Looking with new eyes

Seeing things with fresh eyes.

Good morning everyone, I’m drinking tea in bed (proper tea: leaves, pot, cosy, tray). And I looked at the tea cosy, and I saw the tea cosy but it was like it was the first time.

This was given to us second-hand, years ago, by a much beloved aunt, and she’d had it for years so it’s very familiar. Yet I don’t think I’ve every looked at it and taken in how beautiful it is, how evocative and how well made. I can imagine walking in that garden gate and seeing all the flowers – think about all of the insects those plants could feed. It’s a proper chocolate box cottage. Looking at it has made me realise that a) I need a break and b) I need to be paying attention.

Yesterday I made a Bee that I really didn’t like, it didn’t work – it felt like it was was part of a production line. So, today, I stop, regroup, spend time in the garden, discard that Bee and then start again – I can’t ‘churn’ out products, they have to be created with love and care.

Have a great day, people, and thanks for the ongoing love and support.

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The curious incident of the Bee in the night.

On Friday night, I drew the curtains across in the kitchen and discovered a very tired Buff-tailed Bumblebee.

“Well,” I thought, “there’s no point in setting it free now, there’ll be no food”. So I made up sugar solution for its breakfast and let it sleep.

I got up at six to bright sunshine but a less bright Bee, poor thing, but administered said sugar solution.

The Bee was unresponsive, looked injured, her legs went from under her and she was not moving.

After a minute or two her body slowly vibrated a little and she (I thought accidentally) vibrated into the mini sugary puddle. It looked like she was taking her last breath – her antennae we moving so slowly.

But then, all of a sudden, and I mean SUDDENLY, she began moving – the sugar hit the spot. So I ran into the garden in me jimmys to grab some grape hyacinth and she lapped up the nectar in there. A moment later I popped her into the garden and she was gone.

Success and happiness – so, it works.

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#grapehyacinth #bumblebee #bufftailedbumblebee #sugarsolution #savethebees #bees #beerescue

The merit of mistakes

Anyone who’s even been to one of my classes knows that, sometimes, often, I bang on about how mistakes are the only way we learn.

Well, I’ve just proved my own point and I’ll explain why.

Last week, at one of my favourite charity shops, I found some really beautiful vintage crewel wool. (I don’t know what that is, please explain someone?)

I thought it would be perfect for the bees and for the landscape pictures I’m teaching at The Brewhouse Theatre soon.

Today, working on Bee53, I thought I’d use some for the wings. Now, my logical brain knew it wouldn’t work, not THROUGH firmly felted wool – too tough, too dense.

Surprise, surprise, the yarn snapped- d’oh and duuuuh!!!

But look at the result…I love the way the wings are floating in the air.

Will I keep them like this?

Are they finished?

Can I recreate it?

Who knows, but it’ll be fun finding out.

So, children, adults, makers, artists etc – let’s make mistakes. Do share!

A year ago, how time flies

It was a year ago yesterday that myself, Polly, Joy and Donna had a meeting at ACEarts to discuss the FIFTY BEES exhibition. We sat on the sofas, measured walls, talked and talked and decided that these three wonderful women would be called the beekeepers.

Why?

Well, with fifty artists to coordinate, it made sense to share out some of the work. Now, I look back at this picture with amazement.

We had no idea how it was going to work, whether the story of the bees would translate into an exhibition, whether anyone would be interested.

But, wow! It was wonderful. The fifty artists made such a wide variety of art, amazing responses to these incredible creatures.

But it wouldn’t have worked without the enthusiasm and keenness of them all as well as Nina and the team at the gallery.

Now, we’re gearing up for the next leg of the journey at Richard Jefferies Museum – can’t wait. Thanks everyone.

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#vintagecontainer #bees #fiftybees #artists #somersetartist #opencall #interconnectedness

‘If I’m Not Back I’m There’

Poor photographers, wonderful exhibition.I’m not usually short for words but I am for this one.

’If I’m Not Back I’m There’ by Edwina Bridgman at ACEarts just had me spellbound, transfixed, enlightened and happy. 

So much to see on one central display, get down and look at it as a child would see it.

Papier-mâché, found materials, card, clay. 

2 and 3-dimensional work exploring found objects and unexpected materials to create a body of work around people and their animals.

I so admire Edwina’s deft handling of her materials – quite jealous of her confidence.

Go, see, enjoy.

Hero

The last day of #SeptTextileLove – where did September go to? So, this is for hero.

And I’m sharing with you the work of Jenni Dutton, an artist who uses many different media but for the dementia darnings used textiles.

The exhibition, which took place at ACEarts earlier in 2017, just took my breath away. If you ever get a chance to see this work, do.

They are at the same time moving, complex, confusing, uplifting and sorrowful. 

When looking at the pieces, one gets lost in ideas of technique and subject, by the subtlety of the colours, the looseness of the stitch, the person making the work and the person in the picture – and of course, ideas of family and our own mortality. 

Incredible work and I can honestly say it’s one of the best exhibitions I’ve ever seen.

And Jenni? Well, she’s rather lovely too 😊😊😊 as if that’s any surprise!

Thanks Jenni for your inspirational work.

Change is good

#Change – what do we all think about it? 

It’s been a long time since I’ve introduced myself to you all and seeing as we have a few more of you along for the ride, AND I’m going through a period of change, I thought it was about time. 

So, this is me, Lydia Needle, last month at the private view of #fiftybees. This was a really pivotal event in my life, my first exhibition and a point which marked a massive change in my life, I felt like I was officially being ‘launched’ as an artist (like a big ship 🤣). If you have a look at the stickers I’m wearing, you’ll see the hashtag #beeartist and #queenbee, made by @foreverycloud – I loved wearing those!!!!

It was an event where all of a sudden I thought “Yes! People not only ‘get’ the concept of FIFTY BEES but they also appreciate my art”. It was heavenly.

And, in terms of change, it marked the point when I publicly announced that I planned to take the FIFTY BEES concept to other parts of the country which meant I could not conceivably continue with the day job.

So, yesterday was my last day working at MIND – no more financial safety net of part time work – I HAVE to make this work. 

One of the last session we ran was all about CHANGE – how difficult it can be, how challenging, and as we were discussing it, I came to the realisation that I used to hate it, the instability of it all. But without it, we have no new beginning, no new doors to open.

So, what about you? How do you find change, have you been through any lately or are you planning some. Let me know.

And perhaps you might also sharing a picture of you using the hashtag #changeisgood 

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#artist #beeartist #introduction #fiftybees #fibreartist #exhibition