As a sort of fun afterthought and to break my new studio in, I’ve been working on an artist’s book recently. It’s called A WINTER’S TALE after one of Jeff Price’s poems in his INFINITE THREADS book. I only had room for one of the four verses, but I loved his use of alliteration, and his use of words like WARTS and WRINKLES which seem to reflect my work rather well.
INFINITE THREADS was a collaboration between Jeff and photographer Chris Collister. He took them and turned them into poems that spoke to him personally and politically. So, a bit like someone in a relay race, I felt it would be apppropriate to take one of his poems and use it with my work. This project could run and run……
The book may be out there, but we are still working hard on it. We will have a mini “vernissage” in my brand new studio in early June (if permitted….). So if you live near Lauzerte (82) and are keen to take a look at some of Chris’ new photos in the flesh, or want to bask in the sound of Jeff reading his own poems, make sure you are our invitation list……
On top of that, we have just secured the exhibition space at “Livres, Books and Company” in Montcuq (46) for August and September. About 20 photos will be on show, alongside their poems. The show kicks off with a “vernissage” and poetry performance on Friday 6 August, and there may even be some books to buy! So, don’t forget about that invitation list!
Below are a couple of examples of Chris’ photos included in the book, plus a sneak peek at two other photos in the book itself, with their poems, “Jesus Saves” and “Sitges”.
Well, the deed is done, INFINITE THREADS is now a reality, although actually getting the book here from the UK in anything like sensible quantities has proved an expensive nightmare. Thank you Brexit! But you can buy it on-line at http://www.infinitethreadsbook.com and if you happen to live in SW France you can get a copy by contacting me at email@example.com. I have about 40 left! I’ve also ordered some bookmarks featuring the INFINITE THREADS cover etching and they should be available FREE to all of you lucky people who buy a copy of the book.
Infinite Threads is a collaboration between photographer Chris Collister and Newcastle poet Jeff Price. This collection of poetry and photographs represents a dialogue between their two art forms. Chris provided Jeff with a number of his photographs and Jeff wrote poems inspired by the images.
Jeff says “I have always been a fan of Chris’s work since I first saw some of his photographs in an exhibition 10 years ago in the South West of France. He sees the everyday in highly imaginative ways and I felt there was something poetic about his images which I wanted to capture.”
The result is twenty nine stunning images and poetry inspired by them. Sometimes like the photographs the poetry is almost dreamlike and other times it reflects the humour often found in Chris’s images.
Covid 19 has been a catastrophe for the world, but there have been some surprising positives! Here in rural South West France we all hunkered down into Lockdown for several months, eventually emerging into the light to form small groups or “bubbles” with friends in the area. One of our “bubbles” was with Newcastle poet Jeff Price, and his wife Lynda, who got stranded here last year. In fact they are STILL here and it’s February 2021.
And, thank god for that, because now we have “Infinite Threads”, a collaboration between Jeff and photographer Chris Collister. Chris had sent Jeff about 30 of his quirky black and white photographs in 2019, and during Lockdown Jeff was able to put the final touches to a series of brilliant poems inspired by these photos …….. which is now about to be made into a BOOK!
And I made a cover etching for the book ……..
We are hoping to launch “Infinite Threads” virtually sometime in April 2021, so if you would like to be kept informed check out the project website http://www.infinitethreadsbook.com
You will of course be able to buy the book via the website (£19.95 plus P&P) and if you are feeling particularly enthusiastic you can also buy one of the (very) limited edition cover etchings and/or one of Chris’ wonderful photographs.
I can’t believe that it’s been over 2 years since I posted here……..what have I been doing with my time? Actually, life has been pretty hectic because we moved house in early 2020, and then we were hit with YOU KNOW WHAT and right now I am in the process of creating a new studio at our new home. A mammoth task! As I write, the big glass doors are being installed, so it’s all very exciting. Check out my instagram posts for more visuals ……
But despite having had a tricky couple of years, I have produced SOME work. An art book or two, a couple of big commissions, a book cover ……..
But lets start with a pair of small delicate etchings called “Loch Shiel”, the result of a trip to Scotland in April 2019. Those were the days……..
Anyway, these are both 2 plate etchings using the white ground technique on aluminium. One turned out surprisingly figurative for me, plus I have been playing with colours other than red…. just for a change!
My TERRE/TERROIR show at Le Domaine de la Garde closed last wednesday …. and I think both Jean Jacques and I felt it was a success. Jean Jacques is happy because he sold lots of wine to my “clients” as well as giving his own regulars something different to look at. (French humour…. I think!) And I am happy too because I sold SIX framed etchings – I think that is a record for me, although the SISTERS show in the UK in 2016 was a bit of a hum-dinger for all of us Marchant girls!
So, what have I learnt from this experience – drink more wine maybe? Say YES to new and/or slightly wacky exhibiting experiences? Keep updating and improving one’s mailing lists? Keep on experimenting and keep on exhibiting? Or maybe a combination of all of the above………
Last but not least, a big thank you and HULLO to all of you who have just bought one of my etchings – it was a pleasure doing business with you all, and I very much enjoyed visiting “chez vous” in order to hand over your new purchases. I am delighted to know they are all going to such excellent homes and will be surrounded by other “sympa” works of art!
Summer is as good a time as any to try something new – so I went on a 5-day Raku workshop last week. My tutor (he prefers “Maitre” of course!) was Jean Francois Delorme who is a fantastic potter, if slightly eccentric in his teaching style. One of the other women on the workshop asked him for help with a rather sorry looking pot and was told ….”There are three solutions (1) a hammer (2) give it to your mother in law or (3) reglaze it! ”
Anyway, I like his style, and I enjoyed the course. Here are a few extremely wobbly examples of my very own raku pots……
The opening bash for “Terre/Terroir” last night was surprisingly successful even though only about 20 people found their way to the isolated and gloriously rural spot that is the Domaine de la Garde in the Lot. I think they all thought it was worth the trip though, because the sun was out, the views were fabulous and the canapés were incredible (thank you once again Clare and Michael ,…..)
Last night I sold two quite large framed prints and lost count of the amount of wine the vigneron (Jean Jacques) sold to my friends and “invités” ! I think in these grim times we artists can’t afford to be too precious about how and where our work is shown….. ….. OK, for the next two months, 19 of my etchings are barricaded behind several hundred boxes of wine, but the walls are dry and the lighting good, so …………… can’t grumble!!!
In fact, I have decided that I will be back to the Domaine de la Garde on every saturday afternoon in August (3-6pm). If you can, come and track me down!
Below are a couple of shots of the “vernissage”. One of me surrounded by wine boxes before the show started, and one of me with a couple of old and very dear friends …….
This track is from the fabulous album “Bop till you drop” one of my favourites and it’s hard to find a duff track on the whole album. He combines blues, country and even a sprinkling of gospel in this track. The lyrics say to watch out for trouble coming and that for a lot of people it can disrupt their lives but we have to press on and not let it stop us. Look for the positive.
“Well, you know, everyday can’t be Sunday …and you know one thing, behind every silver lining, there isn’t a dark cloud“
Listening to this album always makes me feel positive. I love the way music can lift you in much the same way that poetry can. I have met many people over the last seventy years who are like that. They don’t look…
My exhibition “Terre/Terroir” is only one tiny part of an enormous arts project in and around the village Castelnau Montratier in the Lot (46). There are a total of eleven exhibitions in vineyards in the area, plus several exhibitions in venues in Castelnau itself, a series of “marouflages” pieces decorating the walls and pillars in the village centre and a jazz concert, also in Castelnau. The project is called “Le Chemin des Arts’cades” and all this activity is being led by a group of dedicated local artists and arts enthusiasts, including the formidable Florence Racine – a ceramicist with a gallery and studio in Castelnau.