Let the stitches begin!

Finally this weekend is here! Have been working towards this since late 2009! Today I will be stitching more tailors tacks in the old cathedral ruins in Coventry. (From 11.00am) Two other artists who worked on the panels of the coat will be with me (Deb Squires www.debsquires.co.uk and Julie Joannides www.juliejoannides.blogspot.co.uk)) and the event is open & free to the public to come along and add a tailors tack to the lining. Tonight there is the actual awakening of Godiva – a huge performance and celebration and then tomorrow from 11.00am the coat will be presented to Godiva and we will dress her ready for her journey to London. I woke up today to glorious sunshine and I am keeping everything crossed that tomorrow is the...

The days are going quickly to Godiva Awakes

The days to Godiva Awakes are going so quickly now and each one is filled with the final preparations to complete her coat. For information on the weekend activities do checkout www.imagineerproductions.co.uk – the coat will be presented and dressed by myself and the rest of the tailors on Sunday 29th July at 12 noon in Broadgate, Coventry – no tickets are required for this part of the performances – its just be early to get in! Find out more at www.imagineerproductions.co.uk Below are some pics that track the Godiva coats progress from the early days until now…I can’t wait to reveal the whole coat in August. (If you subscribe to the Embroiderers Guild ‘Embroidery’ Magazine we are featured in the July 2012 copy. The Coat team are all fab individual artists and you can find out more about them on their own sites: Maggie Dunne – Maggie has researched the glove making industry from Worcester and has been responsible for the collar, cuffs and buttons on the coat. Rachel Grant – Rachel has researched the pottery heritage in Stoke and her personal connections to it. She has worked on 2 of the coat’s 5 metre panels. Adam Hussain – Adam is making Godiva’s cufflinks and researched Smethwick and Stourbridge glass making. Julie Joannides– Julie has had access to the archives from Blitz Games and the Oliver Twins who are early game designers. She has embellished 2 of the coat panels. Debbie Squires – Debbie has focussed her research on the Black Country chainmaking and nail forging industries and has also embellished 2 of the panels. As well as...

ECB Site Visit 20.7.11

Great day on site – the build is beginning to take shape now and what was just a myriad of concreted areas are now resembling rooms, walls and open spaces. As well as taking photos I also took a mini sewing kit with me and decided to set a rule and find bits on site to stitch…I was in a space and looked on the floor and saw all these painted flakes that had come off a temporary roofing panel…so I sat quietly for a few minutes and stitched through a flake – it was so delicate to stitch through as it disintegrated really easily. I also found a little blue baby bow in my sewing kit – it is a really tiny bow that I got from my Nannar’s sewing ephemera when she passed away and I’ve always kept it with me thinking I will use it on some work…well I decided that the site could do with a little ‘softening’ up so went bow-bombing! The colours and textures on site are amazing so it was great to offset the bow on some of the works. I toyed with the idea of leaving the bow onsite as a little treasure but I actually couldn’t part with it so it came back home with me in the tin – packed away ready for its next guerilla bow bombing...

Work Update

Been neglecting my blog so chance to catch up and post a lot of photos (evidence of busy-ness). My current commissions for Godiva Awakes and ECB are really hotting up now hence the absence from my blog. Been busy meeting other members of the huge team of makers and engineers for Godiva including Nick and Frank and the fabulous people at Artem who are charged with making the huge 6 metre Godiva marionette – it was a real privilege spending time with them in their studios and workrooms – traditional crafts and new technologies working side by side and lovely people to boot. I have now screen printed all 36 mtrs of the top coat (silk dupion) with prints that feature images and text from the West Midlands industries both past and present – we had 17 screens in total and then I repeated the process in other colours for the lining fabric which I will be specifically working on – I actually just can’t wait to get sewing, BUT I have decided to be cautious and make a full size toile of the coat so will begin to cut the pattern and sew up the calico toile in next week or so. At the end of July we get chance to try the toile on Godiva – can’t wait (best take my bodger tool kit just in case of mishaps!) Thanks to Coat Team for help and inspiration: Rachel Grant, Julie Johannides, Debbie Squires, Maggie Dunne and Adam Hussain. ECB is my other commission – the new and fabulous Engineering and Computing Building for Coventry University – as...

artist in residence work

Since May 2009 I have been working as artist in residence for Coventry University on their new Engineering and Computer building which is due for completion in 2012. The building is designed by ARUP and the construction company is VINCI. It’s been a fascinating few months, working closely with the archaeologists after the demolition of the Gulson Hospital and being able to witness their finds. The most poignant being a medieval button with a Pelican beating her breast with the latin words Crede Michi which is translated to ‘I believe’. The site was also a poor house and in the very early days a brick making site for Whitefriars nearby. It was amazing to touch a piece of pot or a clay pipe thinking that prior to myself and the archaeologist it was probably the original owner who had last touched or used the objects so many years ago. I am collating stories on the site and the construction team are saving their doodles and drawings for use in my installation. Its a unique experience and I hope to post a few photographs as the site progresses. Anyone with stories from the hospital or its previous uses do contact me...