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 (24.99 euros plus P&P) and if you are feeling particularly enthusiastic you can also buy one of the 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.
My fourth exhibition of 2018 in nearly upon us (I’ve dropped the bus analogy……. ) “TERRE/TERROIR” starts on July 12 and runs until September 12. It will be hosted by Jean Jacques Bousquet at Le Domaine de la Garde in Labastide Marnhac, which isn’t far from Cahors in the Lot (46). Jean Jacques’s “terroir” straddles the Cahors and the Coteaux du Quercy wine regions and he will be serving several examples of wines from both his vineyards at the “Vernissage” on THURSDAY 12 JULY (6PM). If anybody out there in Blog-land is within spitting distance (as it were) please do drop in and sample his wines and my etchings! For more information about Le Domaine de la Garde, please check out the website http://www.ledomainedelagarde.com. Some of the more recent of my etchings which will be exhibited in “Terre/Terroir” are illustrated below………..
Well, it’s a bit like buses – you wait for months and then four come along at the same time. And it seems that I have four exhibitions this year in SW France. The first one has already started – the “vernissage” is on Sunday. It’s at the Maison Jacob in Castelnau Montratier and is called “Le Mois Du Rouge” and features 8 artists who, you guessed it, all work a lot with the colour RED. I attach a poster (I hope). And one of my “Ruby Gap” prints – all 4 of which are on show until the end of March at the Maison Jacob.
The second bus (as it were) is JEMA which I will be taking part in for the third year running and, as last year, I will be exhibiting with Marjon Mudde and Rafaele Rohn at the ADPIC studios in Lauzerte. I attach an image of one of the etchings on show there! FANCY THAT, MORE RED!!!! JEMA takes places in several locations in Lauzerte (and all over the country!) on 6/7/8 April. Check out the JEMA website for more info : http://www.journeesdesmetiersdart.fr
The third exhibition this year is another group show and its in Lauzerte again, at the Espace Art Points de Vue from 11-26 April. It’s a print show featuring 11 artists – 5 french and 6 english. It’s called “PLANT LIFE IN PRINT/IMPRESSIONS VEGETALES. The english artists taking part are all members of the “FINGERPRINT” group based at the Dove Studios near Glastonbury in Somerset ….. which is a group I still belong to even though I haven’t lived in the UK for 10 years. Alongside the exhibition there will be two etchings workshops (one run by Bron Bradshaw from the Dove, and one run by Marjon Mudde from ADPIC). Below are some of the images that will be included in the exhibition – from left to right, two prints by Bron Bradshaw, one by Jenny Graham and one by Jacy Wall.
The fourth 2018 exhibition is still a bit of a mystery ! Suffice to say it involves several artists exhibiting in vineyard “chais” around Castelnau Montratier in July, August and September. WATCH THIS SPACE…….
I have actually started making some NEW ETCHINGS. Actually, I haven’t finished them yet so no images are available, but they are being created specifically for the Art Market here in Lauzerte which will take place every wednesday evening in July and August. So, they are small and a bit more figurative than my usual work. BUT they are going to be red, so some things never change. They have been inspired by the big ceramic vases and pots I made sketches of at Turn End Gardens, Haddenham in Buckinghamshire last year.
Some of my other more abstract small etchings will also be on show. And cards of course. I will be “exhibiting” with Chris Collister (photos), Marjon Mudde (etchings) and Rafaele Rohn (textiles). Check out the poster below for more details……
For an art market taster, those of you in the area are welcome to come along to the inauguration of a “pop up” show that has just, well, “popped up” in Lauzerte. The inauguration is on Monday 26 June at 6.30pm Galerie 34, Rue de la Garrigue.