Wednesday
Jan242018

Weaving by the Sea 2017 and 2018

This week we are preparing course details and arrangements for Weaving by the 2018, 28th September - 4th October, all the workshop descriptions, prices and booking details will be up soon on the Weaving by the Sea blog.

It's been a pleasure looking back at 2017's six workshops and our special day trip to the Museu de la Pauma in Mas de Barberans as I have put together a new gallery here: Weaving by the Sea 2017

I think the pictures speak for themselves - great making, lovely weather and good company - see you at Weaving by the Sea 2018!

Monday
Dec182017

space & light captured 

One day we made little nests molding freshly cut hair in our cupped hands.

Monday
Dec112017

nesting behaviour

Inspired by my last post exploring the remarkable nests of weaver-birds and their influenec on my work over the years, I've gathered a selection of my photographs of other nests, enclosed spaces for nurture and protection.

Please note all of these photographs were taken with great care not to disturb the nesting birds and those photos with eggs were taken quickly and minimising disturbance. If you want to watch or photograph nesting birds please check the information provided here by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds first - providing useful advice and the legalities with in the UK: Bird Photography and the Law

Above: Delicately woven nest - not sure of the species, from the collection of Jillian Culey - Branching Out, NSW, Australia taken during my visit earlier in 2017.

Below: Amazing ad-hoc behaviour of a Wren making it's nest on top of a Swallow's nest from the previous season, in the workshop of good friend Danish basketmaker Mai Hvid Jørgensen. 2010.06

Above: Blackbird's nest under the thatched roof of a house in the Iron age village of Jernalderlandsbyen near Odense, Denmark. 2008.05

Below: A nest in a hedgerow during the winter, Rosehall, Sutherland, Scotland. 2004.12

Above: An unusual ground nesting Blackbird, Odense, Denmark. 2010.05

Below: Meadow Pipit nest on the Isle of Unst, Shetland  2004.06

Above: Oystercatcher nest along the River Spey near Kingussie, Scotland 2005.06

Below: A nest in a thorny hedgerow near Newport on the Isle of Wight, strangely full of the fallen berries of the Guelder Rose. 2010.11

Above: Monk Parrots are a common feature of my hometown Vilanova I La Geltru on the Mediterranean coast, here making their big spiky nests in a large gum tree. 2013.05

Below: The nest of a Water Rail among reeds on one of the many lochs of Speyside, Scotland. 2005.06

Below: Family of Mute Swans on the Brahan Estate, Ross-shire. 2006.05

Friday
Dec082017

Not so random - weaverbirds and willow domes.

Above & below: Weaverbird's nest from the workshop of French basketmakers Karen Gossart and Corentin Laval.Since childhood I've had a deep fascination for birds and everything about them, as a child (well and today also!) I would collect their feathers, nests, skulls and bones, owl pellets - everything! So perhaps it's no suprise that their constructions as nest builders continue to influence my work.

Below some of my large pieces inspired by the avian master weavers - bird from the weaverbird family that live in Africa and Asia. Creating these large structures not only enlarges a natural phenomenon but changes our perspective on the landscape and articulates a definition of captured space and volume.

Above: Bamboo dome, National Trust Sculpture Residency, Rowallane Garden, Co.Down, N. Ireland, 1996

Above: 'Roost' Dane Valley Willow Project, Cheshire, UK, 1998

Above: 'Wait' MA Sculpture final show, Winchester School of Art 1999

There is a common perception and naming of this type of weaving as 'random' - however following my researches in various natural history museum collections around the world, weaver birds are far from random in their activities and weave in a specific manner that is both economical with material and time and captures the nesting space required with efficiency. My own 'bird-weaving' or 'fugl-flet' as it has become known in Denmark, follows a similar process and develops in specific stages that are not random but carefully orchestrated. It is of course understandable that a viewer may use terms of randomness or chaos to describe what they do not percieve as having a recognisable order.

This autumn I've been busy with several commercial projects utilising the benefits of 'bird-weaving', the technique not only has a beautiful and distinctive look it also has the special qualities of allowing the maker to define organic shapes in an economic way and also in collaboration with many other makers all working simultaneously.

Above: Lampshades for a bar in A Coruña, Galicia - in collaboration with Marta Penina, Monica Guilera and Carles Alcoy.

Below: Work in progress creating mock-up stage props for the internationally acclaimed theatre company 'La Fura dels Baus'

Below: A large sculptural projection space for an exhibition of the work of Mari Chordà at Lo Pati, contemporary art space in Amposta, Catalonia.

 

Thursday
Dec072017

Catching up and catching my breath......

Hi folks - it's been a while since I've managed to log in here and jot a few notes - in fact I see not since I headed off for Australia in March! That project - The Deeper Voice of Textiles was a huge public and personal success and very rewarding for myself in many ways - while I have some photo stories still to post - much of the project can be seen documented on the special blog here: The Deeper Voice of Textiles.

I was honoured to be asked to write an account of my experiences during the project for the online magazine 'Garland', this excellent magazine journals all kinds of makings in the Asia-Pacific-Australasia region. My article can be read online here: An Invitation to Create: The Deeper Voice of Textiles, don't miss the gallery of 30 of my photographs from the project accessed by clicking the portrait collage at the head of the article.

Since my return rom Australia I've been working on projects in Spain as well as quick visits to Denmark, the UK and the USA. I'll try and post a selection of project shots over the coming weeks but here is a selection as a quick update - more soon!

'Nomad's Fold', 2017,  European Cane, Willow, Walnut husk dyed Sisal, from the exhibition 'Still Crazy After All These Years.... 30 years in art' at browngrotta arts, Wilton, CT, USA in April 2017

'Heir(air)loom', willow, steel cable & fence posts, part of the exhibition Over Havet Under Himlet, Odense, Denmark, curated by Jette Mellgren & Jan Johansen, May 2017.

'Sobre la marxa' ('on the go') - this year's Rafal project in Mas de Barberans, Catalonia with guest artists Klaus Titze and Jan Johansen from Denmark. Inspired by the extraordinary work of Catalan artist 'Tarzan de Argelaguer' - you can have an insight to his world in the short film here La Cosa and the excellent longer film Garrell - El Tarzan d'Argelaguer.

With my partner, Monica Guilera, our current exhibition 'Cortines' at the Museu de la Pauma in Mas de Barberans, Catalonia, is the product of a two year project involving over 20 makers researching and celebrating the tradition of Cortines - flexible fly screens and space dividers commonly used throughout Spain. The exhibition continues till June 2018.

More soon........

Saturday
Mar042017

Back to the land of the bowerbird....

By Monday night I'll be back in the land of the bowerbird! Exciting times as I embark on a 2 month trip working on a sculpture project 'The deeper Voice of Textiles' in Newcastle, NSW, Australia in collaboration with Timeless Textiles - the foremost contemporary textile gallery in Australia. More of this project to come - but first back to the bowers - in this case photographs of the bower or dancing ground of the male Satin Bowerbird that I photographed on my last trip in 2015. Since childhood I've been fascinated by these birds and their constructions built not for nesting - but display and attracting a mate. Interwoven twigs are combined with a variety blue trinkets gathered from the locality - in this case the family home of Harriet Goodall (thankyou for hosting me Harriet!).

In 2000 I took up an artist's residency with the New England Regional Arts Museum in Armidale, NSW, after the residency I then travelled on to Alice Springs and the Olgas in the central desert region of Australia, here I was lucky enough to catch up with the Western Bowerbird noisily feeding around the dry river beds. Onwards and up to Caiman Creek in the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park in Arnhem Land, NT and the Great Bowerbird with it's spectacular bower decorated with shells, bones, mangrove nuts and a bouquet of greenery - below you can see a scan of one of my 35mm slides from my trusty old Olympus OM1.

Above - Great Bowerbird's bower, Caiman Creek, NT

Below - Satin Bowerbird's bower, Robertson, NSW.

Thursday
Feb092017

.....some of my favourite baskets are twined

Above: Openwork Pandanus basket by Rosie Bindal Bindal, Yilan near Maningrida, NT, Australia

Yes - some of my favourite baskets are twined - that is - woven with two or more weavers travelling along at the same time capturing stakes as they go and twisting around each other - there are lots of twining variations and for some reason they have always captured my attention. Perhaps because it was one of the first techniques I learnt many years ago with Mary Butcher, maybe because I have been lucky enough to join indigenous makers in Australia as they make or perhaps just because it is such a great way of joining stuff together.

I've gathered and been given some nice examples over the years and here is a selection photographed this evening on my workshop terrace. If you would like to learn some of these techniques why not join me at  Weaving by the Sea 2017

Above: Iringa basket in alternate pair and three strand twining, Tanzania.

Above: Chinese rush slippers - bought in Paris

Above: Openwork grass basket for collecting grasshoppers, Uganda. Thanks to Jette Mellgren & Jan Johansen who gave this to me during the Asante Sana project.

Above: Finely twined hat in Bear Grass and Maidenhair Fern, California. Hupa, Karok or Yurok peoples

Above: basket - perhaps California - Hupa, Karok or Yurok peoples

Above: Openwork grass glass holder - countered rows of twining with stakes lattice arranged

Above: beautiful basket from the Ye'kuana rainforest people of the Orinoco River region, Venezuela.

Tuesday
Jan312017

Twining Techniques at Barcelona Botanic Garden

Here are a few photographs of my rush twining course hosted by Barcelona Botanic Garden and organised by the Catalan Basketmakers Association in mid January. More courses are arranged for this spring and the programme can be seen here: 2016-17 Programme

Monday
Nov212016

'light and line' for Newcastle NSW

My new basket 'light and line' has arrived in Newcastle , New South Wales, Australia ready for the new exhibition 'Holding: Contemporary Fibre Art' at the Newcastle City Gallery selected by special guest curator Anne Kempton of Timeless Textiles.

Update 2016.12.07 The exhibition is now up and running and the online catalogue can be seen here: Holding: Interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

Some gathered thoughts for the exhibition catalogue:

Light & Line

Looking at historical baskets in museum collections frequently leads my work in new directions. Unfamiliar techniques and unusual materials draw my eye and inspire experimentation. Often in the absence of a traditional maker a desire to understand the structure and making processes can only be understood through hands on making, numerous mistakes and continued looking and reappraisal.

This basket made from plastic drinking straws and dyed fishing line combines inspirations from South African Zulu and Aboriginal Australian basket making traditions seen on recent travels and researches. While the techniques are straightforward the way the making progresses is unusual as this basket can be finished at the top or the bottom and decisions can be made at various stages of the works progression by pinching and squashing the form. In the context of the 'Holding 'exhibition I am happy that this work is made through such a manipulation of contained space. Other recent pieces have included concepts of 'folding space' as well as encircling or capturing space. 

Working with unfamiliar translucent materials encouraged me to experiment with layering weaves and playing with different amounts of opacity in the dying of the fishing line. In this basket the transparency of the stakes or straws allows the weaving structure to be clearly seen - the normally hidden is made visible.

Technique and material combine to create - I hope - a pleasing form with traditional functional references but an essentially aesthetic and delicate appearance.

Is this a useful basket? What could it be for? Why would one make such things in an age of modern materials and mechanisation? The basket asks a variety of questions and represents a snapshot from a longer continuity of making and experimentation.

Tim Johnson October 2016

 

Tuesday
Nov152016

Exploring Twined Structures with the Northumbrian Basketmakers

Following the excellent long weekend with the Scottish Basketmakers' Circle at Kindrogan near Pitlochry I was delighted to be invited to come and teach for the Northumbrian Basketry Group in Hepple. Whisked south (thankyou Anna!) I arrived a day early in Coquetdale and was very happy to have a day wandering the countryside on a gorgeous sunny day and revisiting places I visited in my childhood. It was a pleasure to find many plants familiar to my childhood botanising such as Purple Moor Grass, Bog Myrtle, Ling Heather and Hair Moss that have now become special to me as materials for making.

Above: Hair Moss (Polytrichum commune) on the edge of the Otterburn ranges.

The lovely old Hepple village hall - originally the primary school - provided an excellent and warm venue for teaching and making. Using two varieties of rush ( chair seating and salt) bought in for the workshop and a selection of other local and garden materials we explored different twining structures that give strength, texture and different making speeds. Defined as a weaving technique with two or more weavers travelling along together and twisting as they go locking in stakes, the twining family is very diverse with numerous variations from worldwide traditions.

Working with a special 3 part mould  we started with plain twining then moved on to further variations including alternate pair twining, chain pairing and the very attractive but long named 'chased - countered- alternate pair twining'. As the 10 participants got their fingers and minds around the different weave structures we were thoughtfully kept in good shape with a steady supply of tea, biscuits and cakes and a great atmosphere of group learning.

I ended the two day workshop with a demonstration of two variations of handles or straps that can be added to rush baskets depending on how they are to be used. Many thanks to everyone who made the workshop possible especially Charlotte Boxall who ran the event so well.

Above: Deer Sedge (Trichophorum cespitosum) at Holystone Burn Nature Reserve.

Below: Birch and Purple Moor Grass (Molinia caerulea) in Coquetdale.


Tuesday
Nov152016

Teaching for the Scottish Basketmakers' Circle, Kindrogan, October 2016

I'm home now after a great trip northwards - first to Sandown on the Isle of Wight (above) then onwards up to Perthshire in Scotland to teach for the Scottish Basketmakers' Circle's autumn meeting and then on to teach for the Northumberland Basketmakers in Hepple - whose workshop will be in my next blog post.

In the beautiful surroundings of Kindrogan Field Studies Centre (below) my class was one of three and I decided to teach an open ended class 'Bundlesticks and Freecoiling'. Participants gathered a variety of local materials and combining these with willow and rush brought in, we explored a variety of fibre preparation processes, cordage making techniques and twining structures that lead to a fantastic atmosphere focused on learning specific traditional techniques but with open ended outcomes depending on the participants wishes.

Everyone was keen to learn the finer points of palm binding cordage and mastering the ever challenging cranking of willow to make two and three ply willow ropes - so useful for the making of beautiful handles in traditional willow baskets. Makers went away with a variety of small baskets, weaving samplers, clews of cordage and bundles of materials to carry on with projects and explorations at home. Thankyou to everyone who made the event so enjoyable both from the SBC and Kindrogan staff.

Friday
Nov112016

The Basketmakers' Associations Challenge Cup

Correction : Apologies I made a mistake in the award that I won described in the text below - I didn't win the Basketmakers' Association Barbara Maynard Challenge Cup - but I did win the Basketmakers' Association Challenge Cup! So rather than delete all the information about Barbara Maynard I will leave as is but with this correction......

In October I attended The Basketmakers' Association AGM in London, this year the meeting was themed around rushwork with an excellent talk by rush and willow basket maker Nadine Anderson and rush technique taster workshops in the afternoon. I brought along one of my recent shoulder baskets for the competition and was delighted and suprised to win! The annual competition is the Basketmakers' Associations' Challenge Cup presented to the association by Barbara Maynard in the BA's formative years.

Barbara Maynard was first Chairman and co-founder of the Basketmakers’ Association as well as author of several basketry books including Modern Basketry from the start 1973 and Basketry Step by Step 1977 and Modern Basketry Techniques 1989. While looking a little dated now, when we have so many high quality basketry books to choose from, at the time they were useful and influencial publications.

Curious about the history of the BA and Barbara's influence I found the following passage by Lois Walpole in her article 'The Emergence of Contemporary Basketmaking in Britain' in the Basketmakers' Association 25th Anniversary Newsletter of October 2000.

"For me there is no doubt that one of the key players in the emergence of contemporary basketmaking in Britain in the late 1970s and early 1980s was the City and Guilds Creative Basketmaking course and its teacher at the time, Barbara Maynard......

.......Anyone who new Barbara will remember that she was passionate about basketmaking and chair caning, and absolutely determined that the City and Guilds course, and the Basketmakers' Association, would survive and expand, so anyone that she came across who showed any ability at all was immediatly subjected to relentless pressure to enrol for the course......

......At the time Barbara felt very strongly that basket making in Britain could be revitalised, but only if it was accompanied by 'good design'. I am not sure that Barbara knew herself what form that good design would come in, and I'm not sure that she would approve of what has emerged as contemporary basketmaking in Britain, but she also disapproved of Alastair (Heseltine) and David (Drew), who she felt were just doing traditional willow work, and she was not at all keen on the sort of work that was emerging in America under the influence of people like Ed Rossbach, a textile teacher, designer and artist, He wrote a number of books. including Baskets as Textile Art......."

So with such fascinating history (and shall we say controversial opinions!) and cross references of makers contemporary and traditional I feel honoured to be the safekeeper of the Basketmakers' Associations' Barbara Maynard Challenge Cup for the coming year.

Below details of my winning shoulder basket made from Reedmace (Typha latifolia) , Lime bast and Taro root braided and stitched in the special Mediterranean 'inter-digitated' stitching technique.


 

Monday
Jul182016

Baskets from Mexico

If your passing through Barcelona this summer it's worth having a look at the small but well selected exhibition 'La creacion en el arte popular mexicano' at the Centre d'Artesania Catalunya. Alongside textiles, ceramics and metalwork there are some beautiful baskets made with a variety of natural fibres. Exhibition continues until the 4th September 2016.

Above: Tortilla Case, plaited palm by Teresa Perez Marquez from San Luis Amatlan, Oaxaca

Above & below: set of baskets for tortilla and shelling maize in liana stems, by Victor Manuel Lopez Rodriguez from Ocosingo, Chiapas

Above & below: basket, Romerillo twigs, by Teodulo Flores Vilchis, Tenancingo, Estado de Mexico

Above & below: bread basket in Sotol palm by Felipe Hernandez Camacho from El Carmen, Tequexquitla, Tlaxcala

 

Wednesday
Jun152016

'Cortines' project underway...

In March 2016 we started our two year project exploring the traditions and techniques of Cortines or fly screens in Catalonia. Conceived by Monica Guilera and myself as a public art project working in collaboration with a team of makers, students and artists we will work on creating a collection of contemporary curtains that will be exhibited outdoors in the doorways of Mas de Barberans during the summer of 2017.

The project is coordinated by the Museu de la Pauma in Mas de Barberans and sponsored by a host of public bodies - please see our dedicated web page for more details: Cortines: Dividing Spaces

During our first group sessions we looked at variety of natural and hand made objects with interesting and contrasting linear elements - this provided the starting point for painting and drawing experimentation. Over the coming months we will look at a variety of traditional and contemporary making techniques that will lead us on to our curtain designs.

During the project we will be identifying and harvesting local plant materials that can be used for a variety making techniques and collaborating with the members of the local palm weaving group Art Pauma.

Further information about the project may be found on the project website: Cortines: Dividing Spaces.


Friday
May272016

Hobby-Horses for Lolland

Minehead Hobby Horse circa 1900, c/o The Museum of Somerset

We are just home from our third contribution to sculpture projects in the grounds of Reventlow Museet on the Danish island of Lolland. The former home of  Danish statesman and social reformer C.D.F Reventlow the house is set in beautiful grounds which this year is home to the sculpture trail for adults and especially children 'Tur i Tiden' (tour in time) curated by the basketmakers and project curators Jette Mellgren and Jan Johansen. The Reventlow estate was formerly the home of a long tradition of horse breeding in the academic horse riding tradition and this provided us - myself and Monica Guilera - with the starting point for our contribution. Combining this local reference with inspirations from the hobby horse folk tradition widespread across Europe, we created a selection of Hobby Horses for visiting children and parents to take out for a ride. There are lots of other interactive works on the trail too so well worth a visit, continues until November.

In 2013 and 2014 we contributed the 'TheWrong Bats', 'Little Fields' and 'View Finders' to the sculpture projects at Reventlow.

Thursday
May262016

of ladders...

'Skyladder' April 2011, 'Between Sea & Sky', Stige Ø, Odense, Denmark

Hazel ladders at the old studio, October 2011

'Skyladder' April 2011, 'Between Sea & Sky', Stige Ø, Odense, Denmark

'Ladder-rack' November 2010, Quay Arts, Isle of Wight, UK.

Hazel ladders on paintings, studio work in progress, January 2012.

Vine Ladders - in the kitchen, November 2013.

Vine Ladders, March 2013

Hazel frame for 'Invisible Pathways' at Briddlesford Lodge Farm, November 2014

Saturday
Apr162016

Join me on the little island of Lyø

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the coming weeks I have nice schedule of workshops and events coming up - one of the highlights will be teaching on the beautiful Danish island of Lyø - a neighbour of Bjørnø an island that I have taught summer schools on over the last couple of years. The course still has some places so best book soon if you are interested in a week of harvesting, fibre processing and making with a variety of techniques. The full workshop description is as follows:

Finding Fibres

Join artist and basketmaker Tim Johnson’s ‘Finding Fibres’ workshop on the beautiful island of Lyø, Denmark, during the the ‘Focus on Basketry’ Summer School, 3rd – 8th July 2016. Tim’s workshop will focus on finding, harvesting and processing a wide variety of natural materials from the island landscape of  Lyø. Many species of rushes, sedges and grasses alongside barks and plant stems can be used to create bags, baskets and sculptural forms using a variety of traditional techniques. During the week will explores rope and string making, flexable structures with looping and knotting, twining and braiding and the possibilities offered by combining soft and rigid materials.

Bring along your own tools and perhaps a camera and notebook and we will look to see what we can find, gather and create. See you in Lyø!

Booking details and prices can be found on the English and Danish website here: ‘Focus on Basketry’ Summer School.

Email me 'here' if you have any queries or would like further details, see you there!


 

Tuesday
Mar152016

NEW SPIRALS exhibition at the Höyry Gallery, Korpilahti, Finland

Above: 'Atoll' 2016, Tim Johnson, bamboo, sisal twine, recycled window blind.

Opening at the start of April a new exhibition 'NEW SPIRALS' by the always challenging and inspiring group of Finnish contemporary basketmakers - Anna-Maria Väätäinen, Anelma Savolainen, Minna Koskinen, and Raija Manninen at the Höyry Gallery in the town of Korpilahti near Jyvaskyla in central Finland. As a special addition to the group - myself and Monica Guilera Subirana have been invited as guests and will have three works each in the exhibition. Further photos to follow once the exhibition is open!

More gallery details here: Höyry Gallery

NEW SPIRALS, 2nd 24th April 2016

Below: 'Green Nansa' 2016, Monica Guilera Subirana, willow & twine.


Tuesday
Mar152016

Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers at the Morris Museum, NJ, USA

Above: Tim Johnson 'keeping time' basket 2016, combed reedmace.

Opening this week is the exhibition Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers at the Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey, USA. I'm delighted to have several new baskets in the exhibition alongside works by some of the best contemporary basketmakers around the world including such luminaries as Ed Rossbach, John McQueen, Gyöngy Laky and Dorothy Gill Barnes from the US, Dail Behennah, Lizzie Farey and Chris Drury from the UK, Jane Balsgaard  and Birigit Birkkjaer from Denmark, Markku Kosonen from Finland and Hisako Sekijima and Noriko Takamiya from Japan. The exhibition runs from March 19th to June 26th 2016 and opening times can be found on the Morris Museum website.

Curated by Jane Milosch of the Office of the Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, former curator of the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum and Rhonda Brown and Tom Grotta of browngrotta arts the exhibition brings together makers work that reflects their close relationship with the natural world both as a source of materials and inspiration. The curators state:

"Throughout history, artists and craftspeople have been highly attuned to the beauty and resources of the natural world, whether depicting a pristine landscape, untouched by man, or harvesting plants and minerals for pigments and brushes. Sustainability is a natural part of their design and craft process. Green from the Get Go will include more than 70 works by artists from Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, Scandinavia and the US, featuring innovators in the genre of 20th-century art basketry as well as emerging talents. These artists take their inspiration from nature and the history of basketry. Their work reveals a heightened sensitivity to the physicality of materials, one that honors the stewardship of nature by their choice and use of materials."

More information and a full list of makers can be found on the browngrotta arts website.

Above: Tim Johnson 'keeping time' basket 2016, reedmace.

Below: Tim Johnson 'keeping time' basket 2016, salt rush.


Friday
May012015

'Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now' at browngrotta arts

A selection of my 'keeping time' baskets are currently on show in the exhibition Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now at browngrotta arts, Wilton, Connecticut, USA. I was delighted to be invited last November to create new work for this special survey exhibition placing fibre works by leading practitioners from the 1960s pivotal to the evolution of the contemporary basketmaking and fibre art movement alongside the generation born in the 60s, including myself, that have been influenced by these makers. On browngrotta arts' arttextstyle blog my early discovery of Ed Rossbach's work is quoted:

“I am more than happy to admit the influence of makers such as Ed Rossbach, whose book, The New Basketry, I bought for the mighty sum of £1.50 when I was still a schoolboy in the 80s,” Johnson says. “While for many years the influence did not emerge in my work and I did not understand how to work with basketry techniques and materials, when I eventually started making baskets it was like coming home to the work I had always wanted to make.”

As I have just returned from a six week research and teaching trip to Australia (blog posts about the trip here soon) unfortunately I'm unable to visit the exhibition, it would certainly be a treat to see my baskets alongside works by such luminaries as Ed Rossbach, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Sheila Hicks, Masakazu Kobayashi, Lenore Tawney and Luba Krejci among many others.

My 'keeping time' baskets were first exhibited in the 2007 exhibition 'East Weaves West', curated by Mary Butcher, that brought together the work of makers from the United Kingdom and Japan. I have since exhibited different baskets of the series in a variety of venues in the UK and Europe including the piece 'Spiky Vessel' that won first prize in the contemporary category of the V International Contest of Plant Fibres at Museu de la Pauma in Mas de Barberans in Cataluña, Spain.

My 'keeping time' baskets are an evolving series, in these works I am interested in the play between vessel and surface, the particular qualities of different plant materials and the contrast of outside volume and contained space. Working on each of these baskets over several days, the careful manipulation of material - be it different kinds of rushes, grasses or flowering plants, creates different possibilities to articulate the transition from outside to inside. The contrasting textures of the apparently chaotic exterior and the carefuly woven interior creates a dialogue that excites me and pushes me forward in its exploration.

If you are interested in purchasing one of these baskets please contact browngrotta arts through my artist page here: Tim Johnson @ browngrotta arts