Monday, 4 January 2016

High Water reflections from the Old to the New Year

As I type this and the winds blow down pouring rain in Kent my sympathies lie with colleagues and friends in the North of England and Scotland who have fallen foul of Storm Frank (and indeed anyone who has been hit by what seems to be seasonal flooding). The Medway in Kent broke its banks and caused mayhem in Maidstone and outlying areas this time two years ago.
My father's name was Frank. He was a gentle man so I am unsure he would liked to have been associated by name to this storm. Now my Gran would have been another thing.
Below 'Winter Flood', part of the series 40 Yards  first shown at the European Patchwork Meeting

It seems appropriate a piece of my work, 'High Water' (detail left)  is currently touring in the 6th European Quilt-Triennial in Textilsammlung Max Berk/Kurpfälzisches Museum, Heidelberg (ends on the 10 January 2016) and subsequently  to Kreismuseum Zons in Germany,( 24 January - 28th March 2016)

I am preparing for travel to the USA in the Spring to the Sedona Arts Center  in March and then on San Diego in April on the invitation of San Diego Book Art  and one other venue for workshops (see workshops section on my blog for updates). I am thrilled to also be at Visions Art Museum for a one person show exhibition also entitled 'Stitch Stories'  
Back at West Dean College in 19-22 February looking at  Personal journals – sourcing inspiration for textiles
 As we look to the new I also reflect on 2015  a busy, fulfilling year full of friendship, making and travel. Finding the balance can be difficult and needing to at times to 'just be'.  Workshops and exhibitions have allowed me to meet with some amazing makers. A trip to the Mons with the Centre for Embroidery  at the early part of the year ended  with a trip to Le Mans at the end of 2015 where I was invited to exhibit by the city at the Parc Du Monod (a former army barracks).
Between that time I exhibited in Sent Switzerland, had a massive textile workshop tour to Australia (reported on my Magpie blog as 'The Edges of Australia). I saw some amazing things and so enjoyed the wonderful sunsets at my first temporary home in Queensland which contrasted with the industrial landscapes in Loy Yang which had a strange beauty of their own  and (thankyou Glenys to Fibre Arts Australia for helping with this) and so many more hosts and friends. know who you are

Longer hauls were matched short by equally vibrant and fruitful workshops with guilds and groups at home to a short workshop where I exhibited at the Prague Patchwork Meeting in April.  Last, but not least, Stitch Stories was published in late Summer.  It is currently being a big thankyou...none of this would have been possible without the support of some amazing people.
Using my portable toolkit photographed in the book by the wonderful Jacqui Hurst.

Wishing you all a peaceful and creative 2016 

You can keep up to date with my activities by following links to my blogs on  Cas Holmes Textiles and on facebook  

Friday, 27 November 2015

Plantlife and our Common Places

I am delighted to be exhibiting 'Common Place, Common Land' in support of Plantlife  in the Cafe Gallery at Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Gallery. This exhibition also marks the publication of my third book,'Stitch Stories'.  I have been making studies and drawing at the museum:
 Visitors are also welcome to contribute to 'Tea Flora Tales' an ongoing community piece started at the Knitting and Stitching Show in 2012 to raise awareness of plants and locality. This is an image of the piece in progress at The Beaney in Canterbury two years ago.
Please come and join me on the 12th December  for a  'Meet the Artist' session between 1-4pm and learn more about my work inspired by the plant collections at the museum and the local Plantlife reserve at Ranscombe.There is also an opportunity to win an original piece 'Sleeping Poppy' in a raffle to be held on the day (to be drawn shortly before 4.00pm). You can also support Plantlife direct here.

Dates of exhibition Thursday 3 December – Wednesday 30 December
Cafe Gallery, Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Gallery, St Faith's Street, Maidstone 

(This exhibition is kindly supported by John Harper, Partner of St. James’s Place Wealth Management

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Uncommon Spaces

Circuta Virosa Installation Parc Du Monod

'Common Threads, Common Land' first shown at art textil sent in Switzerland continues in Le Mans, France from 31st October until 22nd November in the  Pavillon MONAD, Parc Theodore Monad under the kind invitation of the City of Le Mans.The building and park were once the barracks of the 117th Infantry. With its raw walls provides and interesting backdrop for its temporary exhibitions. 


 I like the way the walls sometimes merge with the work and the edges are lost.
Dutch Blue
Lace Windows
40 Yards

Some of the lovely walls both presenting a challenge and an opportunity to see work differently.

 Outside, and the Autumn colour.

 As part of the week I also ran workshops at Atelier de Genevieve looking at restructured books, text and image. Some images of work in progress:

I finished the short stay in France with a brief visit to the Musee Bourdelle, home of fabulous sculpture in gardens including Antoine Bourdelle and Rodin. 

I was also delighted to exhibit with the  Canterbury Festival as part of Runnymede Revisited (in celebration of the signing of the Magna Carta) at St Peters Church on Oare. Again, I loved how the work responded to the space. 
I will also be exhibiting 'Common Place, Common Land' a linked exhibition at the Cafe Gallery in Maidstone Museum in December. This exhibition will have a 'Meet the Artist Day' on 12th December in aid of Ranscombe Farm/Plantlife
(Exhibition also supported also by John Harper, Partner of St. James’s Place Wealth Management

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The Wanderer Returns: Exhibition in Switzerland and other Autumn Events

 I have just returned from Australia and have been keeping regular updates 'Edges of Australia' on my Magpie blog. It seems impossible that just last week I was walking around in wonderful hot Spring weather on Rottnest Island of the coast of Western Australia.

 After a few days rest I am back in work mode for a busy Autumn.I am delighted to be exhibiting 'Common Threads, Common Land' with Art Textil Sent,  Switzerland. Please join me for the opening and book signing of Stitch Stories on Saturday 19th September at 14.00 if you can. The exhibition continues until 4th October. followed by an exhibition as part of Les Annuelles à Monod, in Le Mans, France from 31st October until 22nd November. at Pavillon MONAD, Parc Theodore Monad. Open Tuesday to Sunday 2-30-5.30pm
Crimson Flower
 Edgelands 1st October -14th November 2015

An exhibition at the Pod Gallery, Savill Building under the invitation of The Royal Landscape . Delighted to show in this wonderful building with its undulating roof shaped like a leaf, merges seamlessly with the tall trees surrounding by the parks and gardens.  Situated in the southeast corner of Windsor Great Park in the Savill Garde. Issy Bean, one of the Royal Parks gardeners is also exhibiting. 

I am also taking part in the events marking the Magna Carta in the exhibition
1215: Runnymede Revisited at St Peter’s Church in Oare. This exhibition also coincides with the East Kent Open Houses tour of the three-week Canterbury Festival.(Strangely enough, both the Swiss and Canterbury exhibition have chosen a poppy related piece for promotion.)
'Stitch Stories' has been receiving lots of attention and a review by John Hopper appears in the forthcoming edition of Inspirational magazine alongside a review of Alice Fox's  Natural Processes.(I was delighted to appear in issue 5).
Last, but not least, I am delighted to have been invited to have another book launch in the Medway on LV21 on Saturday 3rd October as part of Fun Palaces weekend.11.00-4.00pm.The crew and ship are featured in the book. 

LV21 by Cas Holmes (photographer Gary Weston)

Monday, 13 July 2015

Stitch Stories

I am excited that my third book 'Stitch Stories' will be published in August. Batsford have done a fabulous job. It features wonderful contributions from artists from all over the globe all who create beautiful, unique work inspired by life, landscape and travels near and far.Thankyou to Jacqui Hurst for beautiful photography.

I have just returned from workshops in Scotland with Diva Design Studio.   Moray, Scotland.
We saw all weathers, wonderful studios, students and enjoyed 'foraging'.
I also got to see the Knockando Woolmill. Set deep in the Spey Valley, it has woven cloth for over 200 year on its historic looms. The work is tough and they still produce fine tweeds and cloth. It was amazing to see weaver Hugh Jones, warp up the looms and weave.
I will be in Australia this summer visiting friends and running workshops. Thankyou to Fibre Arts Australia for all the wonderful help with this.(You know how good you are). I will endeaver to post regularly on Magpie but forgive me if time runs away with me. I am also preparing for exhibitions in Switzerland and France as well as closer to home in the Autumn. I will post further details on my return. 
Finally, but by no means least. I am delighted to be in issue 5 of Inspirational magazine by the wonderful John Hopper who writes rich descriptions of the unique perspectives taken by each artist. There are 8 artists in total covering a wide range of stunning work from ceramics , through to print and weave. Other artists include, Algernon Eldritch, Brenda Holzke, Sarah Ross-Thompson, Fenella Elms, Barbara Schneider, Isobel Currie, Patricia Oblack
An insightful article which enabled me to take a 'step outside' and look into to my own practice through 'other eyes'.