Thursday 9th October was spent stewarding the Westhope stand. A very rewarding, if rather exhausting, day spent talking to students, teachers and the creative public about the possibilities of contemporary lace.
Directly opposite was Ruth Issett's stand of superb banners. On the outside wall of her stand were these wonderful concertina fold hangings. The photo fails to show the subtleties of the colour changes along the lengths, or the changes within the contrast stripes but it does show the beauty that can be attained by the apparently 'careless' interaction of the pieces as they intertwine at floor level. I've no doubt that this arrangement took long hours of very careful experimentation to arrive at it's current formation.
One of the highlights of the Knitting and Stitching Shows has always been the Graduate Showcase and this year was no exception. Debbie Lyddon (right) and Jackie Langfeld (below) were two of the highlights. Debbie's long seascape was superb and incredibly evokative of so many miles of our coastline. Her use of drawn threads to depict movement in the water was excellent and her use of mulitonal colours imbued the work with a sense of the changing light.
Jackie's larger than life figurative sculptures formed from willow, steel,stitched cardboard and acrylic paint were set against a superb painted backdrop that reminded me of Kurt Jacksons underground paintings, rich, deep and full of feeling. The figures themselves have elements of the skeletal about them, ancient bones with scraps of flesh still clinging to give hints of the original form.