8th Open Studio Exhibition

with Brigid Loizou, Studio Cennen

Body : Stitch : Soul : Sow

6th – 30th July 2022

Studio Cennen exhibitions are planned twelve months in advance and whilst deciding on a title for the upcoming figurative show, I had the words “ Body and Soul” in mind. A second word, “Stitch” – to signify making, repairing and healing, was soon added, followed by “Sow” to signify growth.

When I discussed the idea and title with our regular exhibitors, it was not particularly well received and I thought of  dismissing it. However, over the next months of meeting new artists, discussing ideas on social media and seeing possibilities in new work that was presented to me, it became clear that I could use the title to pull together the most eclectic show to date.

Thinking about “Stitch” and “Sow” and the way we grow and repair body and soul lead me to consider the happy places we take ourselves to relieve the burdens of the everyday – be it a meditation, a pastime, a hobby or a skill we are honing, the rewards of which are not financial but spiritual. The uplifting of the spirit that making, crafting or growing provides is to be a thread running through the exhibition and will highlight the ever diminishing line traditionally drawn between art and craft. The Crafts Council’s annual “Collect” exhibition emphasises this when showing ceramic pieces that have no immediate use except to be exquisitely beautiful.

Additionally, I imagined the exhibits would encompass the notion of “make do and mend”, incorporating pieces crafted of found objects, juxtaposition and assemblage.

Mary Jones – Do you remember me?

“Make do and mend” has always been an important facet of my life. In my childhood, I was fascinated by the glass jar of buttons my paternal grandmother kept on her window cill in Planet Street, Cardiff. Each visit, I would empty the buttons onto the kitchen table oil-cloth to enjoy their shape, colour and texture. My maternal grandmother was always knitting and I loved to root through her leftover threads and wools for knitting, embroidery and crotchet projects of my own. Starting with choosing buttons and knitting tiny jumpers for my Sindy doll, my desire to create led me on a journey to sew my own clothes, study fashion design at college, visit makers and manufacturers across the world, learn the craft of ceramics and now to collect and curate.

This journey of looking, finding, studying, collecting, using and making is a path which all artists are familiar with and embrace. One of the real joys of planning an exhibition is visiting artists and makers in their studio – to see their workspaces, the objects and pieces that surround and inspire them, the materials and tools they use and the elements they pull together to produce their pieces. There is something exciting in seeing a painter use cloth, thread or found objects in their paintings, or seeing a textile artist weaving metal, paint and fibre into a sculptural form.

The artists brought together for this exhibition have taken their journeys and their passions entwining them into the body and soul of their work. It will be an exhibition to delight the spirit and inspire the hands.

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email: Brigid Loizou: info@studiocennen.com

Heol Cennen, Ffairfach, Llandeilo, SA19 6UH

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