Thursday, 10 December 2009

The Beermat show goes on tour and other news

I just received some good news. The Beermat Show is doing a tour the first half of 2010. My piece submitted for (sub)Missive (see previous blog), which was included in the Temporary Art Space's Beermat exhibition, will continue to show at 2 new venues. Please see my past/future page for details.

Last month I was fortunate to take part in the Handmade and Bound Affordable London Book-Art and Zine Fair at St. Aloysius Social Club. You can see lots of great photos on their link.

The first Handmade and Bound was realised in response to the demise of the LAB, (London Artists Book Fair) previously organised by Marcus Campbell. He has now joined forces with the Whitechapel gallery in a jury-run selection-process affair, which has automatically excluded many artists previously able to exhibit (including myself).

As some of you might know, I have recently expanded my repertoire under my banner of art/craft/design. All this selling and exhibiting at fairs activity has really given me a passion for trading, and so I have branched out into buying and selling of collectibles.

Starting out at Art Junky 3, I was given a great opportunity to display and sell my book art, multiples and trinkets alongside some funky accessories and bric-a-brac.

I loved it, and happily, sold equal amounts of the two types of items.

Since then, I have done another Art Junky and a new fair at Bentley Priory in Harrow, North London. At each I have sold equal amounts of art and collectibles. This has encouraged me to continue in this vein whenever possible.

Below is a slideshow of my table at the Bentley priory Winter Fair, the first of its kind, which will be repeated in the spring, in March 2010. It is possible I had too much variety on the stall, and my shop-like table/space didn't fit into a particular category. The organisers didn't know where to put me, having started out in the crafts area, I got moved to the antiques, as I had a lot of vintage stuff. It felt a bit odd squished in between antiquarian books and antique maps, but it was a great atmosphere and the other traders were lovely.

In the Bentley Priory slideshow above you may have noticed some other crafty pieces: a revamped 70's style stool that I re-covered with a vintage cloth napkin, and some funky cushion covers I made with vintage and new fabric remnants. I also made some recycled gift boxes using rubber stamps, and attached my button tags to complement.

When I went home to California last summer, I made some applique hoops during my traditional craft sessions with my mother. Gave me a warm glow all over returning to my youthful love for crafts: I used to embroider, macrame, crochet, applique, batik, beading, etc. As a seamstress for designers for 18 years I own an industrial sewing machine. But, it is in the utility room on the landing, hard to access and it doesn't do any fancy stitches. So, I got a new domestic machine and it is wonderful.

The new hoops appeared at the last fair at Bentley Priory. I will be listing these, and my other new craft works on my new etsy sight very soon!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

My submission for the sub(Missive) exhibition, accompanying the 12th Leeds International Contemporary Artist Book Fair

Organised by Louise Atkinson and the Artist Book Collective, and showing alongside the Leeds Artist book Fair in March. The exhibition will travel to other venues, to be announced. Each participant was sent instructions, by post, by the person below them on a list.
Having been sent instructions by Alice Bradshaw with 4 blank beer mats, it was no easy feat to create a work that had some meaning, but was accessible too.
I hope the exhibition goes really well (a little birdy told me members of the Tate will be visiting!) and with a lot of luck and determination, I might even be able to turn up myself!
Here's the blurb for my work:

A presentation, a setting, a reading.

4 beer mats and a facsimile pub table present a setting to glimpse at women’s progress with alcohol, through the 20th C, from ‘protesting liquor prude’ to ‘shameless imprudent drinking hussy’. Whether tea-total or drunk, women are more harshly judged than men by society.
The 20th C was marked by women’s attempt to escape oppression, subjugation and belittlement by men. At the turn of the century a few women tried to control men and their vile habits by trying to outlaw liquor. Unfortunately, this back lashed, and made them look like bad sports, and rather unattractive to men.
Later, with new found freedom, and a realisation that drinking was kinda nice after all they demanded the right to drink alongside men in bars and pubs. But, still on men’s terms, a woman could only enter the pub with a man, or with a group of women. If she went on her own, she was seen as a lush.
Later still, a new dawn of women’s lib hit both sides of the Atlantic, and women took to drinking with confidence. It still wasn’t that cool to go out drinking on your own, unless you knew the barman by name, were middle-aged and a bit scarred emotionally.
Now, women everywhere have finally caught up with the opposite sex, and are drinking with complete abandon: clubbing all night, throwing up in the toilet, and collapsing in the gutter. Although a woman might end up alone on one of these binges, she probably started out with a man or a bunch of females, as society still has hypocritical views on women and drinking. On the surface women have equal rights to drink themselves to death, but society, and health authorities, still judges them more harshly for it.
4 beer mats provide a brief reading of 4 stages of women and drink: promoting them on the surface; elaborating in a facetious way on the reverse side, and covering up the insidious stain on women’s lives, ingrained in reality.

Look out for future showing at Beer Mat exhibition with Temporary Art Space in May.

Beer mats, grey board, book cloth, ink jet printed paper, craft spray, acid free binder’s paste, and pva glues and linen thread.

Leslie Wilson-Rutterford
London 2009