IF the excitement of a long hot summer is beginning to wear thin........
..... we suggest you make yourself a cup of tea, sit down somewhere cool and consider these "IFS":
IF you thought a pigeon was just a city bird with no colour, then you might be surprised by these crocheted bird suits by artist Laurel Roth Hope and her immense skill with yarn and needle. The colorful one-of-a-kind sweaters are each designed to fit a standard urban pigeon, complete with a hood retro-fitted with eye and beak holes. While the project isn’t without a bit of humour, its warning is particularly dire: each suit represents an extinct bird species and highlights the futility of restoring lost biodiversity. Hope has worked as a natural-resource conservator and park ranger, both of which have deeply influenced her artwork which explores themes of environmental harm, extinction, and consumerism. You can see many more of her Biodiversity Reclamation Suits in this gallery.
IF you're not a fan of the Mad Max movies (we found the bleak, post-apocalypse view a little too rich for our blood), but like the thought of alpha males knitting something decorative (as indeed they have in Peru for centuries), then this picture of actor Nicholas Hoult on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road. in his full makeup might make you smile. You can almost imagine another film in which his character, Nux, the War Boy, goes off on his own and spends his time knitting scarves for friends - though where he'd find the yarn is another question.
IF you're a fan of Liberty fashion and upholstery fabrics you'll want to get along to The Dovecotgallery, Scotland where there is a major retrospective of Liberty Art Fabrics (28 July 2018 to 12 January 2019). The exhibition celebrates Liberty's influence on fashion since 1875 and charts their journey through the decades as a source for key trends in cultural history well beyond the realm of fashion. Taking visitors through the company’s history, from early garments influenced by Far East and the Artistic Dress popularised by the Pre-Raphaelites, through the iconic sixties, all the way to the botanical prints of the 21st century, the exhibition tells the tale of an influential studio who collaborated with the likes of Yves Saint Laurent and Vivienne Westwood. As a contemporary response to the exhibition emerging artist, Lucy Wayman will showcase her recent sculptural pieces.
IF you love the music of Debussy, Ravel and Chopin then you'll enjoy this clip of a recital by the talented young Dutch concert pianist, Cyrill Ibrahim - a rising star in the classical music firmament - who will be performing at our venue for the first time next March. We're organising a gourmet weekend with fine horizontal and vertical wine tastings around the last weekend of the month for a limited number of guests.
IF you are remotely interested in new knitting techniques, especially top-down designs that fit perfectly, then go straight to Purlescence to buy Åsa Tricosa's fab book with its superbly written and easy, moderate and advanced patterns to follow. Really can't wait to get our teeth into one or two of the beautiies! Lucky for us Åsa will be leading her second Knitting Im-Mercerie here in September so any problems she'll be on-hand to help in her hugely generous, enthusiastic way.
IF you've ever experienced a creative block (and who hasn't?) then Le Nuage, a short film by Russian film student Iulia Voitova which succinctly displays the many frustrations of creative output, including sadness, distraction, and writer’s block is going to hit a chord. The animated film is composed of two collaged paper characters, an earnest young woman in a bright blue dress, and a brooding male writer hunched over his typewriter. In an attempt to shield the writer from a patch of rain, the female protagonist unintentionally thwarts his rumbling brainstorm. The entire piece takes place in less than a minute and a half, yet perfectly encapsulates several shifts in mood through its playful pastel-colored characters and delightful score by Lawrence Williams.
IF you're interested in our preview of 2019 events
Chopin, Debussy Piano Recital / La Tablée Gourmet Weekend
MARCH 2019 (3 days / 4 nights)
MAY 2019 (3 days / 4 nights)
JULIE ARKELL (& FRIEND?)
EARLY JUNE 2019(5 days / 6 nights)
LORI SIEBERT STUDIO
SEPTEMBER 2019 (3 days / 4 nights)
Please note we will be confirming all these events within the next couple of weeks, but if you are interested in any of them (or know of anyone who might be), please email us and we will make sure you are the first to get firm details for booking. (This year's workshops filled up very quickly so we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.)