Saturday, 13 March 2010

breakfast with the herons and other adventures

A couple of weeks ago I visited Llangollen to see the Quiltfest exhibition organised by Val Shields.  Unfortunately part of the exhibition was closed on the afternoon I arrived: the museum volunteer had had to leave early and I was unable to see the Effie Galletly and Liesbeth Williams exhibitions.

However, my overnight stay in Llangollen was enhanced by discovering that fellow exhibitor and Contempoarary Quilt member Ros Crouch was also staying at the Royal Hotel - we spent a pleasant time over a very good chinese meal.  Also the following morning by enjoying an excellent breakfast whilst watching the herons on the River Dee - a rare treat (the picture above is unfortunately not by me but by JMW Turner - one of the bird studies currently on exhibition in Leeds City Art Gallery.

The next day I spent at the Breakthrough exhibition, a selected exhibition of work by members of Contemporary Quilt, a subgroup of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles.  I did set the machine up as I was supposed to be demonstrating but in fact ended up doing much more talking than sewing.  The two stewards from Gresford Quilters, Jane and Jill (hope I have the names and the spellings right) were excellent company and though we didn't have masses of visitors, it being mid-week with heavy snow the night before, there were not only a number of interested quilters but also a number of local artists and art-students all of whom were really impressed by the quality of the art-work and the way it was presented - praise is due to Val Shields, the organiser, and to Hilary Gooding, exhibitions officer for CQ.

I haven't included any detailed photographs of the quilts as I didn't want to breach any copyright here, but here's a photo of stewards (nearest the camera) plus Ros (furthest away facing) which gives you a flavour of part of the exhibition and the beautiful building it was housed in:

If you have a chance to see this exhibit it will be well worth it: the artwork is amazing - I'm not easily impressed but I was amazed at the quality and ended up wondering how I got selected (but then as Ros put it  "Don't we all feel like that about our own work?")  One of the features that visitors particularly enjoyed was a folder of  swatches, one for each quilt, showing the techniques used, which could be examined more closely and handled, coupled with statements from each artist.

The exhibition itself was in the most wonderful setting, in the grounds of Plas Newydd, where the Ladies of Llangollen - two women who had fled unwelcome arranged marriages - set up home and entertained the great and the good of their day, including Lord Byron (who, incidentally also stayed at the Royal Hotel - wonder if he contemplated the herons over his breakfast?).

The other half of the Breakthrough exhibition can be see at the Quilt Museum in York from March 26th, and the whole exhibition will be on display at the Festival of Quilts at Birmingham NEC in August


Julie said...

What an excellent post Sandra! I was very impressed by the heron portrait ;o) I'm sorry you missed the exhibition in the museum. It wasn't a large exhibition but I enjoyed it when I saw it. I think Effie's quilts will be at FOQ. Not sure about Liesbeth's.

Dena said...

ny suggestions

Val said...

Sandra,I was so angry when I heard the museum/gallery had closed early that Tuesday. It ought not to have happened! I was poorly at the time and people were not disturbing me but it is something i will bring up with the Museum Trustees.

Did you have to leave too early on Thursday to get there for 10am opening?

One consolation is that Effie's work will all be in her Gallery at FoQ in August, not sure about Liesbeth's.

My friend, Sue Horder, who does the Quiltfest website, is currently re-vamping it. Soom you will be able to see everything that was on show this year - and all the past years, too, if all goes according to plan.

Thank you so much for coming over. Yours was one of my own favourites.


Val Shields.