Friday, 21 July 2017

Faust to Salvation..all in the nature of textiles

I have been on my travels again and it seems as if I have been moving between the Saints and the Devil.  I was back in Freiburg with Quiltstar where I am currently exhibiting in an exhibition 'Inspiration Natur' until 29 September with Monika Schiwy, Isabelle Wiessler, Sophie Maechler (of Quiltstar) sneak peak:
Isabelle, Monika, Cas
Daisy, Daisy and been transplanted to a new home.

A review in Textile Art Berlin Magazine here

Not that there is anything devilish about my time there except for the weather which was Faustian in both heat and the resulting thunderstorm. It is claimed that the castle overlooking Staufen (and the workspace) was destroyed has a result of Faust conducting alchemical experiments involving explosives? Faust (c1480 - 1539), an actual historical figures sparked legends in his own day, In Goethe's version one of the chief devils, Mephistopheles, whom Faust had called his brother-in-law, broke Faust's  neck and committed his soul to eternal damnation.
As always though, my German hosts and friends created a wonderful atmosphere and equally adventurous work.I was somewhat pleased to end my stay back with the Saints in St Ulrich and alongside my friend Monika added images to the marks on the wall in the messy studio 

I finished my time with a peaceful walk in the local allotments in Freiburg close to Hexental (the Valley of the Witches) and walking around the neighbourhood.

(In June, I was happy to back to he lovely little island of Jersey  under the invitation of the Harbour Gallery where I ran workshops in St Aubins to a two day workshop as part of Contextual Art studies timed exam in Hautlieu school The resulting work was simply stunning and hung at St Saviour's Church..(see more on this video link) Keep on eye out for some great tutors and projects coming up

On another note, I am pleased to have work in an exhibition 'All That Remains', artists reflecting themes in their work in relation to the Titanic story. The work is a a private house near Chichester until 5 November. For further details or to book an appointment to see the exhibition please email Dr Sharon-Michi Kusunoki.
All That Remains Cas Holmes

Finally, I was pleased to be a Finalist for the Kent Creative Awards this year and a series of interviews is scheduled for Kent Creative Show on Channel Radio  Mine comes up on Tuesday 1st August at 4.00pm

Thursday, 15 June 2017


The weather has been hotting up with some terrific thunderstorms. I have been out in the 'Wilds' of Wales and Devon since my last blog. Concealed with Art Textiles Made in Britain finished last week. This brief video introduces some of the work at the splendid Minerva Gallery.The last venue will be Maidstone Museum at the end of the year and will post an update nearer the timed. Just loved this bank of bluebells near Llanidloes where the gallery is situated.

I am delighted to be back with Quiltstar Gallery (and shop) in a group show 'Inspiration: Natur' with works also by Monica Schiwy, Isabelle Wiessler, Sophie Maechler  which opens event on 7th July 7.30pm. The exhibition continues until 29 September
Earlier in June I was in Honiton in Devon with Thimblestitch. I was able to visit the little lace museum. Loved the lace on Wallis Simpson's red dress.

A lacemaker charging £7 an hour would need to charge £16,000 for this veil. 
In a one day introduction to sketchbooks workshop we sat out in the wilds of an industrial estate to find things to draw and inspire the resulting work.
I have been working on new ideas for developing some 'Wild' work as well as finding time to watch the daisies grow. Enjoying looking at landscape themes as I work on my writing for the next book. I fear it is the calm before the storm. I am over to Jersey at the end of the month with the Harbour Gallery. The workshop filled quickly however you can check courses where I have an odd space free here.
Reclaimed Landscape studies above

Daisy, Daisy....Have a lovely summer

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

To be in England in the Spring

Spring finally feels as though it has arrived and wildflowers are shooting up everywhere. Nothing quite says Spring in England than native bluebells in a shadowed wood.
I am delighted that one of my Laceweeds and a couple of other pieces sold and helped to raise funds for Canine Partners at the Oxmarket last month.
Art Textiles Made in Britain opened Concealed at the Minerva Gallery, Llanidloes, Wales
the exhibition continues until June 3  I am also taking part in the National Open Textile Exhibition, Funky Aardvark, Chester.(Rosie James from ATMIB is also exhibiting.)
A wide view pic of the exhibition feature below.
I have been able to get out and about more recently. The Wisteria in the garden has been glorious.
Even so, nothing speaks of Spring more in England the native Bluebells and a light reflecting pond seen at the Surrey Wildlife Trust Centre where I held a short workshop on Saturday.

You can see some more images and examples of work in progress by the participants on the course on this link on Youtube
My Summer School at West Dean College is full as are many of my other summer courses. You can see all my forthcoming courses on this link including a workshop in the French Alps with Alpine Experience in August and at Logie Steading in September with Diva Design Studios.

I can also announce I am back to Australia March-April 2018 with Fibre Arts Australia. Amazingly my course at Ballarat sold out overnight so more are being offered. Check the site FAA for further information. I will update with details of other venues in Queensland and New South Wales as they are confirmed.
Time for a cuppa I think and dwell on a poem by Anne Bronte about the glory of the glimpses of bluebells:
A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power.
There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.

Yet I recall not long ago
A bright and sunny day,
'Twas when I led a toilsome life
So many leagues away;

That day along a sunny road
All carelessly I strayed,
Between two banks where smiling flowers
Their varied hues displayed.

Before me rose a lofty hill,
Behind me lay the sea,
My heart was not so heavy then
As it was wont to be.

Less harassed than at other times
I saw the scene was fair,
And spoke and laughed to those around,
As if I knew no care.

But when I looked upon the bank
My wandering glances fell
Upon a little trembling flower,
A single sweet bluebell.

Whence came that rising in my throat,
That dimness in my eye?
Why did those burning drops distil --
Those bitter feelings rise?

O, that lone flower recalled to me
My happy childhood's hours
When bluebells seemed like fairy gifts
A prize among the flowers,

Those sunny days of merriment
When heart and soul were free,
And when I dwelt with kindred hearts
That loved and cared for me.

I had not then mid heartless crowds
To spend a thankless life
In seeking after others' weal
With anxious toil and strife.

'Sad wanderer, weep those blissful times
That never may return!'
The lovely floweret seemed to say,
And thus it made me mourn.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Common Cloth and Canine Partners.

I am delighted that 'Common Lands, Common Spaces'  first shown at the Farnham Pottery moves to the Oxmarket Centre, for the Arts, Chichester from 25-30 April,  in support of the charity, Canine Partners. which trains dogs to help in the lives of others. Below is one of my favourite 'weeds' the humble Dandelion
The pottery were fabulous hosts and we ended the last day with a workshop exploring the locality and did not even stop entirely for a lovely outdoor lunch in the April sunshine surrounded by the wonderful brick of this old building. Explorations of nature of our landscape has become of great interest and will be a focus in my next book for Batsford.

It is hard to believe the year is moving on so quickly. Art Textiles Made in Britain open their exhibition Concealed at the Minerva Gallery on 6 May with many of our group members including myself running workshops.
Textileartist has been doing an thoughtful series of articles on textile practice recently. I am delighted to be included in the article 'Creating Texture and Pattern in Stitch' The piece featured is currently touring as part of Stuff for Thought
It has been a busy month for workshops starting off with a weekend retreat in Folkestone with the Maidstone region Embroiderer's Guild. They meet every 2nd Saturday at the King's Studio, Aylesford Village Hall near Maidstone at 11am if you want to pop in and visit.

I went back to the studio Zijdelings in the Netherlands for the 5th time last week. Karina is a great host and we got to grips with the neighbourhood in a one day workshop followed by a two day class. It is worth checking out their courses. I am already planning a return.Thankyou to the students who kindly agreed to allow me to share images of work in progress

More contributions were also made for the project Tea Flora Tales. I am building a nice European element to the project.