Sunday, January 15, 2017

Tadek Beutlich: an upcoming exhibition this Spring

Tadek Beutlich was an extraordinary weaver of bright constructions, and also a printmaker.  I mentioned his work in a Ragged Cloth Café post, and Liz Hankins, daughter of his assistant got in touch with me then, and again now to let me know of an upcoming exhibition and opportunity to buy his work.

The exhibition will be on from 3 - 12 March this year at The Jointure Studios, 11 South Street, Ditchling, Sussex BN6 8UQ - more information from the Emma Mason Gallery.
From Liz Hankins' email to me:
My mother Fay was assistant to Tadek in his Ditchling studio at Gospels (formerly Ethel Mairet's home and studio) and I had a few of his textiles come to me at my pop up gallery (Vision Gallery) about 6 yrs ago, which I sold, hence his widow Ellen Beutlich asking me to help find homes for the remainder of his studio works.when Tadek died in 2011.

The upshot of it all is that I have identified and catalogued all his works and taken on print specialists Emma Mason Gallery,fortunately based in Eastbourne to sell Tadek's prints and I am delighted that the V&A are taking some more textiles and prints to add to the ones they already hold by Tadek. I have found other Collections who will take pieces too, such as Folkestone Creative Foundation and Farnham Craft Study Centre and Ditchling Museum, but a large selection of the remainder will be on exhibition at The Jointure in Ditchling for one week 3rd to 12th March 2017.
Work will be for sale, so apart from being a chance for you to buy an original Beutlich, it is also a chance for admirers of Tadek's textiles and prints to get a closer look at his work before it is dispersed. We will have talks and workshops too including a talk by Fay Hankins about working with Tadek at Gospels and answering any questions.
There is also an exhibition at Ditchling Museum running until mid April with a selection I have given them to show, of Tadek's prints and smaller textiles as well as Ethel Mairet's own annotated copy of her Book of Vegetable Dyes from Gospels, which Ellen Beutlich donated to the Museum.
We would be glad to let as many people know as possible if you could share this on your blog and on Ragged Cloth and with any other groups or artists etc who might be interested, since our exhibition at the Jointure is only open for the one week and so many have been waiting for news of this.
Biography of Tadek Beutlich, 1922 - 2011 from the Emma Mason press release:

Tadeusz Franz Beutlich was born in Lwowek, Poland in 1922 moving to

Poznan in 1930 and it was in Poznan at age 15 that Beutlich started a
foundation course at art school, initially fascinated by painting, sculpture
and stained glass. His studies were halted by the outbreak of the Second World War leading Tadek to join the Second Polish Corps, part of the British 8th Army.
At the end of the war Beutlich was one of forty-nine officers and soldiers
selected to study art at the Rome Students Centre, which in the following
year moved to the UK. Arriving in Britain by ship in 1947, Beutlich took up a government grant offered to all ex-servicemen initially studying painting and drawing at the Sir John Cass Technical Institute.

In 1948 after seeing French tapestry weavers demonstrate weaving at the V&A, Beutlich was inspired to seek out the textile department at his college where he started by weaving small kilims. In Poznan, weaving was still a male profession and it was popular to display the kilims they wove on the walls of houses, including Beutlich’s own family home, which would have a lasting influence on him. Beutlich transferred to study textiles at Camberwell School of Art and Crafts, London where he graduated in 1950.  He subsequently taught at Camberwell from 1951 to 1974.
I was particularly interested to read about his printmaking, about which I had not really known before:
During this time he also experimented with printmaking, making large and very striking relief prints, most printed in the 1960s and 70s building on the early success of his print ‘Fish’ which was awarded second prize in the Giles Bequest Competition when it was exhibited at the V&A in 1956. Beutlich printed his prints by hand, without a press and many were printed for the print publishers, Editions Alecto.
As a student his tutor Barbara Sawyer had taken him to meet the weaver
and dyer Ethel Mairet at her home and workshop, Gospels in Ditchling,
Sussex. Mairet’s use of unusual fibres such as jute and sisal had a great
influence on his work and he also briefly experimented with some of
Mairet’s natural dyes. Some years after Mairet died the trustees of Gospels decided to sell the house and workshop but wanted it to pass to a weaver and they offered it to Beutlich, who moved there with his family in 1967.The space at Gospels gave him the opportunity to work to a larger scale, often making ‘off the loom’ wall hangings.
In1974 he and his family moved to Spain where he discovered new materials such as esparto grass, which enabled him to work without any looms. He and his family moved back to the UK in 1980, where he continuing to develop his work and ideas.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trees in Winter

Yesterday we felt like visiting some winter colour in the form of Mottisfont Abbey's collection of cornus plants
Midwinter fire (top) makes the most dramatic show especially amongst the white birches and the white-stemmed bramble. But I also like the range of subtle green and yellow-stemmed varieties they have, as well as the 'common' dark red.
Mottisfont has beautiful old trees, and how grateful we should be for all the planting that was done in the past. 
The huge plane tree (below) unfortunately now has some disease and is randomly dropping branches.  It was planted hundreds of years ago, and I was imagining the scene of Jane Austen's heroines strolling, chatting, amongst young saplings.
I am lucky enough to have an extra wide postcard of this magnificent tree in my print kitchen.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Dreich without, drama within

Today was really dreich: thoroughly grey and miserable all the way to Tate Britain, and not cleared much on return home.  But that was just outdoors, and to be expected at this time of year.  It simply makes being indoors even more of a delight.
Druid landscape (image from here)
For a few reasons I was looking forward to the Paul Nash exhibition.  I am fascinated by English artists of the early 20th Century, I was intrigued and excited by Laura Cumming's review of the show, and I have been drawn to several of Nash's individual paintings over several encounters.  Many of his paintings are famous, but this exhibition showed so much more, in the context of his own development and in one room in particular with the work of his contemporaries - fellow members of the Unit 1 Group, and with the Surrealist Eileen Agar.  An excellent blog post on the exhibition can be read here.
Winter sea (image from this review)
The landscapes are what I knew of Paul Nash, including the war paintings.  I admire his coastal pieces (as mentioned in Mags Ramsay's post on the exhibition.), as well as his landscapes with megaliths. 
Landscape of the megaliths (image from here)
And although I had seen several of his Surrealist landscapes, I had not really had a good look at them - especially in the context of his interesting still life paintings.  I was definitely intrigued.
Dead spring (image from here)
Month of March (image from this article)
I was also interested to see this magnolia in the sky above the sea - it reminded me of Georgia O'Keeffe's work.
Flight of the magnolia (image from here)
The exhibition made quite an impression, and I have been energised to revisit a previous intention which I let slip - gosh, it's two years ago now!

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Somewhat out of season

Finding the pattern
The first kinds of activity at the beginning of a year I find are sorting, and then finalising, then continuing ... before any new work begins.  Thus, the first finalised design is Bounty (below) - which probably won't be stitched until a more appropriate season for the subject.
And I have got round to putting a new post up on my work blog.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Off, off, and away

And now to begin this year's adventure.