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This week I hung an exhibition of my work at the Coach House Gallery which is at Winterbourne Botanical Gardens, Birmingham.
Winterbourne is part of the Birmingham University campus.
It’s an Edwardian Arts and Crafts house built for the family of John Nettlefold in 1903.
It’s last owner bequeathed it to the University where it became the Botanical Gardens in 1944.
It’s one of those magical places that has held onto the history of the past and simultaneously successfully embraced the future.
And my colourful work has ushered Spring in a little earlier than Mother Nature (it’s trying to snow today)
Exhibition hanging takes patience and stamina (good step-ladder muscles!)
I have laid out sketchbooks, pattern design swatches, an old paint palette, some tubes of paint, brushes, pencils and design work that shows how I use my original paintings digitally.
It was fun to set the scene.
And now I’m happily heading off to a restful weekend – there’s a G & T with my name on it!
Exhibition is up until 12th March
I am grateful for the shape this artful life has taken and for the people who make it possible.
but they have since gone on to open a beautiful shop.
Alongside all the gorgeous vintage china for sale/hire and the beautifully curated things you just need to have, like the softest socks and eye-catching ceramics and pretty handmade buttons, they have been stocking some of my prints, cards and original art.
I went today to replenish the stock and had the prettiest and most delicious business meeting yet 😉
I’d recommend a visit especially as they are now licensed to sell Prosecco too!
What is it about Decembers approach and shorter darker days that seems to gobble up time and energy?!
I intended to be back here much earlier in the week to tell you about the wonderful V and A Museum. I have loved that place since the first day I discovered it in my teens. It’s like getting a round-the-world ticket to visit every culture and museum under one roof – so much design inspiration from every corner of the globe.
I had gone to see the Fabrics of India exhibition and I had taken a pen and paper because I so often come home with a book or some postcards and put them on the high teetering pile of ‘Future Inspiration’ but fail to get around to it.
This time I thought I’d work while at the exhibition and cut out the lazy and forgetful stage and come home ready with some drawings to develop. And I’m glad I did because a) it was a no photos exhibition and b) there was so much to feast on.
So you may ask where did all these photos come from? The answer being the Asian Art gallery that I just happened to duck into on the way.
I so love Indian Miniature paintings – all the jewel colours, intricate patterns and the stories being told.
And there is something about the embroidery which inspires me endlessly too although I would never want to embroider it – I’m too impatient!
The exhibition is beautifully set out and the videos of fabric being made are fascinating – like watching a caterpillar farm (well mulberry silkworm) harvesting silk – now I understand why it’s so expensive.
Last Friday I had the most amazing day out at Gotham Primary school in Nottinghamshire celebrating the end of their Art Week with them.
They had spent their week focussing all their creative energies into making their own art based on images of my art. During the week a few classes at a time had been into Loughborough on a bus trip to see my exhibition at the Sock Gallery/Town Hall and they had sketched and looked at my paintings and come up with their own creative ideas.
Then their week of work culminated on Friday with a visit from a real-life artist (me!) and an exhibition of their beautiful and clever work for their families and community to enjoy in the school hall.
What a super bunch of kids and what a lovely staff team – Gotham was a delightful school to visit and I was made to feel very welcome all day.
The children are a real credit to their families and teachers and the staff are hard-working and enthusiastic – SO full of creative ideas I could never have guessed at the range of art activities that they had generated from seeing my work.
There was a wealth of 2D and 3D button inspired work including clay buttons, button letters, button teacup and button trees (one of which I got to bring home which I was really pleased to have.)
Flowers and nature had sparked many ideas for paintings, pastels, drawing, sewing and 3D bugs and butterflies.
My teacups, cakes and biscuit paintings inspired the children and teachers to draw, paint, make teacups and plates and paint them with patterns and even have a tea party.
They had looked at my pattern design work on the website too and explored making their own patterns.
Every class participated in Art Week beginning in Playgroup and going right through to year six who were painting flowers from samples of my work ready to cut and collage onto music sheets.
It was so exciting to see teachers investing time and enthusiasm into practising and exploring art (brilliantly led by their Art Co-ordinator) and the results are fantastic as the ability of the children is plain to see – a school of future creatives me thinks!
During the day I visited each class in turn to see what they were working on and answer any questions they might have – and they had some super questions ready to ask and some really hard to answer ones like ‘ Why do you like to paint?’ Kids have the knack of cutting to the heart of things too (‘Are you rich?’ ‘Are you famous?’ ‘Why don’t you paint people?’) but all asked with utter politeness and charm – I loved talking to them all.
After lunch was the exhibition – I was lost for words when I saw all their work collected up and displayed beautifully on patterned tablecloths and hung from a tree branch – it has to be the most creative use of gym equipment (other than a PE lesson) that I have ever see (well done Laura!)
The whole room was charming and beautifully done and the exhibition was really well supported by lots of visitors (I’m afraid all my photos at this point were blurred but there are some here to give you an idea.)
We even had our photo taken for the local paper.
All in all it was a very special day for me – it’s so easy to sit at home alone and create things to show the world and quite a different experience to see the world actually looking at them and finding inspiration in them.
Thank you everyone at Gotham Primary for having me for the day and ‘doing Art Week on the artist Claire Leggett’ – very humbling and a special day that I will remember for ever.
I spent yesterday in Loughborough at the Town Hall hanging my latest exhibition in the Balcony Gallery.
This gallery space is open to application – hooray for Loughborough council to support the arts in this way.
This is the lovely Lucie who helped me hang my pictures which was surprisingly fiddley, hot and tiring! Thank you Lucie 🙂
Here’s a little walk round once it was finished…
They have a packed Autumn programme so I’m hoping that lots of visitors will sit here and enjoy my paintings while they enjoy their pre-performance drinks.
Not the most exciting set of photos ever published here but it gives you the idea 😉
It will be hanging until January 2015 if you’re in the vicinity.
We had such a fun time last Thursday at the opening night of my first solo exhibition, that we forgot to take any pictures till it was almost over! So we’ve cobbled together a few shots to show you a little of night and mark the event here on my blog for posterity. Thank you to all my friends who popped in to share in my momentous occasion and all of you who sent good wishes by text, comments or email. It really is a dream come true having my own show.
PaintdropsKeepFalling paintings by Claire Leggett
13th June – 2nd August, Tue – Sat 9am – 5pm
HARBORNE ART GALLERY
8 Greenfield Road
Harborne, B17 OEE
I have had such a fun day today hanging my first solo show with this very talented lady.
Dominique curates and runs the Harborne Gallery and has a wealth of gallery experience from Switzerland, Norwich, Cambridge and now Birmingham (her favourite place to live so far she says, because we are all so friendly 😉 )
She has a real eye for colour and how to place paintings to create a rhythm and flow through the room. We hung 31 paintings today – a record for the gallery so far – I’m nothing if not hard-working!
Here’s how the windows look now and I’ll hopefully have some good inside pic’s at the private view tomorrow night – come if you can. Off to bake 3 doz cupcakes to accompany the champagne tomorrow – yum.
Back in September time I contacted a new-to-me gallery which is quite local in Henley-in-Arden called Torquil Pottery and The Gallery Upstairs.
It is one of those quaint little Warwickshire villages with old red brick buildings and some Tudor black and whites.
It’s always a bit nerve-racking doing a portfolio viewing for the first time and as all the pieces I took were framed it was quite a feat of packing and unpacking!
The ladies who run this gallery are both artists themselves and run the gallery and host exhibitions showcasing other potters, painters and jewelers.
I was delighted that they ear-marked nine pieces for this years winter show, which have now been delivered and are ready for the private view tomorrow.
If you’re in the area come and say hello – and there’s a nice pub nearby too 😉
There was a small shaft of sunlight through my studio skylight window this morning and it prompted a bit of spring cleaning.
I found I had 5 new illustrations to put up here
and 16 new paintings to put in the gallery.
Next up are the files of pattern designs to sort through and upload, the piles of annoying admin jobs to do and finally a sweep up. Hope Spring keeps showing itself or it will all grind to halt again!