Research trip – Alice Fox’s ‘Findings’ at the knit and stitch show, Alexandra Palace 6th October 2016

I wasn’t going to visit the knitting and stitching show this year, I have visited pretty much every year since the show started and with everything that has been going on lately I felt that I couldn’t really be bothered. That was until I saw the list of exhibitors. One stood out to be immediately: Alice Fox. Those who know me well know that I have long been a fan of hers. In fact she has inspired me a lot for this latest project. The idea of using objects found on walks, keeping it simple and elegant using nature’s produce as it were. Once I saw that she was exhibiting her ‘findings’ collection I had to go. Even if it was just to see that.

I am so glad that I did. One of the main points for me to look at was the way that she displays her work. Such small items need precise placement. I was particularly interested to see how she would display her acorns. They are so small and I presumed they would be a little lost in such a huge arena but they worked really well encased en mass and in small groups in perspex boxes.

Darned acorns

Acorns with needle woven cups

I really like the way Alice works and have followed her for some time now. I especially enjoy the playful nature of her work. It is neat, well thought out and precise which is the way I like to work. It is unusual to see natural materials and found objects, worked in this way. Quite often artists use these types of materials in a far looser spontaneous way. 

I also admire the way she mends the items most of the findings are based around the idea of the mending or darning of the items.

Darned conker shells

Leaf cubes

I was very interested to see these close up. They are so precious. The range of colours is so subtle and adds interest  I wondered how she preserves the colours and wether she chooses the leaves depending on  which colour she requires.

Handmade balls of string

The handmade balls of string that Alice has made using found materials inspired me to have a go myself when I got home  it was very tricky to do but I did manage to produce a small ball using her instructions. I am quite proud of it and have added it to my collection of samples.

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About Julie Hooker

Having recently returned to my roots in Surrey, I am currently studying a BA Hons degree with the OCA. My work is often inspired by the local countryside in the beautiful Surrey Hills area and the wild rugged nature of the North Cornish coast. Steam engines and abandoned industrial history are also recent themes. A free machine embroiderer and felt maker; I like to explore the use of natural, found materials to create my art, whether that be as raw materials to stitch or weave with or as a material with which to produce dye or print with. Previously, I completed City and Guilds parts 1 & 2 Creative Embroidery at the East Berkshire College in Windsor in 2007. I was also awarded first place in the wearable art section of the National Quilt Championships 2008 and 2009 held annually at Sandown Park.
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