Morning talk: 'Pretty Deadly" - Michael Brennand-Wood
What an inspiring and interesting speaker Michael is. A visual artist, curator, lecturer he described himself as an “Explorer of Process Art” and that is exactly what came across to our group. His degree was in textiles, 3 years of embroidery, concentrating on 3D line, collage, cutting and paint. Experimenting with stitch, structure, metal, wood, text and lace, his works takes design to a whole other dimension.
Michael spoke about many of his national and international exhibitions, starting with the “Material Evidence” historical study at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester, redefining the fabric of 16C lace in the form of a story board 7’ long, with a wood base inlaid with fabric depicting the lace.
“Year of the Artists” involved over 500 fresh flowers, which were his the medium, that were then photographed to become a record and the design source for a multitude of three dimensional works with meanings far beyond just the blooms themselves.
“Crystalline Movements” used embroidered flowers that are symbolic. The “flower forms” were created out of warfare images including flags, weapons and soldiers, hence the “Pretty Deadly” talk title.
In his exhibition entitled “Tower of Babel”, caps, badges, symbolic with the soldiers displayed on the end of wires displayed onto roundels as 3D Installation.
“Lost in Lace” involved drawings behind lace, fragmented conflict, munitions, aeroplanes, installation red lace, metal soldiers, filigree shapes, imaginary worlds, colour, painted wood, paper, text and images.
There were many more work projects he spoke about but a most recent iconic installation is at the entrance to Addenbrooks Hospital, Cambridge, where he designed three enormous metal screens entitled “Microscope”. Designs from scans and x rays create a metal lace made with 10 core steel 1”thick, which has now grown an orange patina.
“Between Thought and Expression” is his current exhibition at the Harley Gallery.
His final words to the Group were “ CREATE NEW TERRITORY, LET IT GROW, EMBRACE THE UNEXPECTED – PROCESS ART IS A RECIPE”. Thank you Michael for an excellent talk.
Afternoon Workshop: 'Weaving and Wrapping' - Carole Nicholls
The afternoon workshop introduced an intriguing and absorbing method of creating a starting place from which to develop abstract work. Winding wire with a variety of colourful materials followed by bending and interweaving them created a 3D form which could be photographed and the 2D outcome used as source material. The whole process was wonderfully meditative as we explored using different wires and textures and worked intuitively to create 3D shapes. We played with the shadows cast by the shapes and saw how these could be developed as the 2D source material.
This was relaxing workshop with a variety of fascinating results.