Saturday, 5 January 2013

Hemmed in Exhibition

Yesterday I visited the 'Hemmed in' exhibition. The exhibition was organised by the Milton Keynes branch of the Embroiderers' guild and Jamie Chalmers, otherwise known as Mr X Stitch I really liked the mix of items in the exhibition. There were pieces on loan from the Embroiderers Guild, work by branch members, work by textile artists who had inspired the branch members and work selected by Mr X Stitch. Here are just some of the photographs I took. I have included some detail photographs too so you can get a better feel for the work and the techniques used.

These photographs are of work by textile artists selected by the branch members:

Jan Beaney: Skala Eressos: A Celebration

Jan Beaney: Detail

Janet Edmonds: Excursions in my mind and Circles in my mind

Janet Edmonds: Detail

Sandra Meech: Polar Meltdown  

This piece was made by a member of the Milton Keynes branch and unfortunately I did not make a note of the artist. I really liked the 3D dandelion which my photograph doesn't do justice to.

These were some of the pieces selected by Jamie Chalmers:

Bridgeen Gillespie: Rock n Roll Outlaws
Bridgeen Gillespie - Detail

Some of the work selected by Mr X Stitch was at the Knitting & Stitch Show last year but at this exhibition you could get closer to the work and have an uninterrupted view. There were 3 pieces in this selection which included images of guns and knives and regardless of the skill in the pieces I just couldn't enjoy them. And although I didn't photograph them, I have remembered them and even written about them (here). Maybe that's their aim to challenge our view of 'acceptable' themes for textiles?

These pieces were from the EG's Collection:

Elizabeth Grace Thompson: My Mother

Richard Box: Geraniums

Richard Box: Detail

Beryl Dean: Firebird

Beryl Dean: Detail

There were three pieces that have stuck in mind and filled me with particular admiration for the artists. Richard Box and Jan Beaney use so many different colours and textures and they all work so well together. When they are working on the piece how to they know where to place all the colours so that they contribute to the design and read as a whole from a distance? Some time ago I bought a small kit from Richard Box so that I could try his technique under his (written) instruction but I have never started it. Maybe this will be the encouragement I need? Having tried a little goldwork on my City & Guilds course and I in awe of how Beryl Dean has created such a detailed and beautiful piece as the one above. This is one technique I won't be trying - I know when I am beat!

I would like to congratulate the organisers of the exhibition. Including work from well known textile artists and pieces from the Guild's Collection is an excellent way to attract more people and to show branch member's work to a wider audience.


  1. I keep reading about this fabulous exhibition... have I got time tomorrow before it closes?

  2. I agree, a great exhibition, so glad I caught it before it closed

  3. Thanks so much for featuring my work. I hope you liked it!

  4. I was looking for Beryl Dean and came upon your post. Her piece is so beautiful, and the technique is superb. I used to enjoy Mr X Stitch, but I find the contemporary work he shows is facile in concept and weak in execution. Let's hope the hip, young embroiderers of today pull up their socks - they aren't leaving much of a legacy.


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