Sunday, 20 November 2016

Made in the Middle

I am just finishing off the testing for the second generation of my piece ‘All the things you are not yet’ which will go on display as part of Made in the Middle next week.  The show organised by Craftspace, opens its 18 month tour at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry 2nd December 2016 - 19th February 2017.
This is a juried exhibition of the best makers in the Midlands and it is a great honour to be selected not only as an exhibitor but to be one of the featured artists in the celebrations of the show’s thirty year history.
‘All the things you are not yet’ is one of my ‘singing quilts’ that have evolved out my collaboration with Dr Matthew Howard at the Centre for Robotics Research at Kings College London.  It features embroidered speakers that play sound files when the quilt is touched.  The circuits making up the speakers are digitally embroidered using conductive threads made especially for me by Benton and Johnson, part of Toye, Kenning and Spencer who hold the Royal Warrant for gold embroidery to the Queen.  The piece is a contraction of 21st Century computing and both cutting edge and historic embroidery processes.
The quilt has a digital print from a mobile phone photograph of a computer screen taken by a young woman.  The image on the screen was the two pre-implantation embryos that were about to be planted in her womb.  The bundles of cells will go on to become her two sons, Rufus and Rafe.  The sound file that is played through the embroidered speakers when the quilt is touched is those boys, now two years old, singing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle little star’.
One of the embrodiered speakers on 'All the things you are not yet (Cloth of Gold)'

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Digital Weekend at the V&A

I am really excited to be part of the digital weekend at the V&A this Saturday and Sunday.  As part of the Crafts Council Parallel Practice, Wheatstone Innovations Lab and Kings College London team we will be demonstrating what we have been up to.  In my case we will be showcasing the embroidered muscle sensors and the embroidered speakers.  We also hope to have a Pfaff digital embroidery machine stitching out pictures of Kinba, the famous KCL robot receptionist.  I will be working alongside Dr Matthew Howard and some of his students as well as the lovely automata maker John Grayson and fabulous glass artist Shelley James
If you are in London please come along and see what we are doing as part of this great event

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

'All the things you are not yet'..... In conversation

Mathew Howard from the Centre for Robotics Research at Kings College London and I were in conversation as part of the ‘In conversation’ wing of the Paths to Utopia Exhibition.  This is the link if you would like to see the conversation

Friday, 15 July 2016

In conversation at Kings College London

Mathew Howard from the Centre for Robotics Research at Kings College London and I are in conversation as part of the Paths to Utopia Exhibition on Thursday 21st July in the Great Hall, Strand Campus, Kings College London at 7pm.  We will be talking about this project and the Parallel Practice project that bought us together.  It’s a great opportunity to hear about how the collaboration has developed along with some of the perils and advantages of linking my practice so closely to technology.  I am hoping to have some working samples at the talk so people can see exactly how the technology is working…..or not!

I hope you’ll pop along if you can make it. The event is free but tickets must be booked.  You can do this here
You can also watch a stream of the conversation if you cant make it.  It will be available for sometime after the 21st.

This project is made possible with the support of The Cultural Institute at King’s College London, premiering as part of Utopia 2016.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

All the things you are not yet...the public showing

The singing quilts that I have been working on for the last year finally have a public showing at Paths to Utopia at the Inigo Rooms at Somerset House London.  The show runs from Friday 1 July – Sunday 2 October 2016
The image above shows one of the speakers embroidered into the piece.  If you touch the quilt you trigger a sound file.  The sound level is very subtle so the piece has a ghost like quality as you can hear the boys featured in the imagery of the quilt singing ‘Twinkle twinkle’.
As you can imagine I am very excited about this opportunity.  There have been some major technical obstacles to overcome in the creation of this piece and if truth be told still to overcome.   I’ll spill the beans on those in future posts but I would like to specially thank Brendan Michael who has been an absolute star as well as Matthew Howard and Bowen Han all from KCL, the team at Pfaff sewing machines and Neil Halford from thread suppliers Benton and Johnson.