contemporary British Painting group.

Ceri Morgan: Award winning interior & exterior designer based in the North West.

Comme Ca Art x AWOL Studios

Hope Mill , Manchester - home to AWOL Studios
Hope Mill , Manchester – home to AWOL Studios

“Our home is Hope Mill, a beautiful grade II listed building built in 1824 as a cotton spinning and fustian weaving mill for Joseph Clarke & Sons. Over the next 177 years it has had many other guises, from engineering works to dog bed factory, gradually and gracefully falling into decline and disrepair until it was rescued by Hope Mill Partnership in 2001. With AWOL being the first business to lay down its artistic roots in Hope Mill in 2007 it has become one of the most important centres for the arts in Manchester, allowing for a natural regeneration of this important historic building and attracting a myriad of other creative businesses.” AWOL Studios, located in the heart of Ancoats, Manchester.

I’m delighted to be showing work again in a Manchester Open Exhibition.

Update – Exhibition Preview Evening

The preview evening event took place on one of the most beautiful evenings we’ve had recently. I was thrilled to discover that over 200 artists applied and I was one 22 artists selected.

Comme Ca Art x AWOL Studios 2024 Open 
Comme Ca Art x AWOL Studios 2024 Open 

The event was busy and the winning artists were announced – Overall winner Emma Lloyd and runner up (and fellow textile artist) Laura Nathan.

Congratulations to all the fabulous artists and to Comme Ca Art and AWOL Studios for curating a stunning exhibition.