The reason for our visit was to see the solo exhibition of textile artist Jo Lloyd, who I had the pleasure of sitting next to a couple of years ago on a workshop at Gawthorpe Hall, led by Ruth Singer.
Jo’s exhibition “Wayward Women” is a study of women offenders held at the Manchester prison during Victorian times and is displayed in one of the cells.
The cell is a perfect setting for the exhibition. How Jo has interpreted the subject into stitch is amazing. I wouldn’t have liked to have been part of the Victorian working class, it was a very hard life indeed.
A huge congratulations to Jo on her achievement. She should be very proud of herself. I’m so glad we went to see it.
Here’s a bit of trivia before I go.
Did you know that the toilet flush system in the cells was kept on the outside, with the toilet bowl itself inside. It was so that the prisoners couldn’t use the chain to either harm themselves or the prison officers.
Also there could be as many as 12 offenders in one cell at any given time.
I’ll leave that one to your imagination.
Sorry to have lowered the tone somewhat Jo with the toilet talk, but over at Annie’s Friday Smile blog we do like to stretch the imagination a bit.
Remember this peculiar object that I tormented you with last week ?
Well the answer is it’s a Dutch cabbage slicer for making sauerkraut.
Now who’d a thought it.
I picked it up at Beetham Post Office Tearoom in Cumbria. It’s a favourite stop off for lunch on our way to the caravan. As well as wonderful home cooked food the whole place is a feast for the creative eye or anyone interested in antiques and homeware Thankfully the blade is to blunt to cut anything, so there’ll be no chopped off fingers while I work with it.
After giving it a good coat of looking at an idea started to form of what I was going to do with it.
Ta dah sometime later and here it is.
“Feel The Difference”
I’ve used old fabric scraps from my stash. The words are from the salvage edge of some material I had. Sewing wise I’ve used long and short stitch and added some French knots. So nothing to complicated.
The reason I’ve nothing to show is because we took my 86 year old Mum to Grange Over Sands for a few days. I’ve no idea what she was upto here but the wandering welder doesn’t look overly impressed.
I did however buy a massive notebook for my massive amount of ramblings. Something I’m prone to do most days in one notebook or another. This one I intend to use for projects. I’ve got a long list of them. It should stop me procrastinating and faffing. Or I may just spend my time thinking of more projects to list haha.
Now I did pick up this little mystery item. I’m going to leave you guessing and I’ll tell you next week what it is if you don’t already know, and what I’m going to do with it
I’ve been making book bags for my favourite or precious books for some time now and I’ve just made a new one.
This book has been sat among my other art books since 2013 without any thought as to its worth.
Cornish based artist Ponckle first came to my attention during a visit to my college tutor’s bohemian style home in Halifax. I spotted highly coloured postcards pinned to the wooden walls of her downstairs loo and was smitten by the images.
1996 - Ginger Cat Can Can
1998 - Birthday Cats
The story of Ponckle the person and artist is fascinating and inspiring. Her early years were spent mixing with many great jazz musicians like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Laine. Very much the black sheep of the family she moved her family to St. Ives where she opened a gallery in her house displaying her quirky paintings. The main body of her work, for which she is famed features cats and self portraits.
So why am I only just making a bag for this delightful softback 100 page book ?
Well, since Ponckles death in 2012 at the age of 77 her work has become very sought after and so has this book. I paid about £10 for my copy and it can now be found on Amazon at £150 and EBay at £98. So I think it needs a bit of tlc don’t you.
I quite often lend my books to friends and I may well have lent this one out before now, but I think you can guess I won’t be doing it again. Sorry if I’ve wet your appetite for reading more about this rather intriguing eccentric character, the best I can offer is an out of date link below and a little You Tube film.