Sunday, 17 August 2014

Artwave 2014 - Reason to Celebrate.

I am absolutely delighted to be busily preparing for the Lewes Artwave Festival 2014 which begins next weekend.

Artwave Festival 2014
It is the third time I've been able to call myself one of the "Artists and an Orchard" and open up my studio in the Long Barn at Upper Lodge- home of the very lovely Fletcher Buckwells. Corina and Dominic very generously give an enormous amount of time and energy to opening the Upper Lodge gardens and orchard for the festival and it makes for a super venue.

Upper Lodge in Summer
This year we have 9 artists exhibiting and demonstrating their craft.

In 2012 I was the newbie having only taken up residence earlier in the Summer. Moving into a studio space proved to be a fantastic decision from the start. Not only did my long suffering family get their home back but I was blessed with  room to work more efficiently,  a beautiful location and a truly wonderful warm, funny and inspiring community. Not used to considering my self an "artist", and fearing I had little to offer discerning Artwavers,  I opened the doors with more than a little trepidation. I needn't have worried. Our visitors, young and old, the "arty" and the "farty", were a good humoured bunch who seemed to relish an opportunity to watch someone using traditional techniques. They enjoyed a rummage through the barkcloth cupboard, often recognising curtains from their childhood, and the order book filled quickly.

Hair (and boobs) in 2012 at the after show round up
By the time Artwave 2013 came around I had exactly 1cm of hair on my head, a partially numb right arm, radiotherapy burns, a body I no longer recognised and overwhelming fatigue. I opened the studio a different person - there were no nerves and no desire to impress. It was a delight simply to be there. Friends and family generously baked their socks off and we were able to raise a significant sum for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. 

With Pauline Crook and Alice Mara 2013
Now in 2014 we are set to open again next weekend - from 12-5pm on the 24th/25th/30th and 31st to be precise. It feels like a real milestone for me and cause for celebration on lots of counts. From a creative perspective I've made - with the help of my fantastic assistant Amelia -  several advances with the tailoring and finishing of the lampshades including our own hand dyed trimmings.
Hand dyed organic cotton trim and fringe
 From a social perspective my landlady and neighbours are now firm friends of the very best kind and I love spending time with them. What is more  over at the Modern House, a beautiful modernist house and gallery just up the lane, one of my closest mates  Janine Shute is to have her first exhibition.
Janine and I have nurtured each others creative endeavours for many years and I am more than THRILLED for her exquisite chalk drawings to be on display. You must take a look - how this girl captures the patina of aged leather with just chalk is beyond me. Can I suggest you visit the Modern House then come on over to us for tea in the orchard because.....

Cream Teas at Upper Lodge
 lastly, but not least, Artwave 2014 is an opportunity to contribute to the invaluable work of two cancer research charities - Pancreatic Cancer Research and Leukaemia&Lymphoma Research. They will receive all the money raised from our wonderful charity teas in the Orchard on the opening day Sunday 24th August.

I am very much aware just how much I have benefited from the research breakthroughs that have been made in understanding Breast Cancer. Unfortunately there is still a long way to go with Pancreatic and Blood cancers but they will get there - with enough research funding! 

You can read more about why my friend Tess and I are fundraising for these two particular charities here. I do hope you'll be joining us at Upper Lodge but if you can't please do consider making a donation

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