The first set of photographs I have chosen to use are a selection that my Uncle Jeff has archived from his childhood, he was my Dads brother. Very sadly both my Dad and my Auntie Linda together with my Nanny and Grandad have all died and so these photographs have a very special significance in our family. They show Martin, Jeffrey and Linda as children, and as teenagers and young adults. There are lots of the three of them together and several with one or both parents present. There are photographs of my Nanny as a very beautiful young lady in the fashions of the day and several of my Nanny and Grandad together on a beach in Suffolk and in front of their house in Holly Drive, Chingford.
There are a couple of pictures of my Dad and me and one of my sister and I when we were very young outside the house where my parents had their honeymoon on the Isles of Scilly. I have often wanted to do something with all these photographs, I have quite a collection from my mothers side of the family too which need to be organised. But something along the lines of a wall hanging, or as my cousin suggested a cushion would be in order. I have decided to use this assignment as their first outing in the medium of textiles!
The pictures are interspersed with crosswords and photos of black and White fabrics aswell as collages made up of newsprint on fabric saying
"You are my Sunshine" and " Apple of my eye" both of which were expressions my Dad used. My Dad was also never further than a few feet away from a Telegraph crossword so I put some of those in too ( although mine are the Guardian but I think he would approve of the irony!)
I am always shocked at how much time is taken up by the actual mechanics of putting the work together - the photography, printing, editing, printing again!, the layout, design , collating other materials, the planning of where it all goes and finally putting it down with glue. I seem to have this idea in my head that once I've visualised it there then I've seen it as finished and the actual process of getting it down on paper shouldn't take as long as it does - and I am a fairly efficient and effective worker.
I must get over this problem I seem to have in my head that it isn't ok to actually enjoy doing it, that it should feel like work and it doesn't, it feels like heaven! I think it's that typical age old mothers guilt and I can appreciate why I feel that way but also I find I have creative bursts and you have to go with them and make everyone fall in to line. Luckily most if my family are old enough to appreciate it and actually for Anna, she doesn't know any different and so when Mummy is drawing Anna now sits and draws too! There are are times, such as now at 11O' clock at night when everyone is in bed I can create without anyone wanting me and without interruption or feeling guilty. I usually find that is when I write my blog and commit it all to the Internet!
You are my sunshine. Could there be a nicer saying? On liberty fabric in newsprint and on a blackboard in newsprint.
Nanny and Grandad in front of their house in Holly Drive, Chingford. Near Epping Forest where my father & uncle would swim in the ponds with their Dad and he would invariably lose his glasses!
Nanny and Grandad on the beach
Nanny and her classmates I think at Lady Eleanor Hollis school for Girls.
Nanny in a glamour pose, I wonder who got her to do this as I wouldn't have thought it would be in her natural nature!
My Nanny and Joyce her younger sister.
Nanny. Florence Ethel Nicholson. Or Nicky to her friends. Inexplicably my father called her "Elaine"
My Nanny, one of my favourite people ever in my life and a truly inspirational character.
My Dad and his Grandmother, she had fostered 13 children!
My Dad on his beloved scooter
My mum and dad when they were courting!
Linda, Dad and Jeffrey on a log in Epping Forest.
Three in a boat, Dad with the oars!
In Epping Forest with Grandad.
Dad, Jeffrey and Linda as a baby with Their parents.
These two girls on either end were family friends. Look what happened years later when they were asked to recreate the photo!
Don't they look jolly!?!
This is one of my favourites. Suzie, my sister and I can see all our children in these three here.
Jeffrey and Lynne, my Uncle and Aunt who have been together since about age 15!
Lynne ( on the right) was Lindas friend at school. The first time she came round Jeffrey hid in the shed!!! You can see he was happy to come out eventually!!
Finally my Nanny and Grandads wedding. They courted for nine years before she finally said "I do!"
I miss my father, Nanny and Auntie Linda more than words can say every day but I am so fortunate to have such a close immediate and extended family who all keep in touch on a daily basis! My sister & I together with our cousins and all our extended families have a weeks holiday together every year, which is something we did as children and is something which is fairly unique now, I think!
And we are so lucky to have Uncle Jeffrey who has archived all these wonderful photos and more, which I hope to reproduce into something fabulous and eye catching in the world of textile art.
I am aware that this post has become rather personal than artistic but that is the meaning behind this piece and it felt important to me to introduce them to you and to give them character. As the piece develops the people will be slightly hidden by the words I am going to add on top, but I'm sure these wonderful pictures will surface amongst my work again and again.