Composition: big | bold | brave, with Bobby Britnell

Composition: big | bold | brave, with Bobby Britnell

We are delighted to share that three space have become available to join in with Bobby Britnell’s Summer School 2022, Composition: big, bold, brave.

Composition is one of the key elements in art and design, whether you are creating a drawing, painting or involved with any visual art form. It provides the viewer with the tools needed for making sense of finished works.

We will begin by looking at how a composition can be changed by the simple placing of a horizontal line, the size of motifs in relation to the picture plane, and the positioning of these motifs. We will investigate some of these ideas through a number of creative exercises onto paper and from these create some large bold monochromatic drawings.

Learning from master artists is paramount in understanding these concepts, so artist research will be fundamental in cementing personal ideas. Be prepared for some dramatic effects and large scale works on fabric which explore these concepts in challenging ways.

Bobby runs and teaches courses from her studio in South Shropshire and attracts students from all over the world. She also brings in the best UK tutors. She exhibits and teaches all over the country and abroad and was a tutor on the BA (Hons) programme for the Julia Caprara School of Stitched Textiles. She published her first book in 2013, which has been reprinted in 2021.

The summer school begins at 2.00pm on Monday 18 July, and ends after afternoon tea on Thursday 21 July 2022.

An evening in London

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At the start of May, two of our members, Dorothy Tucker and Sheila Mortlock, attended this year’s presentation for the Embroiderers’ Guild Beryl Dean Award for Teaching Excellence in Embroidery and Design. The event took place in St Margaret’s Church, Lothbury, in the City of London right behind the Bank of England. It’s a lovely church and well worth a visit. It shows up in records dating from the 12th century although it was destroyed in The Great Fire of London and subsequently rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren. There is fine woodwork throughout and the church serves the financial area of London.

The Beryl Dean Award is in its third year and was started in the name of Beryl Dean to recognise the very best of teaching in embroidery. The invited guests were welcomed by the event’s host Andrew Salmon who introduced Muriel Campbell, Chair of the Guild and then last year’s joint winner Debbie Gonet who talked about the pleasure she gets from working with young students just starting on their textile career.

Anthea Godfrey, Artistic Director of the Embroiderers’ Guild, spoke at length about the importance of design in embroidery, coupled with the technical skill, views echoed by many attending. She also highlighted her own and the Guild’s concerns about recent announcements from the Department of Education who seem intent to reduce the teaching of art in schools. It was tempting to quote Winston Churchill during the early days of the last war when asked to cut funding to the Arts “Then what are we fighting for.” Whether that particular quotation is apocryphal or not it is surely a proven fact that everyone benefits from engagement with the creative arts.

The Beryl Dean Award this year was presented to Hannah Maughan, a lecturer at Falmouth University where she teaches textile design. Hannah studied at Birmingham and the Royal College of Art, specialising in embroidery and mixed media. There were also two Commendations this year. Carole Holme was commended for Embroidery Technique and Sonia Tuttiett was commended for Inspiration in the Community. Carole, Carole Holme specialises in Goldwork and Sonia, Sonia Tuttiett works with disadvantaged and other groups in the East End of London.

Before everyone moved to enjoy the splendid buffet Diana Springall spoke and presented a book to the winner. A lovely evening and a great event.