“Upside Down and Back to Front” with Matthew Harris

Isn’t it wonderful when you look forward to something for ages and it turns out even better than expected?  That just about sums up the past few days spent at West Dean College with ten lovely stitchers and the super talented and charming Matthew Harris as tutor. Matthew has been a sell out at West Dean for every course he has done there so far, and with good reason.

In the brief we were advised to bring some images to work from, preferably abstract, but as you have probably gathered by now I don’t really do abstract being more inclined to figurative so I arrived armed with five monoprints from a recent life session.  I was hoping that with Matthew’s expert guidance I would learn a way of working which would enable me to move away from the literal and create an in between step when translating my drawings into textile work.  That was exactly what happened!  I think it is a sign of a good tutor when every person in the room takes on board a new working process but comes up with their own unique visual language and identity, and using Matthew’s tutorial style of teaching that is certainly what happened for us.

I came away with a number of images which I see as resolved pieces in themselves but which I am also itching to translate into textiles.  After a brief dabble with embroidery this morning, I am now thinking woven tapestry.  Hoping to keep the enthusiasm for this on the back burner over the next few weeks while I get on with a couple of commissions. These are probably my favourite images from the weekend (at the moment anyway, but this could change once I have put them away for a few weeks).  Watch this space for further development…..

"ink and graphite drawing on Khadi Paper"

Ink and graphite on Kahdi Paper, drawing by Nicky Barfoot 2014

"ink and graphite drawing on Khadi paper"

Ink and graphite on Khadi Paper, drawing by Nicky Barfoot 2014

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