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  • Writer's picturewyldeoakeartistry

Time to catch up.....

It seems I am a forgetful blogger as I am somewhat surprised to find that I have not blogged since December 2021 and it is now June 2022! So much seems to have happened with huge developments artistically and creatively with some work revisiting previous projects enabling new development.

One of the big bits of news was exhibiting at the British Quilt and Stitch Village in Uttoxeter in April 2022 with work based on themes surrounding the disintegration of the idealised figure - this work incorporated my undergraduate degree pieces in combination with newer pieces made especially for this show. The overall atmosphere of BQSV was one of excitement, from both traders and visitors alike, to be back after a 2 year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For us, there was also a feeling of trepidation knowing our work was a little different to the quilts and stitched exhibitions with not knowing how the audience would perceive the work. Many of the pieces had only been viewed online during their making or during my graduating exhibition so textures, forms and overall aesthetics were to be viewed with considerable curiosity with the narrative providing explanation for those who asked. The weekend as a whole proved to be highly interesting with those who came over to see the stand questioning, listening and observing with great admiration but as with any form of more unusual stitch there were also some, almost expected, disparaging looks from afar as the pieces jarred or perhaps created juxtapositions with the more traditional quilted or stitched stands. However, these less encouraging glances did not discourage but in fact encouraged and boosted conversations - the knowledge of my subject being vast due to those final undergraduate days which was also commented upon. As a direct result discussions turned to potential avenues to be followed up after the weekend - that of talks, further exhibitions and workshops and these are currently being investigated so watch this space! However, the weekend was also tempered with studying late into the evening each day - an MA assessment deadline needing to be met the day after the show finished!

The MA work itself has, understandably, taken this creative practice in new directions - a continuation of underlying themes of decay and the fungal kingdom but with a more direct ecological narrative as I seek to create mycological awareness of an often hidden kingdom. My research demonstrated and revealed how beneath each single footprint we take anywhere in the world there are over 300 miles of mycelial networks beneath our feet - an almost unimaginable figure that demonstrates a kingdom that is vast beyond comprehension and yet is a kingdom that ultimately sustains our planet and enabled life on earth to begin. I realised however, during the exhibition that my interest in the socio-cultural issues surrounding the human figure still exist and will enable the creation of the development of new carapaces or explorations around this subject. This work can now sit alongside the development of mycological themes with work situated within local landscapes, even if very fleetingly enabling documentation with minimal direct geomorphic impact. I do feel at the moment, that as an artist, I am and consequentially WOA, is going through a great period of creative growth: a period of change, of investigating new directions resulting from MA studies but also from personally observing the landscapes that surround us whether within the natural environment, more urban worlds but also that of the socio-cultural environments. It is a state of liminality full of possibilities and opportunities so please watch this space.

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