and then three come along together.
So as they were geographically quite close to each other we decided to visit all of them in one day, especially as it has been a beautiful warm, sunny day, and we had a pleasant drive through the New forest to get there.
The nearest was this one at Forest Arts in New Milton. And it was stunning, especially when you consider the probable age of the students involved [16-19] and the fact that some of them may not have studied textiles formally before last September.
The accompanying leaflet gave the students’ own comments on their work - they had been encouraged to think about the meaning and symbolism of their work, which didn't happen on our C&G course. I only wish it had. It was also good to see the work of their teachers exhibited as well, - Lorna Rebecca Miller, Kate Reynolds and Sasha Hicklin – who are clearly good and inspirational teachers.
We went on to Highcliffe castle, where we had lunch sitting outside in the sunshine before going into the castle to see the exhibition by ‘Quattro’ – Linda Gleave, Linda Robinson, Dawn Thorne and Liz Heywood. And in Googling them i have realised that, as i suspected, i have seen their work before – at the 2007 Knitting and Stitching show where they exhibited as part of Studio 21 along with my Contemporary Textiles tutor, Susan Chapman.
The Quattro exhibition was as inspiring as the Forest Arts one – 4 different artists working in very different ways and all fascinating. I liked it so much I bought a piece - ‘Gale’ by Linda Gleave, a wonderfully atmospheric piece, mostly paint with minimal machine stitching.
The third exhibition was by the New Forest Guild of Weavers, spinners and Dyers at the Red House Museum in Christchurch. In my view it couldn’t compete with the two other exhibitions – it is very small, the contents were much less to my taste, and not being a weaver or spinner I couldn’t appreciate the finer points of the work. But the museum has some interesting exhibitions [the display of wedding dresses is worth a look] and you can buy coffee from a machine. We sat in the sunshine to drink it and then walked round the pleasant gardens, with views of Christchurch Priory, before coming home.
Today’s purple picture also comes from the museum gardens - I’m not sure what the flower is, but isn’t the veining beautiful?
I'm not sure about the leaf but the flower looks a bit like a geranium (cranesbill). There seem to be a lot of different varieties.
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