Last week Material Girls took their first steps on a new journey. For nearly a decade our work has been closely connected with the National Trust but COVID and other factors have made us feel it was time to move on and explore new inspiration and new organisations to work alongside . The sun shone gloriously on our first research trip, which we hope will be one of many, seeming to give us a sign this was the right move. To paraphrase Robert Frost ‘Two roads diverged in a wood and (we) took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference’. Over the next couple of years let us hope this proves to be the case as we share this new road with you all.
Material Girl Julie has invited the group to join her and display our work in her garden during Open Gardens Afternoon during this years Jubilee Celebrations. You will be able to visit her garden on 3rd June in Goldhanger, Essex the address and times will be confirmed later, there will be other gardens in the village open too, so it will be well worth a visit.
Julie's exhibit Humpty Dumpty.
It's been a while since our last blog post, Christmas has been and gone and we are well into January and hopefully spring is just around the corner. Life for The Material Girls is continuing as usual with a few face to face meetings and the occasional Zoom call. Would you have thought in 2019 that the world would be conducting so much over the internet? Even those amongst us who weren't particularly computer savvy have become old hands now!
We are starting to think about and working on our next exhibition 'Rhymes in the Garden' at National Trust Rainham Hall (dates and more information to follow).
We were contacted by Artist Pauline Medinger with an invitation to visit her exhibition 'Visions of Eden' at RHS Hyde Hall. Pauline produced a wonderful postcard for the Chelmsford Cathedral postcard project, her card was one of those printed and turned into a postcard by the Cathedral. We are always more than happy to promote other peoples Exhibitions so here is the flyer for Pauline's exhibition......
Our exhibition at the Maeldune Heritage Centre came to an end at the beginning of this week, there were a lot of good comments about the work and quite a few small sales, unfortunately no red dots! Never mind maybe next time.
As that exhibition comes to an end it's also time to say goodbye to Beverley and Vivienne they have decided to pursue other things, we wish them well in whatever they do next and we'll watch with interest.
Meanwhile we are starting work on our next exhibition, we are just waiting to finalise the details.....
At last, I am ready for the Material Girls exhibition called "Enchanted Garden" at the Maeldune Gallery in Maldon.
My journey started when we expected to exhibit at the National Trust Property Rainham Hall and then Covid came, because of lockdowns etc. I decided to work from my "stash" of fabrics, thread and bead boxes.
I decided to use the colours of the seasons and flowers in my garden starting with Spring through to Winter so I collected all the fabrics that I had in Garden colours and tore a strip off each of them and then went through my thread and bead boxes. It was a challenge to stay motivated but during the lockdowns (no visitors) I could spread all my materials out and not worry about the mess.
Lockdown meant we would not be exhibiting at Rainham Hall but there was an opportunity to exhibit at the Maeldune Gallery. The stitches are stitched, the beads are sewn on, my work is mounted, framed and wrapped ready to go.
The end of June brought a little outing for some of the Materials Girls; for a few, it was the first time in a long while. Our trip was to Chelmsford Cathedral to see the textile postcard exhibition; the results of a collaborative project between the Material Girls and Chelmsford Cathedral that tells stories of lockdown and the pandemic. It was good to meet in real life with Canon Imogen Nay and, indeed, with each other again.
The postcards told of the different experiences of lockdown; learning new skills, missing friends and family, facing fears, thinking about life’s priorities and appreciating things that we previously took for granted. Each one was a mini work of art, with a personal response to 2020 and 2021. The words were very moving.
It was exciting to hear, just this week, that a long expected box of postcards from friends of the Material Girls and fellow textile artists in Canada had arrived at last. It would be lovely to venture out again to see the additions to the exhibition.
If you feel that you would like to take a trip in the future it is certainly worth a visit.
You could also head to the Maeldune Heritage Centre in Maldon, CM9 4PZ
from 19th August to 4 September: Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 4pm to see
The Material Girls 20th Anniversary exhibition 'The Enchanted Garden'.
Last weekend was the opening of the exhibition at Chelmsford Cathedral some of the Material Girls and friends went along. All very covid friendly of course!
this is a youtube video of the exhibition made by The Cathedrals creative team
Post cards that the Cathedral have had printed and will be available at their exhibition.
The cut off date for Postcards for the ‘Good Lament and Hard Hope’ project to be sent to Chelmsford Cathedral is rapidly approaching (1.6.21). The creative team at the Cathedral have now taken over all aspects of the project including the display and aim for the work to be exhibited from 26th June. So if you have any queries please contact Chelmsford Cathedral directly and if you still have a card waiting to wing it’s way there please pop it in the post ASAP.
Covid regulations will apply to the exhibition so you might want to check with the cathedral on any restrictions if you wish to visit.
We would like to thank everyone who participated, even responding from the other side of the Atlantic. Paraphrasing the card above ‘what would we have'.......
The Material Girls are a group of Textile Artist living on the borders of London and Esssex they collaborate on collective projects and personal bodies of work and exhibit together.