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Art Textiles: Made in Britain exhibition (Minories, Colchester February 2019)

By Heidi Meier, Feb 26 2019 01:12PM

On 16 February 2019, I visited the Art Textiles: Made in Britain ‘Wild’ exhibition at the Minories in Colchester. It runs until 2 March 2019 so if you have time, do stop by.

This is the first time I’ve written up anything to do with local exhibitions and if you are interested, I’ll add some more from time to time!

The theme of the exhibition was ‘Wild’ and whilst ‘Wild’ is the third exhibition from the group Art Textiles: Made in Britain it is the first one they have exhibited at the Minories and indeed in this part of Essex I believe.

The group Art Textiles: Made in Britain was set up in 2012, with a mission to promote British art textiles and to ensure their future; to introduce them to new audiences and to continually stretch the boundaries with new, vibrant work.

Eleven of their members and two guest artists have work on display. There’s plenty of information to read on how each artist has interpreted and worked with the ‘Wild’ theme to produce this collection of varied work. There are many disciplines with the group, represented by painters, embroiderers, collage artists, mixed media artists and quiltmakers.

Here are some of my favourite pieces:

Jessica Grady - produced a body of 'wild to look at' work on 3d sculptural concepts using corals and underwater landscape as some of her inspiration. Gorgeous vibrant work and my ten year old daughter's favourite in the exhibition (which as any parent knows is a pretty tough accolade to earn).

Above work is by Sandra Meech: sketchbook paintings transferred onto cloth with machine stitch; gorgeous colours.

Jenny Rolfe's Ivy Leaves is created using dyed fabrics and free machine quilting, using thread and wire for the tendrils. I love anything to do with ivy, it has to be one of the most under rated plants in the world, but that's another story...

Work by Louise Baldwin initially interpreted the wild theme as being the act of creating wild marks, which then evolved and developed on from other sources of inspiration to the finished artworks on display. Hard to capture the metallic threads by photos so go see them in the real world!

  My personal favourites by Cas Holmes, wild spaces in an increasingly urbanised environment.
My personal favourites by Cas Holmes, wild spaces in an increasingly urbanised environment.

And the Ugly Bugs Ball by Pauline Barnes, hard not to raise a smile at these little critters.

That's just a flavour of what was there, there were many other pieces on display and most work is for sale.

It was interesting for me to see this varied collection, as 2019 is the year I want to broaden my own artistic horizons and incorporate some new techniques within my free motion embroidered artwork.

I really like how this area of Colchester is developing. The town as a whole is starting to undergo a bit of a transformation and whilst progress may be slower than many would prefer, by getting out and supporting events like this, it can only serve to encourage further investment (in both financial and also cultural ways).

So here’s my recommendation for a fab day out:

• Minories exhibition (opens at 10am)

• Shopping opportunity in the gift shop (you can buy some of my cards and my textile keyrings from there… just saying)

• Brief coffee and cake stop at the Minories Garden cafe (nice choice of Tiptree jams, preserves and alcoholic beverages... )

• Short two minute walk to FirstSite to view the current exhibitions; if you have children or grandchildren with you, there are also many interactive activities on (though do check in advance as to what exactly is available at the time you intend to visit)

• Shopping opportunity at First Site gift shop – some fabulous art books in stock there

• Brief coffee and cake stop (or lunch pit stop depending on time) at First Site

• Walk off some of that cake/ lunch in the beautiful grounds of Castle Park, just across the road from the Minories)

• Visit the castle museum too, which recently won a Visit England accolade for the quality of its visitor experience)

• Round off your day with a film at the Curzon, a new intimate cinema which has some seriously comfortable seating!

And most importantly enjoy your day and remember to encourage your friends to visit too! I’m sure you’ll return home enthusiastically armed with new arty inspiration and book your next workshop or start that next project straight away!

For Heidi's workshops - visit www.textiletreasures.co.uk/workshops

For Heidi's online shop - www.folksy.com/shops/heidimeier

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