SOC Headquarters, Waterston House, Aberlady, EH32 0PY

Date: 13 January 2018 - 14 February 2018
Time: 10am - 4pm daily
Price: Free entry

Waterston House are delighted to welcome back Kalamkari to exhibit at the center. The group is building a strong reputation for exhibiting high-quality creative textiles. The six founding members met while studying City and Guilds Creative Textiles at Dundee College and on graduating decided to create a formal group to exhibit their work. Dundee’s textile heritage and its historic link with India through the Jute industry led to the name of the group being Kalamkari, an Indian technique of painting and dyeing cloth.

Since the group’s inaugural exhibition in 2007 in Dundee, Kalamkari now has nine members, exhibiting in and around Tayside – including at the Perthshire Open Studios annual week – and Northern Ireland. Individual members of the group have also exhibited with the Scottish textile art group, Edge, and at the Pittenweem art festival, and several are involved in teaching and mentoring.

The upcoming show will be the group’s second exhibition at Waterston House. On this occasion the artists have themed their work around nature, with many pieces featuring birds and flowers.

Carol Gorrie is concentrating on birds – initially inspired by a Summer School with Anne Kelly that she attended two years ago – and on painting on teabags. Her works include stitch and paint, buttons, beads and lace.

Lorna Morrison uses shorelines as a theme for her pieces to bring in a mix of fabrics, papers, lace and scrim, organza and found scraps to create beaches and breakers on the shore. Working with a variety of stitches and colours brings out an intriguing amount of small detail to depict a shoreline in different weathers.

Lynn Gourlay, already well-known and admired for her delicate minimalist pieces of work featuring animals such as piglets and hares, has now shifted her focus to birds and butterflies. She developed her unusual technique of first drawing the subject with pen or pencil and then stitching over the drawing from skills she learned in her textile art studies and then later in the fine art course she took.

Mona Clark has been developing fantasy dolls over the last four years and two are due to feature in the show: The glamorous, feather-patterned silk-clad Dollybird, and the Lady Aber 1900 with the clothes she might have worn to the launching of an exhibition in 1900. Additionally, she has introduced a 3D element in a short kimono jacket embellished with hand-dyed and hand-embroidered braid based on photographs of feathers.

Currently busy with textile classes, Morag Gray’s work is driven by an exploration of hand- and machine-stitched techniques using a variety of recycled and vintage materials that come her way. Monoprinting at a weekend workshop run for ETTS (Embroidery &Textile Tutors Scotland) was the starting point for her ‘Grassworks’ series that will be on show. Having studied Fashion design at Edinburgh College of Art, the desire to construct and embellish in 3D is evident in the purely decorative designer birdhouses.

With a background in Geography, Jan Reid has had a lifelong interest in the environment and conservation. Recently this has led to experiments with earth-friendly eco-dyeing whereby plant materials, leaves and flowers, are enclosed in textiles or paper and then steamed. The marks left behind inspired a piece called ‘The Keeper of Fragile things’. For other work, mixed media techniques such as mono printing and Gelli plate printing with acrylics have provided a background for stitch to depict bark textures or the beauty of a frosted landscape.

Sheila Paterson uses a variety of fabrics and papers in her decorative art, including commercial printed fabrics and fabrics coloured by dyeing, painting, stamping, printing and other processes.

Linda McKeen is always inspired by nature’s gifts and loves to be anywhere near water – especially walking the seashore. This is reflected in her work for the exhibition which encompasses flowers, seascapes, seedheads and rockpools. She is also intrigued by the way that time can pass so quickly whilst being absorbed in the natural world and this has led to the creation of the deconstructed clock in the piece entitled ‘The Unreality of Time’. Here, the hand-stitching represents the flying seeds of the dandelion clock interspersed with tiny watch parts.

Maureen Shepherd’s new series of work, ‘Shoreline Treasures’, is inspired by her seashore walks, collecting seaweed and shells, and mapping sand ripples left when the tide recedes.

Each artist will have three or more pieces in the exhibition, showing their individual styles and reflecting the spirit of the SOC gallery itself, which provides a serene space for art depicting the living natural world in all its beauty.

The exhibition is showing from Saturday 13 January until Wednesday 14 February. The center is open 7 days 10am-4pm (free entry).

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