The Ailist – Beaded Lemons and a Question Of Size…

Ailish Henderson shares her view on the world of embroidery - it's the Ailist!

For this issue I wanted to first focus on an artist I came across recently thanks to Instagram – Kathleen Ryan, an artist who has literally made mouldy fruit fabulous – when life gives you lemons….create beaded lemons!  She also serves as an example of my current bee in my bonnet as it were – misinterpreting the size and scale of art, down to not getting to see it for real.  It seems to be a lesson I constantly learn, thanks to the easy way of viewing work on social media and other sites….anyway back to Ryan…

Who is she?

She’s technically a sculptor – at first glance I imagined her work to be tiny, having no point of reference via the images observed.  Then after some spying on Instagram, I realised that these were rather larger than life….

beaded large sculpture in the form of a mouldy lemon - beaded lemons
‘Green-eyed monster’ – 2019 (beaded sculpture)

I recommend that you check out recent articles on her beaded lemons, such as this one on Design Boom and also her Instagram account.

‘Fools Mould’ – an even greener sculpture.

I wont give you any more info – however it taught me a lesson – never gauge the size of art through social media images…you might just get a surprise on further spying.  Ryan has certainly got me inspired – have you or I got a niche as she has – something unique?

Secondly, I wanted to reflect on last years The Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate.  There was a certain gallery which I found to be really inspiring…

Vlieseline Fine Art Textiles Award

This mash up of a gallery had some pretty amazing pieces on display – it replaces what was formerly known as Fine Art quilt Masters (exhibited at the Festival of Quilts).

This was one of my favorites…by Lindsay Taylor

Lindsay Taylor – Beauty and the Beast

Its a case of what you don’t see here, that is so impressive.  I wont spoil the surprises on viewing – so make sure you do your research on this artist – lets just say that there is a message within that we can all take on board.  She has an Instagram account too….full swan view on there!

Sometimes I attend these shows, expecting to be mind glazed via the onslaught of “same old, same old” – a repetitive collaboration of art types we have all seen before.  However I generally always come out surprised – someone somewhere will always have a new idea, a new take on Textile art.

This piece also caught my attention, a take on the famous Willow Pattern:


Art pieces like the above can so easily get misunderstood size wise – if you look on The Knitting and Stitching Show website, you get a great photo of the artwork, but nothing to help us imagine the scale.  Once again, if possible, get to see them for real if you can!

On a final note, looking ahead to the shows this year, The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show in London has been renamed The Stitch Festival it is on at the end of February; so if you can check it out.

The stitch festival 2020
My own gallery at The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show last year (2019) – now called The Stitch Festival.

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