Sunday
Jul282013

An Cosan Glas Sculpture Trail, Magheraroarty, Co.Donegal

So much to say about this amazing project and spectacular event with many hundreds of visitors over two evenings in July, An Cosan Glas are an amazing team coming up to their 20th anniversary next year, now I can only share a few pictures in my new gallery here: 'The Hills of Donegal' and just to say I feel honoured to have been part of it all . Thankyou.

Saturday
Jul272013

Læ & Leben, Lolland, April 2013

I'm bit by bit getting pictures up online from the many exciting projects this year - here is a new collection from the project in Lolland in April and still on show till the 30th September: Læ & Leben, Lolland, Denmark, April 2013

All the artist involved and links can be seen on the previous post about this project: Forthcoming project - Læ & Leben, Lolland, Denmark, May-Sept 2013.

Since we were over making the project in April the seasons have progressed and our 'Wrongbats' are beginning to be nicely concealed in amongst the foliage of the giant Beech tree that we selected for them to roost in. Thankyou to my good friend Per-Olof Johansson and Marianne Petersen for sending over some pictures of them during June.

Our 'Little Fields' are doing well too with lots of long grass and buttercups growing up through our weaving - it will be interesting to see it slowly decay away into the meadow making 'fairy ring' like shadows on the ground.

 

Friday
Jul262013

'I am here now' Landscape Works 1993-2013

I've just created a new website gallery documenting my current exhibition at the An Grianan Theatre in Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland:  'I am here now' Landscape Works 1993-2013. The exhibition brings together drawings, collages, baskets, photographs and 'stickworks' made over a twenty year period concerning landscape themes and our relationship to it. The exhibition is part of the Earagail Arts Festival and I've been lucky to have the curatorial and technical support of the fantastic Seamus Quinn of Artworks. Thankyou to everyone who made it possible!

Based around the key work of the show above - a large photo montage, 'I am here now' 2003-2013, the exhibition brings together for the first time a collection of works that have been made in diverse locations around the globe. The photo montage depicts both the harvesting of natural materials for basket making and my intent to make the declaration ‘I am here now’ - at this place - at this moment.

During the first week of the exhibition I worked in the gallery space using a harvest of Birch sticks that we came upon at 9am on the first day of the install being trimmed from a nearby roundabout - couldn't have been better timing! Working around the idea of 'mountains' - their physical and vertical presence and dominance in so many landscapes that fascinate me - I developed the start of a new body of work - 'The Hills of Donegal' in a variety of media.

More to follow shortly from my trip to Donegal including the adventures of SpAce Juck and the amazing An Cosan Glas project at Magheraroarty.

'The Hills of Donegal' collages, July 2013

'The Hills of Donegal - Hill twigs' July 2013

'The Hills of Donegal - Mountain Bow' July 2013

Sunday
Jul072013

Earagail Arts Festival Residency under way.....

So the exhibition 'I am here now' is up, opened and looking well and I'm looking forward to working in the gallery space over the coming week as well as taking some harvesting trips around Donegal. I'll have some pictures soon once I find a way of glueing the mirror back inside my camera - fallen out after hundreds of thousands of shutter actions - mmm bad timing!

I'll be making some new pieces using whatever I can find this week and I had a great first catch last Wednesday on the morning after my arrival - a great pile of Himalayan Birch (Betula utilis jacquemontii) on the roundabout near to the gallery - being clipped to make clear views for the CCTV! Thanks to tree surgeon Colin Farrell for allowing me to help myself and to my good friend Seamus Quinn of Artworks for helping me haul the sticks up through the morning traffic!

Last week I made a new series of collages entitled 'The Hills of Donegal' using book endpapers salvaged from my last project with Ryde library depicting mountainscapes and Ill be working further with this theme over the coming weeks and months. Ever since my Highland Craft Residency in 2005 I have been fascinated by the idea or symbol of mountains and different ways of depicting them - some woven examples of these ideas can be seen in this gallery : Baskets and other Weavings.

'The Hills of Donegal' - work in progress.


Friday
Jul052013

'I am here now' 

Opening tomorrow afternoon at the An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny, County Donegal my new exhibition 'I am here now' brings together a collection of work exploring themes of exploring the landscape and the notion of being present, alive and here - wherever here is at a particular moment. I am enjoying so much returning to Donegal after nearly 15 years away and its a joy to both catch up with many old friends and to present a collection of my work that has evolved over those 15 years. If you get a chance to pop by we are kicking off at 4.30 so join us for a nice cup of tea!

Above and below images from a series of photographs exhibited for the first time in this exhibition, the series entitled 'I am here now' depicts my hands in various locations holding materials and declaring my presence in a moment in time. This series started around 2003 in the West Highlands of Scotland and I have been adding to the series occasionally ever since. Alongside these photographs I'll be showing my 'Walking Books', 'Boat Baskets', large bamboo wall drawings and a variety of additional pieces that I will be adding to over my making residency in the theatre gallery next week. Come by and see me at work in the gallery and I'll be happy to show you what I'm up to.

Monday
Jun242013

Reading Spaces - Artist in Residence with Ryde Arts Festival, June 2013

I'm busy these weeks with an exciting project in my home town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight, as part of Ryde Arts Festival I'm working alongside fellow maker Jonathan Ward to create a number of installations and sculptures in the town's public library celebrating the festival theme of books and reading. We are just under way and a new blog started right here: Reading Spaces. I'll be working on a number of 'sculpture' tables that will mingle with the libraries regular furniture using all kinds of recycled materials including a great pile of redundant library books.

Sunday
Jun092013

New Work for Hackwood Arts Festival 2013

Just finished six new wall pieces to be shown next weekend at the Hackwood Art Festival near Basingstoke - I don't want to show too much now until they have been installed in the show - but I'm feeling excited about this new collection!

It will be a great event with lots to see and workshops all weekend. This week I'll be working alongside Monica Guilera Subirana creating an installation with local schools and you can come along and join in over the weekend or try your hand at a variety of basketmaking sessions, see you there!

Some suitably fuzzy photos of work in progress to keep you guessing....


Friday
Mar292013

Forthcoming project - Læ & Leben, Lolland, Denmark, May-Sept 2013

Bat Wing Shelter, provisional drawing I, Tim Johnson & Mònica Guilera ©

Preparations are well underway for an exciting project curated and organised by Jette Mellgren and Jan Johansen in association with the Museum Lolland Falster on the Danish island of Lolland at the mouth of the Baltic Sea. Titled 'Lae & Leben' - which, though difficult to translate from a mixture of Danish and German - is to do with the theme of shelter and life, the project will bring together twelve artists and basketmakers from around Europe to work simultaneously on creating a body of work inspired by the special environment and natural history of the location.

Working together with Mònica Guilera, we will be making two pieces over a week in April which will then be on exhibition from May through to the end of September. Our pieces - initial sketches above and below of our starting point - respond to the theme of shelter and the location, Reventlow Park, being the home to a variety of rare and special bat species. it's always exciting to embark on a new project and no doubt it will evolve and develop once we get started!

The makers on the project are:

Mary Butcher (England), Joan Farré and Carlos Fontales (Spain), Tim Johnson and Monica Guilera (UK & Spain), Anne Mette Hjørnholm (Denmark), Annette Holdensen (Denmark), Jan Johansen (Denmark), Jette Mellgren (Denmark), Palle Lindau and Anne Højstrup (Denmark) and Karin Van Der Molen (Holland)

Bat Wing Shelter, provisional drawing II, Tim Johnson & Mònica Guilera ©

Tuesday
Mar262013

hedging and ditching...

It's one of those busy weeks running from one workshop to another - so I pause for breath for a moment to tell you about a piece I've just delivered to the 'From Bare Stems' Exhibition curated by Hilary Burns for the Basketry and Beyond 2013 project and festival in May. I had a wonderful time going down to hang my piece in the show, attend the opening and see all the wonderful exhibits new and old, contemporary and traditional.

Wall text from the exhibition:

Hedging and Ditching, 2013

This new woven wall piece made especially for the ‘From Bare Stems’ exhibition combines natural and man-made materials and uses as its inspiration the shapes and forms of Devon’s celebrated hedgerows. The upright sticks of hedgerow trees and the rounded forms of stone faced banks gave Tim his starting point of combining rounded ‘willow bark crisps’, the patterns created by multiple rows of twining and the contrasting light and dark lines of split and shaved willow sticks . Bailer twine and Coir string are perhaps more familiar to the modern farmer and the fishermen of old than to the basketmaker and Tim is happy to include their distinctive colours and textures whilst referencing local rural industry.

 

 

Monday
Mar252013

connections...

It's been an inspiring week for making connections - first of all chatting with artist and basketmaker Harriet Goodall from New South Wales, Australia who is in the midst of numerous projects working with locally harvested natural and recycled materials making contemporary baskets and sculptures that speak of her local environment. Harriet writes a very interesting blog and I'm delighted to be today's featured artist: fibre rush.

Harriet is based south of Sydney -  so I'm imagining (rightly or wrongly) a vaguely similar landscape to the one I explored over a two months residency with the New England Regional Art Museum north of Sydney during 2000. There I wandered into the surrounding farmland and bush gathering and making everyday with the stuff I found - a  wonderful place and an exciting opportunity to play with a huge array of unfamiliar materials.

The Australian influence stayed with me for a long time after my return homewards and I continued to explore the wrappings, bundles, handfuls and packages over several works in the months to come.

'all the things' - third version 2003

Bundles and Ropes one person show, Art & Design Gallery, University of Hertfordshire.

Another great connection this week has been catching up with the inspiring collection of artists and basketmakers that form the Urban Weaver Studio over in Vancouver. Combining the traditional skills of basketmakers with contemporary environmental issues the makers there work with a wide variety of invasive species in need of control - many imported from Europe and some of my favourite materials too! Plants like Yellow Flag, Ivy and Bulrush have become problem species and their harvesting for creative uses is an inspiring model for makers everywhere with environmental concerns.

If your interested in working with some of these materials - watch this space as I'll be posting soon about forthcoming fibre workshops on the Isle of Wight, in Germany and perhaps elsewhere.

 

Friday
Mar222013

Sell, Sell, Sell.....

I'm preparing materials for making over the next few months - making hoops for Frame baskets, splitting sticks for Boat baskets, shaving laths for Woven Paths, sorting rods for fitching and bark peeling. I'll be selling through local galleries on the Isle of Wight like Quay Arts Craft Shop and Pelham House Gallery and in basket markets in France, Spain and Germany too.

It's nice to be part of a long tradition and here are some basket merchants of the past!

Basket seller painting - unknown source.

Carle Vernet, Marchand de Paniers, 1820

Eugène Atget, Marchand de panier, 1899

Costumes de Paris à travers les siècles: le Marchand de paniers, Gourdon de Genouillac 1880


Wednesday
Mar132013

Sunshine and Snow...

After several days of cold winds and all kinds of snow the sun is out and makes us believe it might be Spring again. I've seen Red Campion in bloom - stupidly early - alongside the Primroses, Snowdrops and miniature Daffodils in my garden, it's nice to bring a few flowers indoors in the Rush Vases I made a little while ago.

Pussy Willow and Three Cornered Leek (Allium triquetrum) on my window sill.

Wednesday
Mar132013

Vilanova i la Geltrú - sea, sand and sun! 

Weaving by the Sea update.........on our special blog. Places are booking up fast for our Basketmaking Holiday by the Sea in Vilanova i la Geltrú - so if your thinking of joining us book in soon to be sure of a place. See you there!

Thankyou to Ajuntament de Vilanova i la Geltrú for the pictures.

 

Friday
Feb152013

Last few places available for next weekend....

Basketmaking with Tim Johnson and Monica Guilera

23rd and 24th February, Saturday and Sunday, 10am - 4pm

The Depozitory,  23 Nelson Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight. PO33 2EZ

Over this weekend we will be running two workshops side by side as described below:


Introduction to Willow with Monica Guilera

23rd and 24th February, Saturday and Sunday, 10am - 4pm,

£80 for 2 day course, all materials and tools provided 

Come along and choose from a variety of projects including a useful basket with a Hazel stick handle, Catalan Trays, a randomly woven Nest basket and a beautifully curvy 'Zarzo' cheese tray from Spain.

Frame baskets with Colourful Willow and Hedgerow materials with Tim Johnson

23rd and 24th February, Saturday and Sunday, 10am - 4pm,  

£80 for 2 day course, all materials and tools provided 

Learn to make useful frame baskets with a wide variety of this seasons fresh and colourful willow harvest and locally gathered hedgerow materials. Frame baskets are traditional to many parts of Europe and America and are a real joy to make in a variety of sizes. Tim will guide you through the process of making good strong frames and how to use a variety of local materials with techniques from Spain and the UK. 

To book your place on either workshop email Tim Johnson on johnson@timstring.freeserve.co.uk

Wednesday
Feb132013

An invitation to Weave by the sea...October 2013

Today we are launching a new project - that is myself with Monica Guilera and Mai Hvid Jorgensen, come and join us for an exciting three days workshop in Vilanova I la Geltru just south of Barcelona then follow on to the excellent International Basketmaker's Fair in Salt on the 5th and 6th October.

More to follow and all the details so far on our new 'Weaving by the Sea' website.

Friday
Feb082013

Last places available for Sunday's Living Willow workshop......

I'll be giving a workshop this Sunday alongside alongside Catalan basketmaker Monica Guilera at the excellent new arts venue and studio in Ryde - The Depozitory.  We will be teaching living willow structures suitable for beginners and basketmakers. Last few places booking today and tomorrow!

Contact me directly by email to book your place: click here to email

10th February, Sunday, 10am - 4pm

Weaving with Living Willow, £40 for 1 day course

All materials and tools provided but please bring a flower pot at least 30cm wide with soil.

Bring along your own flower pots and planters and weave your own living willow 'woven trees' that make beautiful features in any garden or patio. You will have time to make several 'woven trees' - these can be kept in the pots that you bring or transpanted into your garden.

Sunday
Jan202013

'Transmission' - Guest Curating at Quay Arts

Last week and next I have been invited as a guest curator to transform the exhibition 'Transmission' at Quay Arts into it's second of three incarnations featuring works across the disciplines of Fine Art, Illustration, Photography, Product Design and Animation by recently graduated students of Southampton Solent University’s School of Art and Design.

To re-curate an existing exhibition into a new one with the addition and substraction of just a few works with the aim of providing the viewer with a new exhibition experience is quite a challenge!  Guided by the new theme of 'Manufacture' and the assistance of students from Isle of Wight and Southampton colleges it is however proving to be a stimulating process and as always with curation projects one that forces me to look at creative practice in new ways.

Following the exhibition 'hang' this week a Creative Conference examining the exhibition and it's threefold curation will be held on Wednesday - come along to see various presentations including my own on my creative practice, gallery education work and curation of this exhibition.

Entrance free but booking advised:

Wednesday 23 January 10am - 5:30pm Quay Arts, Newport, Isle of Wight.

 

Sunday
Dec232012

Basketmaking Workshops - Jan & Feb 2013, Ryde, Isle of Wight, Tim Johnson & Monica Guilera

Looking for a last minute Christmas Gift? Look no further!

In January and February I will be teaching alongside Catalan basketmaker Monica Guilera at the excellent new arts venue and studio in Ryde - The Depozitory.  We will be teaching a variety of baskets and techniques suitable both for beginners and those with some making experience.

Workshops are £40 for single days and £80 for weekends. All materials and tools supplied.

Contact me directly by email to book your place: click here to email

Dates and details:

19th and 20th January, Saturday and Sunday - please note date change to
23rd and 24th February, Saturday and Sunday, 10am - 4pm

Introduction to Willow, £80 for 2 day course, all materials and tools provided 

Come along and choose from a variety of projects including a useful basket with a Hazel stick handle, Catalan Trays, a randomly woven Nest basket, a decorative Madeira Border Basket for bread or cakes  and a beautifully curvy 'Zarzo' cheese tray from Spain.

Please note this course will now run concurrently with the Frame Basket course described below with myself and Monica sharing teaching over both courses.

10th February, Sunday, 10am - 4pm

Weaving with Living Willow, £40 for 1 day course

All materials and tools provided but please bring a flower pot at least 30cm wide with soil.

Bring along your own flower pots and planters and weave your own living willow 'woven trees' that make beautiful features in any garden or patio. You will have time to make several 'woven trees' - these can be kept in the pots that you bring or transpanted into your garden.

23rd and 24th February, Saturday and Sunday, 10am - 4pm

Frame baskets with Colourful Willow and Hedgerow materials, £80 for two day course

all materials and tools provided

Learn to make useful frame baskets with a wide variety of this seasons fresh and colourful willow harvest and locally gathered hedgerow materials. Frame baskets are traditional to many parts of Europe and America and are a real joy to make in a variety of sizes. Tim and Monica will guide you through the process of making good strong frames and how to use a variety of local materials with techniques from Spain and the UK. 

 

 

Thursday
Dec132012

Thorny issue....

I've had a couple of walks exploring the hinterlands of Ryde this week and am enjoying my discovery of new places - remarkable combinations of light, frost and dew have coincided with the sudden fall of leaves to reveal the beauty of the protective thorns of Blackthorn and Rose, black and blue buds of Ash and Birch and corky barks of Maple and Elm.

My Blackthorn pictures seem to work the best - taken just as the morning frost melts away leaving dewdrops suspended on the thorn tips. The last picture below is a fine 'stags horn' Oak showing the frequent attentions of woodpeckers.

Thursday
Dec132012

Workshop at the Museu de la Pauma in Mas de Barberans

At the end of November I was teaching alongside Monica Guilera at the Museu de la Pauma in Mas de Barberans in southern Catalonia, we taught the very attractive stick handle basket which is very useful for all kinds of jobs around the home and especially Clementines at Christmas! Just a few pictures of the workshop in progress...