It seems like ages since I last made a post, I have been quite busy and there are several things I would like to get round to writing about over the coming weeks, but today I shall keep it brief and share with you a lovely late summer morning spent in Portsmouth.
I had originally gone to Portsmouth to see an exhibition of art at the Aspex Gallery (www.aspex.org.uk) called “Scratch, Scribble, Scrawl” and is billed as being about the activities of scribbling or doodling as a playful expression of creativity. According to the gallery website it takes “a look at artists’ who are either influenced by or investigative of the drawn line and the hand-made mark.” Artists taking part are textile artists Alice Kettle and Kim Gladwin alongside Sarah Warsop and Amy Logan (both making contemporary jewellery) and artists book artist Tracey Rowledge. It was interesting to note that while each of these artists are quite well known, the exhibition itself did not warrant being shown in a dedicated gallery space, instead it takes up part of the cafe/coffee shop and the corridor/shop area between the reception desk and the coffee shop. While on the one hand this means you can get up close and personal to the work, it also makes it difficult to view some of the larger wall hung work properly as cabinets/shelves/tables and chairs get in the way. What does this say about Aspex? Do they perhaps view craft related work as being of lesser standing (not sure if that is the right word) than “proper” 2D work or sculpture, which get to be seen in the atmospheric white walled gallery “white cube style” gallery room? All the same it was an interesting showing, although I am not entirely convinced that the work on show really resonated with the exhibition title.
The Vulcan Building, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth and the Aspex Gallery
Guerilla Yarn Bombing on bike racks outside Aspex
Goalie statue on communal grass area belonging to the flats opposite Aspex
As it was a beautiful late summer morning, I decided to take a trip up the Spinnaker Tower, something I had wanted to do for some time now.
The Spinnaker Tower, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth
This iconic structure was completed in 2005 and stands 170 metres (560 feet) high and is apparently the tallest publicly accessible structure outside London. A high speed lift takes you to the first viewing platform where there is an area of glass floor which allows visitors to stand on it and look down. To reach the upper viewing deck (the Crows Nest) you have to walk up the stairs past the coffee shop on level 2. Once at the top you can get a marvellous 350 degree view of Portsmouth and surrounds for up to 23 miles.
View across to Gosport and beyond from the Crows Nest
I did wonder if I would get vertigo being up so high, but thankfully I didn’t and the view was great!
Figurehead and Spinnaker Tower
After a stroll around the Quays and look at some of the boats tied up, I felt that the time had come to become a “Craftivist”.
A little while ago I became a “piece” of the “#imapiece” campaign to end child poverty and hunger organised by the Craftivist Collective and Save the Children. (www.craftivist-collective.com). I am more and more concerned by injustice locally, nationally and globally and some things which happen in the name of business seem to me to be plain wrong. However, I am not one for marching and flag waving, but I still want to do my bit and this is where Sarah Corbett at the Craftivist Collective come in. the latest campaign is in partnership with War on Want and targets working conditions in the sweatshops that make so many of our clothes. All I had to do was choose some appropriate wording, stitch it on to a mini protest banner and then leave the banner in a suitable public place and send photographic evidence to CC to be included in their banner which will be on show at the Knit and Stitch Show in London in October. I managed to find a spot reasonably close to Gap (a major offender in garment sweatshop manufacturing) in the middle of the concourse at Gunwharf Quays shopping complex…
“Respect the women who make your clothes”
my mini protest banner at Gunwharf Quays shopping outlet, Portsmouth
To support this campaign or find out more about Craftivism take a look at the Craftivist Collective website and blog. (www.craftivist-collective.com)