Contemporary Textiles Fair 2018
Soon, it will be time to for me to head into London with a boot-full of stock and props for the Contemporary Textiles Fair. I’m both excited and nervous at the prospect of taking part in this all-textile event. It should be a really good opportunity to meet some fellow-artists and to try out some new designs on some textile-loving customers. Although I interact with quite a few textile artists on social media - mainly Instagram - in the ‘real’ world they seem to be thin on the ground. I work on my own tucked away in my garden studio and there is little opportunity to discuss embroidery techniques and the merits of using rayon over cotton thread with anyone who might be vaguely interested or even know what I’m talking about. I do run workshops every couple of months and one of the most rewarding thing about these is being able to connect with like-minded people and share my enthusiasm with other people.
With a big event looming on the horizon I am having to be very productive at the moment; but the trouble is it’s very difficult to predict what might be popular. Do you take a narrow selection of work to give a streamlined look to your stand or take a wider range of work so that it will appeal to more people? I never seem to know what the right approach is - and what works at one event is unpopular at another. It will be interesting to see what other people do on their stands. I’ve decided to take work that all works together but is in three collections:
1. Black and White Landscapes
2. Coloured Landscapes & Seascapes
3. Botanically-inspired Embroidery
My space is quite compact (Stand No 23) with three panels to display my work - a wider back panel with two side panels on either side at right angles. My plan at the moment is to grab people’s attention with my black and white landscapes and then have more intricate work to draw their eye a bit closer. This could all change once I get there - you need to be a bit flexible at these events and have a few different scenarios in mind. The Landmark Arts Centre is an imposing backdrop to any exhibition of which they have a full programme throughout the year. It’s an enormous 19th century Gothic Church with a lot of original features still intact - it will be interesting to see how having such a distinctive space affects the way your work is seen.
I have also been having a ‘play’ with designing some small items - brooches mainly. I taught a workshop recently using a lot of sheer fabrics and had a lot of scraps left over that I really didn’t want to throw away. Instead, I’ve been using them to create some mini-artwork. Lots of layers and stitched details and a few embellishments. I’ve even invested in some gift boxes to display them in. I have really enjoyed doing some purely decorative work with some brighter colours - might have to do some more of this….
Well, I’ve still got a lot of work ahead of me, but am tentatively looking forward to sharing it with lots of new people at the show and seeing what other artists bring with them.
Contemporary Textiles Fair
Landmark Arts Centre
16th March - Private View (6pm to 8.30pm),17th & 18th March (10am to 5pm)
70 Exhibitors with a programme of talks, workshops and exhibitions
Entry fee: £4/£3 concessions
for details see their website Contemporary Textiles Fair