From Thursday to Saturday this week, I was at Alexandra Palace at The Knitting and Stitching Show. For years, I went to the Show in Harrogate, when we lived in the North of England, but checked out Ally Pally last year (see the post here) and taught at the Show this year in London.
The building is magnificent both outside and in. Just look at those decorative pale aqua lamp-posts! In the background you can see the television and radio mast on the building. A plaque on the wall mentions the first BBC broadcast made from the building.
The weather was fine, so there was a splendid view over London.
The architectural features inside are also splendid.
I was teaching some of the time and also managed to meet a friend for lunch one day, but there were also some textile delights I’d like to share with you. I had the opportunity to look again at the category winners from the Festival of Quilts. I included some photos in the post here but just take a look at the worthy winner of the miniature category. This is ‘Assorted Miniatures’ by Sue Sherman.
I had a better look at the winner of the Modern category and saw how the flowers broke out of their columns and inter-twined. This is ‘Intertwinned’ by Jo Avery.
Embroiderer Vivienne Beaumont’s stand was full of decorative, striking images of women at different life stages and in different situations (some of them lyrical and fantastical). These pieces were beautifully made
Haunting and beautiful images of women – in large scale this time – appeared on the stand of Maggie Scott. The images are created with a mixture of photography, digital collage and silk. The silk is felted with wool fibres and stitch is added.
Maggie has chosen to highlight in her work the fact that in the UK women of colour are five times more likely to die in childbirth than white women with a 121% increase in the likelihood of stillbirth
A further example of a textile piece carrying a huge message is ‘The Weight of the World’ by Caren Garfen. I have highlighted her work before on the blog here. Once again the message is stitched in black thread with tiny, neat letters. The ground is a Jewish prayer shawl. The lines of text replace what would normally be a woven line on the shawl. The words here detail one after another, anti-Semitic incidents which occurred between 2020-2021.
These are powerful works of art. What a privilege to be able to view them.
Jo Avery www.stitchgathering.co.uk
Vivienne Beaumont www.viviennebeaumont.net
Maggie Scott www.maggiescottart.com
Caren Garfen www.carengarfen.com
Below is my pattern for a seasonal table-runner or wall-hanging. Buy it here