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Chelsea Fringe -The Headline Acts

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The Paper House herself

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With the paper garden in tow and now its attendant art gallery coming along for the ride !

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The gallery includes some amazing pictures which were so kindly sent to me by a teacher Lisa Wee and her class of pupils from a school in Nairobi ,Kenya… so here they are being exhibited in the garden.. the paintings will also join Anne Kelly’s exhibition in our grade room for the rest of the season.

When we thought about our week (31st May until 8th June 2014)  of paper related happenings,workshops and exhibitions  for the Chelsea Fringe down on the prairies ,we knew we would have wealth of stars to help us get into that groove and here are the best stars we have been able to line up for you

Pages by Stages : Alison Crosthwaite

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Prairie hens in paper kilns : Sabine Dahn

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alongside these stars are their co-stars

Anne Kelly : our talented textile artist  in residence who will be inspiring us with her textiles ,and guiding craftwork in paper ,textiles and beyond from the prairie wagon in the garden room

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Jill Tattersall  : an artist with an eye for paper making who will be helping you send out postcards from the prairies and who will be constructing concertina books to baffle and bamboozle and she will be showing you how to make your own Matisse masterpiece

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Jill Staples : a lovely local photographer working with images applied on to Japanese papers.She also makes beautifully colour co-ordinate photographic books

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Paul Cox: sculptor extraordinaire turning his hand to big paper sculpture

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Lydia Crook: paper sculptor whose work we shall be exhibiting via our virtual online gallery

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Julia Widdows : writer extraordinaire who will be promoting her books and will be running a win a book competition

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the ways of paper are many and mysterious.. And it is time for you to experience their many layers and latitudes..

And don’t forget the strangely challenging and wonderful Paw People exhibition by Tom Barker now showing in a marquee in the garden.

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002It all started with a pair of papier mache tiger hooks  bought under the shadow of the fort in Bundi , Rajasthan… (scene of the gun toting monkey shooting rapping roof top cafe owner )

Paper -such an astounding medium …!.and then it seemed a natural progression to think about working with paper in our garden and  Making a Little Paper House for the Chelsea  Fringe event .And if you have a paper house you must also have a paper garden of course !

img259Another influence of course was the Laura Ingalls Wilder book Little House on the Prairie. And I discovered another unexpected and tenuous link to us as the daughter of Laura , Rose Lane, supposedly left the Wilder estate ,and so the copyright of the books ,to a certain Mr Roger Lee Macbride. This story is not without controversy !

It all started with Ron drawing up the plans for the construction….

003and always, I had luck on my side with many things falling into place to make the fabrication and papery construction possible. First of all a chance donation of a veritable library of back copies of the RHS magazine by a very good friend ,Maggie … ie . The raw materials.. and secondly the skills, dedication and wonderful enthusiasm of two of our volunteers Ron and Libby who would take the idea from paper drawings to paper house reality.

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and thus a paper house was born and now awaits its final outing into the big wide world. During our first week of opening catch the prairie house in its perambulations and see how it can withstand the best the British weather throws at it !get inside the house and see its papery skin… know its beauty ! know its wonder ! come tweak the tigers tail of garden craziness !

The Little Paper House on the Prairie will be out on the prairie from 31st may until 8th June- one week of paper related pranks,exhibitions,workshops , drop in sessions and papery daring do with a myriad of talented artists ,sculptors and creatives ! The garden is open every day except Tuesdays – 1pm until 5pm.

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Lydia is such a star that I just HAD to feature her as one of the artists within our show of talent during our week of papery related happenings  (31st May until 8th June) and we came up with the notion of showing Lydia’s work in an online virtual exhibition at Sussex Prairies !

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Who is Lydia Crook ?

Lydia originally trained as a paper engineer (that’s a pop-up book designer with a swish name!) with the ace paper engineer Corina Fletcher. She has since expanded her passion for paper by creating a range of ornate paper cuttings and limited edition prints. She sketches, carefully hand cuts and sometimes paints her designs to create delicate and individual pieces of paper art. She translates some of these designs into silhouettes, which are then hand screen printed to create her limited edition print range. Her current cuttings and prints are inspired by the innocence of childhood rhymes, fairytale stories, classic song lyrics and lovey-dovey romantic quotes. By using a combination of words, images, bold colours and intricate details, she tries to give each rhyme or quote its own unique character.

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Where can her work be found ?

Over the last few years she has been selling her cuttings and prints in various boutique shops around the UK. She has also produced a couple of books (Paper Play and Make A Mobile) in collaboration with a local publishing company (Ivy Press Ltd) that are now selling internationally. The business started in her living room in Hove but she soon moved to a small studio nestled on a farm just outside Lewes in Sussex. Now  visit her website and be very tempted !

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And Lydia’s  contact details are:

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Email – studio@lydiacrook.co.uk

Website – www.lydiacrook.co.uk

Telephone – 07792 447 234

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Our week of Fringe events (31st may until 8th June 2014), unusually papery happenings and fantasy would not be complete without the very best artists,sculptors and generally wonderful people helping us, so we shall look in detail at the stars of our own particular show ! so first up is –

Sabine Dahn sabinedahnceramichicken

who will be joining us this year to offer a series of two very different workshops. The first workshop occurs during our Fringe week (1st and 8th June )- Prairie Hens in Paper Kilns is a two day workshop straddling two weekends. First make your ceramic hen and then fire it in a paper kiln a week later !Read more about what that course involves on our website and see what type of chicken  would light your fire !

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The second workshop ,later on in the year (2nd August 2014) , is also about light and fire and will teach you how to make a porcelain light inspired by the garden. Please contact Sabine to book your place on these courses.

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More about Sabine

The starting points for the functional side of Sabine’s work are oil lamps and the ritual use of fire and light. Light is symbolically used as a guide on the path of life as well as representing the omnipresence of the Divine.

Form and content of her work is inspired by a variety of different sources within the fields of mythology, ancient cultures and spiritual philosophies. The aim is to create an atmosphere of light that invites a peaceful reflective mind.

Teaching

Sabine has expressed her love for ceramics by exploring its manifold techniques and characteristics with children, young people and adult learners for many years. Her aim is to generate in her students a sense of curiosity, exploration and joy and to support each individual in finding their own creative expression in clay.

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Inspiration and Learning

Inspiration and learning  in working with people always happens in both directions and a group project a while ago led to the development of the fun ‘character hens’. These can be bought as they are, or can be commissioned for a special person with their own ‘peculiarities’ in mind! Or come and make your own at the ‘Prairie Hens in Paper Kilns’ event!Beginners  and more experienced potters are equally welcome

For more Information on the pottery events here at Sussex Prairies you can contact Sabine directly on sabine.dahn@talktalk.net   .

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It’s all about the Build : Last time I wrote we were on the brink of paper plans becoming paper architecture and now it becomes a reality as the paper house is ready to be papered..

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Sort of like an Egyptian Joseph it is now ready for it’s coat of many colours. The paper prairie garden is also ready for paper action … No paper wait here we are ready to get out the glue and magazines and make merry.

The architects Ron and Libby (trusty Friends of Sussex Prairies have worked tirelessly with power tools and passion and will receive the golden award in paper craftsman and womanship.Watch this space now for the tiniest Paper House on the Prairie ever – this house’s mini sister- which is now being created to join the Chelsea Fringe Brighton Exhibition: The Hanging Gardens of Brighton !

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Cutting Edge : Yesterday saw the Friends of Sussex Prairies draw their glue guns and fire away at paper flower making for the paper garden . In this wintery scene the flower power of colour gives us all  a summer boost !

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A new Exhibition on the Prairies :

Jill Tattersall will be coming to Sussex Prairies at the beginning of our open garden season  (June 2013 ) bringing her glorious artworks to exhibit in our Garden Room. As an avid fairy tale connoisseur I am intrigued by Jill’s alter ego the fantastic Mr Wolf . But we shall be talking about the Red Riding Hood factor later !

Jill  opens her house every year as part of the Artists Open Houses season (now on until the end of may 2013 ! )and the Wolf at the Door welcomes all manner of talented artists and crafts people to exhibit in an airy and lovely home and garden setting. So we feel very honoured that Jill has chosen us as the next crumb in the trail of breadcrumbs through the forest .

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Who is this Madame Lupino ?

Jill says :

I’m a compulsive taker of cuttings, sower of seeds and maker of gardens.  I used to earn my living as a medievalist and became interested in herbals and old books and encyclopaedias describing plants and their properties. 

I also loved seeing how people imagined and depicted gardens in earlier civilisations, before perspective complicated things!  Egyptian tomb-paintings, Persian garden rugs, the hortus conclusus of roman or medieval times…. Allotments haven’t changed that much over the millennia.  In hot climates with the desire for a place of coolness, privacy, quiet, and luxuriant growth the idea of the garden of paradise was never far away.

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So plants and gardens, their patterns and colours , their ebb and flow with the seasons, have been an important part of my art. Recently
I designed a curative herb garden in the shape of a medieval world map at the inspirational Dilston Physic Garden in Northumberland.  Drawing, history and plants all in one!

Most of my work is quite time-consuming. I often make the paper for a piece before I even start painting.  Colour is a predominating consideration in everything I do or make, and I use many combinations of paints, inks, dyes and pure pigment to build up intense colour.  I also use recycled and found bits and pieces where I can.

I’ve had many solo exhibitions all over the country and done quite a few garden- or plant-based commissions.  Ask me if you’re interested – recent examples include fig, medlar, quince, aubergine, kiwis, ginkgo. 

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How Jill Works : in her own words

Mixed media is a polite term for a messy and complicated way of working.  For a start, I often make the paper I work on.  Then, for any one piece I may decide I need plaster, glue, paints of various sorts, pigments, inks and dyes and a range of found or reclaimed materials.

I make the paper I use in my pieces outdoors when I can.   It’s a watery process involving multiple splashes and puddles and needs lots of drying space.  I start off with sheets of cotton fibres which I soak, pulp and then form into sheets – or cast over shapes – using a wire mesh screen.  The water has to be squeezed out and the sheets pressed flat.  This makes a beautiful and slightly unpredictable surface to paint on.

If you’re interested, ask and I’ll tell you more!

www.jilltattersall.co.uk

www.facebook.com/MadameLupino (Wolf at the Door)

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When ?

On Saturday 1st December 2012, 10am until 4.30 pm, as the Christmas factor goes into overdrive why not step back a bit and take a day to yourself and your friends and head out to the countryside and our winter Sussex Prairie Wonderland. Frosty days mean ice heaven and a haven of wonderland in our grotto where we shall enjoy a day of making Willow Christmas decorations with Jackie Sweet ( averitable willow wizard !) .

Who with ? 

Jackie is a local willow artist and basketmaker and she shall be teaching us some willow secrets for making a truly natural Christmas for yourself.

What ? What with ?

We will be making different kinds of stars out of willow , bark,rush , phormium leaves and paper strips, small and large wreaths (small ones make a lovely Christmas table decoration with a candle, large ones can be decorated and hung on your door to welcome guests and bring good luck into your home). We will also be making traditional Rush Reindeer from Scandinavia , and there are even some cute willow angels to try your hand at !

Cost ?

The cost will be £75 which includes all materials and refreshments ( I promise there will be gluhwein and mainepies and if the gods are willing, saffrom bed, )but please bring your own lunch. Please wear stout shoes or boots to go out into the garden.

Booking :

For more information or to book a place please contact Jackie on 07733435233 or email jackiesweetbaskets@hotmail.com

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