A photography and textiles exhibition.
We are excited to launch our new ‘Makers Exhibition at Create98’, where we will be using our studios once more to showcase some of the amazing talent around us.
First up in this new series of events is a collaboration between two talented, local artists showcasing their work in Photography and Textiles from the 19th September to the 2nd October.
‘Say it with Flowers’ an exhibition of floral artworks by Bronwyn Oldham based on the style of the seventeenth century Dutch Masters, and it’s paired with ‘Uncertain Tides’, a display of embroidered mark-making techniques by Lauren Stranks.
Bron and Lauren have co-exhibited with us before and we are very excited to welcome them back with this new work.
We caught up with Lauren and Bronwyn ahead of the launch of their exhibition to find out more!
Lauren, Bronwyn – we’re really pleased to welcome you back to exhibit once more at Create98. Could you tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind your new work?
Bronwyn: Absolutely! ‘Say it with Flowers’ follows on from last year’s exhibition ‘365’, a series of floral images taken every day in 2019. I have continued the use of flowers as the subject for my photographic work, to explore their meaning and symbolism. Flowers are used at important points and events in all our lives, to help convey a message and to send our thoughts. So why not express these thoughts with words as well?
Lauren: For me, everything I have produced this year has been inspired by, or in response to lockdown. Spending time confined to a small space, exploring and accepting the limitations of our movements, the new rhythms and patterns of life, and the way this is echoed in the ever-changing, yet always reliable, estuary tide.
Sounds fascinating, what can people expect to see on display?
Bronwyn: My work is an exhibition of floral artworks based on the style of the seventeenth century Dutch Masters, brought up to date with the additional use of familiar textual quotes and phrases. For the exhibition, there will be a display of wall hung pieces, as well as a selection of prints and cards.
Lauren: My pieces are a change in direction for me, away from the pictorial architectural scenes I’ve exhibited before, towards an experimental abstract approach. These new embroidered mark-making techniques have been slower, more personal and surprisingly more time-consuming to stitch than when working from a photo or sketch. The reference material is emotional rather than visual, and that makes the process complicated but liberating and therapeutic.
Now we know about your work, can you tell us some more about you?
Bronwyn: I am a Photographic Artist, Educator and Curator, and was awarded a LPRS (Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society). I am also the Ex-Chairperson of The Leigh Art Trail and have been a regular contributor to it for over ten years. Community arts is a real passion of mine and I have been a Kids Art Tutor at Creat98 since it opened. As a Keyworker for adults with learning disabilities over the past 25 years, I use my experience to raise awareness of disability issues through various mediums including a video installation at Focal Point, photographic billboards in The Royals and a portrait exhibition at the Leigh Community Centre.
Lauren: I live in Leigh with my husband and toddler, where we both work (currently from home) in creative, but very screen-based jobs. I spent five years at art college, but a stint as a Milliner’s apprentice encouraged me to explore the world of slow, traditional handcrafting, which is now the perfect break from working in a digital role. I am self-taught in sewing, embroidery and weaving, but also love experimenting with collage and sketching. I prefer expressive, experimental stitches over traditional techniques, and keep my work in the hoop it was made in, letting an essential tool of the process become the permanent frame for the work.
And finally, what was the reason you chose to exhibit your work at Create98?
Bronwyn: Cancellation of The Leigh Art Trail due to Covid-19 created the opportunity to still use the venue and exhibit alongside the talented Lauren Stranks. Whilst our work is different, it does complement each other as we explore the landscape around us. The space at Create98 really works as a well-lit gallery area which can showcase my new ideas and work, right in the heart of Leigh, for which I am really thankful.
Lauren: I’m a member of The Leigh Art Trail and exhibited at Create98 for the first time in 2019. I love what the studio has brought, and keeps bringing to the community. I also enjoy teaching and taking the occasional class there too! I hope you find your own meaning and interpretations when you look at my work, and that it speaks to different people in different ways!
‘Say it with Flowers’ and ‘Uncertain Tides’ will be on display at Create98 from the 19th September to the 2nd October. The exhibition is open for viewings on the 19th and 26th September between 14:00-17:00.
(For classes that are run by Lauren and Bronwyn at Create98, please visit here)