Monday started with a workshop with textile artist Deirdre Nelson at the City Art Centre. This included a talk on her work and commissions. Great insight into how an exhibiting artist works, including the importance of self-promotion, approaching museums with proposals, and applying for funding as you just might get it! I really like the way Deirdre works, doing considerable amounts of research into the location or subject, and looking for a quirky, human thread or theme to explore. There is a lot of humour in her work, which can act as a great educational tool illuminating past social history.

The first exercise involved taking an everyday object and changing it in some way. Keeping in the theme of plastic bags:

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Deirdre then spent time with us exploring some mind maps, and then talking to us each in turn providing really positive and enthusiastic suggestions of how to move forward with our gallery based brief.

Over the rest of the week I focused on research and sampling. Having decided to explore plastic bags further I have been thinking about what I can make out of them – perhaps a new bag – modelled on a fashion ‘IT’ designer bag. However I then started looking into the history of handbags and went back to explore pockets which pre-empted them. The V&A has a great section on the history of pockets. This has shaped my embroidered samples which are based on the old pocket shape:

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