by Chantal

Lately I’ve been mostly wrapped in a duvet due to a broken boiler (the upside being it motivated me to get to the gym so I could have hot showers!), and coffee staining many treasure map invitations with Oliver for his Pirate themed birthday party.

Work wise there are a few pieces I have either in progress or mulling over – mostly in relation to The Ebony Tower collaborative project. The 5ft bird cage piece is still causing me no ends of trouble, never quite going where I want it to. Part of me wonders if I should just let it go but overall I still think it has potential to work somehow and I think its probably good for me to have a piece sitting in my studio that I have to wrestle with. A slow growing piece that, in contrast, I find very restful to work on is made up of many different vintage doilies sewn together with gold thread. Having had quite a definite idea from the start of how I would like the finished piece to look suspended and lit, filling a large space – I have been free to enjoy the process of  growing the piece and watching it change. On Friday mornings I take the piece to a womens craft group that a fiend of mine set up recently, and work on it while women grow relationships with one another and pass on skills. As the piece reflects something of womens perceived roles and their impact as a relational group – this meeting place seems quite pertinent.

one of Deans linocuts

I mentioned the Ebony Tower project – this is something I have been getting very excited about again recently. Dean and I feel we need to start looking more definitely for a venue(s) to put on this show – partly so we have a deadline to work to and partly so we can consider the space we will be working with in some of the works that are created. We are also considering bringing a third person on board to the project, someone who could specifically help us make the most of the curation of the show as we feel that is an area we are both lacking in expertise in. Hopefully this may also help us with funding applications to get finance to tour the show nationally and maybe even overseas.

Ebony Tower work in progress

Although not art related I have to give a plug to The Primer Design Research Foundation website that has just gone up. The Research Foundation is a new charity set up by my husband Rob Powell and Jim Wicks with the mission of making DNA detection technologies available to countries that currently do not have access to such health care benefits. Following on from the success of their commercial company Primer Design this charity will now provide a means to improving the quality of life of others.