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Living in the countryside I am surrounded by natural, largely muted colour - the greens and browns of grass and leaves, the dark earth, the bricks, tiles and stone of village and farm buildings. It's true that points of strong colour intrude in the form of flowers, large agricultural vehicles, and most of all the blue of the sky. But it's also true to say that I don't regularly experience the layers of in-your-face, man-made colours so often found in the city. And there are times when I crave them.
So, I was pleased to visit an exhibition of creative textiles by Michael Brennand-Woods at the National Centre for Craft and Design at Sleaford, Lincolnshire, and discover that many of the pieces on display offered eye-scorching colour. As I've mentioned before, it's not unusual for me to come away from NCCD exhibitions feeling disappointed. But, as I've also noted there are occasions when I enjoy an encounter with a kind of craft (or art) that I don't usually seek out, and I depart from the show visually and creatively stimulated. Such was my experience on a recent visit where I saw textiles on the theme of "Seeds of Memory". I can't say that I engaged with the works on the terms that they were offered to me, and the impenetrable, jargon-ridden, art-speak made me despair, as it always does. But I got a lot from the experience on my own terms and that was enough for me. Other visitors who, like us, seem to have popped in for a break from shopping, appeared to appreciate the exhibition too.
During my visit I reflected on whether or not these pieces would work outside the gallery, in a home or an office for example, and decided they would. I often think otherwise about NCCD exhibits because many benefit from the light, shadows and space in which they are displayed, qualities that don't easily transfer to smaller settings.
photograph and text © Tony Boughen
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 45mm (90mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On