Friday 30 June 2023

Willow arts gallery events in July

Dear Blogger,

Message from Willow Gallery, Oswestry.

July arts events in Oswestry and Shrewsbury

July 2023


CAROL NAYLOR  Poppies in Cornfield  Free-motion machine embroidery
Open Studios 2023

Many thanks to everyone who took the time in June to come along to BVA's Open Studios, always a lovely, creative event in and around our town. Both weekends drew excellent support (from our local community as well as from visitors who had never even been to Oswestry before), and our artists were very happy to see lots of their work find happy new homes.

Thank you, artists, for your huge array of inspirational art, and to every one of our visitors for your presence and support.
Stitch by Stitch Exhibition
1 July - 19 August
Contemporary Fine Art Textiles

An exhibition for established and emerging textile artists working with stitch, fabric and mixed media

Over 100 artworks on display: Exhibitors are part of a growing movement that is bringing fine art textiles to a wider audience

Instagram: stitchbystitch_2023

Stitch by Stitch Exhibition Artist Events

All at Willow Gallery unless otherwise stated
1 July
Opening Event 
All welcome, with introduction by
Alison Holt and Suzanne Smart
Meet the Artists/Exhibitors, our Mayor Olly Rose and members of Oswestry Makes
8 July
Little Batik Books
Jenny O'Leary – Workshop at Willow Gallery
£75 for one-day workshop
15 July
Meet the Artists
Catherine Hill and Vivienne Beaumont talk about their work
21 July
Meet the Artist
Felt artist Jane Mercer
Demonstration in the gallery
Jane will show the wet felting process
22 July
Meet the Artist

12 noon-3pm
Meet the Artist
Suzette Smart
Demonstration in the gallery, and share the stories behind Suzette's work

Embroiderer and textile artist Marian Jazmik – Q&A in the gallery
29 July
10am-4pm each day
Textile Book with Garden Bird
Suzette Smart – Workshop at Willow Gallery
£130 for two-day workshop
5 August
Meet the Artist
Alison Holt
Demonstrations / Q&A in the gallery 
8-10 August
Machine embroidery

8 August
Alison Holt course in her Oswestry studio
(This course is now fully booked)

Alison's students visit Willow Gallery for exclusive exhibition tour
12 August
Meet the Artists
Silvie Millen and Rachel Davies
Talk and demonstrations in the gallery
15 August
10am-12 noon
Meet the Artist
Sylvia Paul
talks about
her work

19 August
Meet the Artist

Meet the Artist
Eleanor Burkett, paper and textile artist
Talk and demonstration:

Paper as canvas, fabric and thread

Chris Cooper
Mindful Stitching session with hand embroiderer Chris: All welcome 
Alison Holt uses a sewing machine and thread like a painter uses colour to create free-motion machine embroidery
How textiles became art
Textile art is art that uses fibres from plants and animals to produce decorative, artistic objects. It is one of the oldest forms of art in human civilization – although in its beginnings was not focused on looks but on practical purposes such as clothing, blankets and rugs to provide comfort and protection from the elements. Then increasingly textiles were employed to soften and decorate living spaces and surfaces – and, though there remained practical underpinnings to their origins, textiles quickly developed a secondary function as symbols of status, dominion and beauty.

The oldest textile finds are fragments found in the tombs of Ancient Egypt, preserved thanks to the dry climate and sand. Textile art also reaches far back in Chinese and Peruvian history. The history of African textiles also spans many centuries.

Surviving textile art becomes more prevalent from the Mediæval period onwards (famously, the Bayeux Tapestry, embroidered in coloured woollen yarns, tells the story of the Norman Conquest), and over the years textiles became more and more challenging, exciting and artistic.
Popular techniques today include weaving, felting, knitting and crocheting, embroidery, appliqué, quilting, and stitching with yarn. Some artists use dyes made from plants or minerals that they apply directly onto their fabrics. Textiles can also be used to create three-dimensional objects.
Textile art now is a global phenomenon as artists continue to reinvent the medium, bringing new applications, materials and aesthetics to the textile tradition. Fabric art has become very popular amongst art collectors, and museums are acquiring major works for their permanent collections.

I first noticed the red-tailed bumblebees on our poppies as they frantically moved around the pollen-laden anthers.
I used tissue paper to create the effect of different layers of translucent colour of the delicate petals. When the paper is wet, it wrinkles, which gives the impression of veins. Watercolour and pastels were used on top of the paper to create more random effects. Whenever the bee stopped moving, it was difficult to spot – so I tried to keep the painting of the bee indistinct from the background. I used blue tissue around the poppy to create contrast and to be more in keeping with the abstract effect of the painting.


Saturday l5 July ? 10am-4pm

Check out locally-made crafts
Friendly, fun and free to enjoy
Café open throughout the day

Exhibiting for the first time
at the Willow Gallery

Mike Cooke and Roy Sargent
26 August - 14 October
Walking the Urban & Rural Landscape

Mike is fascinated by things 'partly seen' and by ambiguous 'screens' through which we might glimpse a 'beyond'. Roy, for his part, often begins with a fairly literal rendering of his subject, gradually replaced by an abstracted combination of time and place.


Explore your creativity in small groups with practising artists
Please see website for details
Other Local Events & Information

Orchids & Other Flowers
Sunday 2 July

A 3-mile guided walk around Llynclys Common and secret Blackbridge Quarry with its dramatic limestone faces and interesting lime-loving flora
Meet at the Dolgoch Layby (SY10 8LN) at 2pm
£3 members, £4 non-members

8-16 July
St Myllin's Church and Llanfyllin Workhouse,
Llanfillin, Powys

Ensemble Renard, New Allegri Quartet,
Ieuan Jones & Phodri Prys Jones,
North Wales Opera, Café

Tickets available online

Spar, Llanfyllin
Rowanthorn, Oswestry
Welshpool Jewellers
July and August

Now in its third year, the Shrewsbury Arts Trail continues to grow in scope. The theme this year is 'Movement', in honour of the 350th anniversary of the Salopian choreographer and writer John Weaver, who significantly influenced the development of ballet and pantomime to what it is today.

The town-wide trail includes important Salvador Dalí and Midlands-based Jacob Chandler sculptural artworks. Other events include a special exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery featuring some very big names, a glass festival at St Mary's Church, a family treasure trail, a 'Secret Art Sale' at the Soden Collection, a dance photography exhibition and more.
[LEFT] Jacob Chandler's Poise and Tension II
[RIGHT] Salvador
Dalí's Homage to Terpsichore

Shrewsbury Castle
Tues 1 & Wed 2 August, 7pm
The Lord Chamberlain's Men (a modern-day incarnation of Shakespeare's own company of players) present this great play in the open air, with an all-male cast and Elizabethan costumes, music and dance.
To book, click here
Art World

The last-ever portrait Austrian artist Gustav Klimt painted before he died has sold at Sotheby's in London for £85.3 million – a record auction price in Europe for a work of art.

Dame mit Fächer (Lady with a Fan) – a portrait of an unnamed woman against a resplendent, China-influenced backdrop of peacocks and lotus blossoms – was still on an easel in Klimt's studio when the painter died, aged 55, in February 1918.

V&A, South Kensington
Until April 2024

The exhibition looks at stars of opera, stage, popular music and film, and explores how the meaning of diva (Italian for goddess) has been 'subverted and embraced over time' – even to include men.

The show is in two parts, with Act One focusing on 'the goddesses of stage and screen who have endured and shaped our popular culture today'. Items on show include Callas's onstage costumes and Edith Piaf's little black dress. Film lovers can check out the black fringed dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot, as well as the only known surviving dress worn by silent film star Clara Bow.

Act Two sees how the word diva has been redefined in the modern age, highlighting Rihanna, Shirley Bassey, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Prince, Elton John and Cher amongst other stars.


SILVIE MILLEN  Sculptural embroidery