Vintage Knitting, Retro Dressmaking, Make do and Mend, Original and Vintage Inspired Knitting Patterns, Vintage Inspired books

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Its a couple of weeks now since I set up my installation at the Rheged Gallery in Penrith, Cumbria but its taken me until now to feel confident enough to blog about the whole experience. I enjoyed the process enormously but at the same time was completely over-awed by the people I was sharing the gallery with and also terribly worried that my work wasn't very good. In fact, far more worried than I've been about anything in my career. I guess if this blog shows anything its that I'm not afraid to be open about myself and my work but this installation basically lays my working practices and therefore myself, completely open.

It was however a great way to achieve closure on a project that had totally taken over my life and from which, I've found it quite hard to move on. Taking the working papers, swatches, notes, unresolved garments etc and altering their purpose has created a distance for me that hopefully means I can tidy up my mind as well as my desk. The stacks of papers have been carefully arranged to reveal little tit bits from the process, notes in different hand writing, sketches, scribbles and above all, numbers. The title of the piece, 3000 hours, was, as I've previously mentioned, the approximate time I spent on the 'mathematical' part of the project. Its an enormous amount of time and I felt it was important to try and express that time spent in a physical form. Scarily the finished installation does not include all the papers. It would have become quite overwhelming and unstable if it had!

I took a lot of photographs of the piece as it built up none of which really do the piece justice but they do help to show some of the detail. This first batch of photos are from my studio as I first starting trying to piece it all together. As the piles were created they were then glued together into a whole:

The very first pieces being laid out.
The first pile

The first stacks of glued sections

Detail as it starts to come together

a completed pile

the layout starts to come together

Once the layout was worked out and glueing was completed the installation had to be dis-assembled and packed up to take to the gallery. I then had to begin again arranging the work according to my plan.

Here I am working my best Ena Sharples look - pin curls at the ready

Not quite sure what I'm doing here. I appear to be listening for the sea in my cup

The installation starts to come together

Final adjustments

A section of the final piece

Charlie relaxing before the launch listening to Knitsonik's amazing recordings

the only not completely dreadful photo of me at the launch, wearing the Helen Shrug
There is some amazing work on display at the exhibition including other specially commissioned work from the likes of Knitsonik and Rachael Matthews, and a chance to see the thought provoking work of Freddie Robins and the unbelievable knitted BMW engine by Amy Twigger Holroyd and that's just to name just a few!

WOW  is showing daily until 15th April of this year (opening times are 10.30am-4.30pm). Its most definitely worth a visit.

for now
Ruby xx


Hélène Magnússon said...

Nothing to be afraid of ! You rock!

tomofholland said...

Susan, what a great way to put this project to bed. WOW (!) 3000hrs of calculations? But look what you have to show for it, an amazing new book!

TheStitchandMakeStudio said...

Your work it totally incredible, Its such a daunting task to reveal you inners workings amongst your contempories. Scary. I have a knitted salon bench in the show and would love to get there to see the show, it looks Awesome, but such a long way for Nupton. Good luck with the book and keep up the incredible work. Abi