Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Meet Dracula Tiger Cub...

I met this little fella at the preview of the Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery's latest exhibition entitled Traditional Skills, New Thinking: Stitching and Knitting for the 21st Century. With a title like that it would have been inappropriate for this 21st Century Mummy not to have accepted the invitation to go along.

Wearing a top hat and a neatly crocheted/knitted pink and black cape, Dracula Tiger Cub cannot fail to draw your attention. His comic cuteness is adorned beautifully with a set of gold fangs and a jewel in his tail.

The art gallery is always full of wondrous objects and this evening was no exception. As well as the Dracula Tiger Cub and the complementary range of animal jewellery, created by Dutch goldsmith Felieke van der Leest, there is a beautiful collection of textile work by Michael Brennand-Wood, Nicola Donovan, Rowena Dring, Claire Heathcote, Bharti Parmar, Maggy Rozycki Hiltner and Annie Whiles.

Dracula Tiger Cub was a particular favourite of Little E, my friend's little girl who accompanied us this evening at the gallery. I asked her at the beginning of the evening to identify her favourite work and she chose very well.

For me, it was a difficult choice as many of the exhibits were stunning. However, I particularly relished the opportunity to see Rowena Dring's Nha Trang Lily Pond, which is featured in the photo below. Described as a "fabric painting", it is an amazing recreation of a beautiful scene using a range of coloured fabric pieces as her colour palette.

Another key contender for my attentions were Michael Brennand-Wood's fabulous works from his Fields of Centre series, featuring various textiles, embroidery and stitching as well as a range of objects, all carefully pulled together to create amazing 3-D floral patterns. Their effect is incredible close-up and from a distance, as illustrated below.

Aside from the excellent exhibitions, what always delights me about my visits to the art gallery is the range of people who attend. I always come away refreshed and inspired by the conversations of the evening.

Tonight's tonics featured several quick catch-ups with friends, plus indulgent introductions to some new folk, giving me the opportunity to admire the aspirations of a young artist with creative writing ambitions, hear first-hand accounts of an experienced artist whose daughter is in a chart-topping all-female classical group, topped off with an introduction to a local county councillor and a spontaneous phone-conversation with another councillor about educational matters.

Indeed the gallery was alive with the art of conversation itself and the photo below captures the atmosphere beautifully.

(The photo above is courtesy of my lovely friend Ruby)


picklesmum said...

Aw, I haven't been to the Art gallery since I was at school. Must try harder. Love the 3D circular pictures in your photo.
I met Tom Baker at the Art Gallery when he was Doctor Who and I was very (very) young!

Ruby in Bury said...

Lovely evening, I had a great time - thanks for the invite! Fantastic account of it, too :-)

Jo Beaufoix said...

Sounds fab.
I haven't been to an Art Gallery for ages.
Must try harder.

21st Century Mummy said...

Oh Picklesmum - Wow...Tom Baker...fantastic! you really should to go along and see how it's all changed. Pickle and Picklesister would love the little animals. It's only a £1 to go in and see the exhibition. Children get in free. In fact just visiting the Art Lounge is free, you can stop for a coffee while the children can play. There are some wooden toys that would suit Pickle and drawing facilities that would probably suit Picklesister (as well as loads of magazines for yourself) ;-D

Ruby - It was a great evening wasn't it. I'll have to let you know when the next exhibition is on, or you could join as a friend - it's only £15 per year, with a whole range of benefits. We ought to think up another excuse for an arty night out!

Hi Jo - I find that Art Galleries are always a great place for inspiration and we are really lucky to have this one in Bury St Edmunds. I can't remember if there was one in Nottingham. It's so long ago since I was last there. I guess there is probably something hiding in the Lace Market. I remember the Djanogly Arts Centre at the University of Nottingham. I wonder if that's still there.

Ruby in Bury said...

So have any of the Bury St Edmunds based readers spotted someone they recognise through the glass of the tiger's display case? :-D

21st Century Mummy said...

Clue no 1. Ruby's referring to the man on the left. ;-D

Hoffy said...

Yes I have - that particular person had just weaned £25 out of the local solicitor he was talking to (an astonishing feat in itself!). It was very swiftly donated to St Nicholas' Hospice. Following that I believe he a had delightful conversation with two young bloggers. He was however, upset not to be invited out for a drink to So-Bar the following Friday evening. However, having received a goodly earful from a local resident for daring to sit outside So-Bar on the Saturday afternoon with his wife while enjoying the sun and a beer, it's probably just as well he didn't get invited! I believe the resident was pointed in the direction of Cllr. Paul Farmer...!?

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi Hoffy...Congratulations on the £25! ... and ho no Hoffy...please don't be upset... We were saying how we should organise a proper night out for everyone...although I think you and Mr Farmer will need to take it in turns (and don't worry Mr F wasn't invited either)....this all seems like a great excuse for even more nights at So-Bar....though by the sound of it, if you're likely to get accosted by local residents et al, we ought to perhaps set up a private club somewhere just for Bury Bloggers :-D