Friday, May 15, 2009

Ruthin Craft Centre shortlisted for the Art Fund Prize

The Ruthin Craft Centre has been short-listed for The Art Fund Prize for museums and galleries 2009.

The Art Fund Prize of £100,000 is the largest single arts prize in the UK and recognises and rewards the best new development of the previous calendar year in a museum or gallery, large or small, anywhere in the United Kingdom.

On Front Row Lord Puttnam said, "Ruthin Craft Centre is a lovely surprise, everyone who'd been there was knocked sideways by it, and it got four votes very quickly. It is run by people with amazing commitment and a historical commitment to arts in North Wales – the thing's got it all actually – it is the sort of thing you would like to see replicated in every single region and community in the Country".

There are 4 galleries short-listed and this year one of the eight votes to judge the winner of the Prize will come from the public.

The winner of this People's Choice will count as the eighth vote when the panel of seven judges make their decision on the winner in June.

Please visit The Guardian website and give your support to Ruthin Craft Centre. It really is remarkable gallery for Wales and the UK as a whole to be proud of. Exhibitions of the highest quality are complimented by exceptional publications in a remarkable architectural space. Its true I may be a little biased, but I really do think that it would be an well deserved accolade for the Ruthin team and the contemporary craft sector in general.

Good news x 3......

Well, maybe good things really do happen in three's....

Firstly I'm really delighted to announce that on the 29th April 2009, I was one of four recipients of a Creative Wales Ambassador Award from the Arts Council of Wales. 'This new award scheme is part of the Arts Council of Wales's Beacon scheme for individual artists and organisations. Funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, the aim of the Creative Wales Ambassadors Awards is to recognise significant individual achievement in the arts, to raise the profile of Welsh culture outside of Wales and to provide financial support to enable the artist to develop a new programme of work.'

Exciting creative projects lie ahead of me now, that I may not have been able to readily explore if it were not for the opportunity afforded to me by this Award. I am looking forward with enthusiasm to getting started with a new body of work which will see me creating more ambitious, larger scale works for exhibition in my host organisations, Ruthin Craft Centre and Brown Grotta Arts in the USA. Amongst the other threads of my work, I will also be forging closer links with architectural design research partners and working with Welsh mills on a design-art collection, which will all be complimented by my ongoing curatorial and education activity in Wales.

Secondly, I have just been awarded a commission to produce a 'vessel' to be presented to the Australian Cricket delegation when the first Ashes match is played in Cardiff this summer.

And lastly, I am delighted that I have once again been accepted to exhibit at Origin, the Crafts Council Show at Somerset House in October later this year.

Aside from all that excitement, this last month really has been a flurry of activity. Alongside my usual teaching on the BA Contemporary Textiles course in the West Wales School of the Arts, I have being running a series of 'Architextiles' workshops in the Welsh School of Architecture with Dr Wayne Forster. This has been an immensely enjoyable challenge encouraging first and second year architecture students to explore and draw upon the textile fundamentals of colour, pattern, texture and structure, to generate conceptual architectural proposals for a 'wonder wall'.

After appealing for help with my Architextiles research on the Weave-tech forum, I had a huge number of emails from interested weavers around the world into this activity, so I'm intending to record this series of workshops in a forthcoming blog once the project is completed.

I am also continuing to work on my first curation project 'The Warp and the Weft', which will be a group exhibition at the Oriel Myrddin Gallery in Carmarthen in 2010. I will be co-curating this with Meg Anthony, the Oriel Myrddin curator. The concept of the exhibition is to highlight 'unexpected' woven textiles. Exhibitors may use 'unexpected' aesthetics or perhaps integrate 'unexpected' technology into their textiles. At the end of this month Meg and I will be visiting the Crafts Study Centre in Farnham is select a piece by Peter Collingwood from the recently acquired archive of his work.

As for this weekend, after giving a talk on my work to the Bristol Embroidery Guild, I am looking forward to squeezing in a visit to COLLECT and the Stroud International Textiles Festival......

Until next time..... L x