As the North East Open Studios event draws to a close, it’s hard to remember that the booklet of artists and makers is adamant about it being a year-round guide to what’s going on in the NE of Scotland. I feel so frustrated at having only managed a few venues this year… During the week I went in to Jenny Burgess’ textile studio not far from here. I have actually been trying to track Jenny down ever since seeing some of her patchwork cushions in a local shop. Sorry to say I neglected to take any photos of her studio or her amazing, amazing work: I was a bit star struck. Jenny trained at Aberdeen’s Gray’s School of Art and lectured in textiles in London before moving back up to the north east four years ago. Her work is very much influenced by Amish design and deceptively simple shapes and colour placement. It’s quite, quite lovely- much of what she had on display was muted in colour or flashes of bright against dark backgrounds. She also uses reclaimed fabrics: felted blankets, tweeds and checks. Her animal cushions were very elegant and beautifully made in lined linen.
(Image from the Claremont Gallery, Aberdeen)
She does classes in colourwork as well as technique sampling, and I was warned that I wouldn’t be coming away with a wee finished pin cushion, but a range of different samples of work. She doesn’t use coloured or patterned fabric in this class, lest you become bogged down in not liking a particular colour or pattern. I liked her approach (and share her preference for hand quilting over machine) and her work so much I found myself transported back to uni and just listened to her in puppy-like rapture! This link will take you to the photostream of someone who was a bit more organised than me and took photos at last year’s NEOS. Beautiful…
I also returned to Gabrielle Reith’s exhibition to make a few purchases (sadly not this)
And today we stopped by a group of artists exhibiting together in a tiny WW1 lumberjack’s bothy. Nothing caught by eye there but I did meet a fellow quilter who was keen to join me at one of Jenny Burgess’ classes!
I’m really hoping to get to one or two things tomorrow, but what little I’ve managed has been fantastic. It does one’s soul good to see so much art and craft first hand, and chat to the people who make it in their own homes, rather than some cold, white gallery.