‘Texture, Touch Quilt’

I have been experimenting with another strand of artisitic endeavor recently. I can’t offer my proposed workshops in sensorial abstract puppetry at a local facility that offers counselling to sexual abuse survivors because we are in level 3 of Covid restrictions.

However, I recently listened to a radio 4 programme called ‘The Touch Test’. This was very interesting for me, especially the section where an embroideress worked with a surgeon using her creations to help him investigate malignant tumours through touch in the fragile fabrics she uses. She attends operations to watch what they do. I thought about the parallel for sexual abuse survivors who have a heightened awareness of this sense. I set about creating this textile quilt response with scraps I have in the studio. It also follows on from the mini-quilt experiments that I have shared on here. Creating through touch in this way would  bring participants into the present moment, in a continuous and creative fashion  giving creators agency which is potentially healing. So watch this space! I could work with folk on Zoom potentially. The hard surface of the table in front of participants would also offer a solid and comforting quality, and prevent fragile pieces of fabric from floating around in an alarming way.

Here is the Touch Test link:


Garden sketches, pencil and watercolour

These sketches were made a couple of weeks ago at the garden I visit to draw and help with the plants and trees a little. I can’t go today as I was hoping because of the weather. I’m finding nature and especially the oak trees really help just being with them and watching the wind in the leaves during these Covid times. The seasons flow on despite what is happening to us. I was raking the little acorns from around the trees and finding saplings everywhere. You really appreciate the cycle of these beauties. There are a few oaks that have established and I can understand how they do it. Click sketches to enlarge for detail folks!

‘Plant’ pencil and watercolour study

I made this study of a plant given to me by a dear friend. It was the first stand alone drawing that I have lost myself in recently because of the Covid situation. Nature reaches me still through everything. I also made a little silk painted mini-quilt from it, a kind of tactile gift to myself. I will probably use it as a book mark. I got the idea from a stitch practice sampler that I am also showing here. I loved the texture of the silk with the fleece raised in ridges underneath and decided to use the idea more deliberately in this little gift to myself. The tactile nature of it is comforting and the achievable scale worked for me in moving responses along. I have also stretched and gessoed a giant canvas for a more ambitious idea so watch this space!