Yesterday I went to London with Rosie Price and we went two exhibitions. The first was at the British Library and was the Royal mediaeval manuscripts. Exquisite and we could have spent twice as long there but we had timed tickets for the Hockney Exhibition at the Royal Academy. Exquisite is not the word for that. But spectacular - yes. I had been told that all tickets for the whole time (until end April) and, when I checked the website, yes it was true. There were not too many people there although it was very busy but you could still see everything. The exhibition consisted of paintings done in the last 15 years - since he returned to Yorkshire. He is about the same age as me and there are apparently 150 paintings in all. The great works are the scenes painted on lots of large canvases and hung close up to show one scene. For example, the Grand Canyon for which Rosie has ideas for the Guild Weaving Group!! When I say 'lots', sometimes it is as many as 32, each one being 30 by 50 inches. In addition they have hung some of his exploratory charcoal drawings. I have a weakness for drawings - these are what I would want to take home.
I remember him and his silver carrier bag when he was about 20. Also Michael and I went to The Rake's Progress for which he did the designs at Glyndebourne (1975). It went on tour and we saw it twice. See the designs here.
And, when that was over, we went to Handweaver's Studio and bought up the shop. Wendy Morris showed us a tiny portable loom which is very desirable. I am really interested in buying one.
I am getting on with the weaving on the 12 shaft loom and must be finished by Friday evening as I must take it to the Weaving Class on Saturday.
I have been chewing over the contents of the brown paperbag which I was given
at Bournville last Friday. I laid out the pieces and kept looking at them. One evening as I was on the way to bed, I stopped by and thought that I had ideas but that I could not audition them because it would mean cutting into the fabric and might wreck the pieces. So I created pieces of paper the same size, used felt pen to get the colour about right and then cut those up. When I was satisfied, I cut up the fabric, bondawebbed it on to the backing piece and went to bed (rather late). Next morning, I finished off all the stitching.
Here are eight sheets of silk paper made from silk trimmings dyes in indigo. I make the paper by using the natural sericin. I lay out finely shredded silk trimmings, spray them with water and iron them hard between two sheets of parchment. When I dyed the stuff I noted the patchy take up and thought that was due to the sericin not being washed out. Well, I have proved that. I carefully made a sheet with nothing but indigo dyed bits and it did not stick at all! I have these sheets and am quite happy with them. I intend to embellish a couple and make them into book covers.