Exhibition – Arcade – Bleecker Street

Anne Smith
Bleecker Street
01/11/18 – 24/11/18

I have been Artist-in-residence here in the basement of ArcadeCardiff gallery for the past 6 months. The subterranean studio is large and industrial-looking, but I have made myself at home with a carpet, a Magicoal electric fire and a radio. Fixed on the the walls are 2 giant cardboard boxes from Greggs, opened out flat. On these pinboards I pin and move around pieces of fabrics and drawings, trying to discover exciting colour and shape combinations.
I love the traditions of quiltmaking, and also the free spirit of abstract painting, and over the last 22 years I have combined these to make expressive wall-hung quilts inspired by my thoughts and experiences.
I like the idea of making something whole out of the many different shaped pieces of my life (and other people’s lives, because I mainly work with recycled clothes that people have given to charity shops). And also that great things can be expressed with simple means and down-to-earth materials.
I like my work to have a painterly quality, although I use no paint, just hand and machine stitching. The techniques I use are simple: basic hand stitches, running & quilting stitch, to secure patches together.
I was originally inspired by the work of contemporary American art-quilt makers, so I was very excited last year to spend 4 months in New York City (partly supported by Wales Arts International). I lived and worked in a large studio apartment at The Sheen Center on Bleecker Street in Manhattan, as Artist-in-Residence.
It was a challenge to connect my slow paced, thoughtful type of work, with the big spectacular city. Ironically, what I noticed most were the close-up details of everyday life. Side streets, surfaces, working people and businesses, the layers of history everywhere.
I spoke with people from all walks of life, and volunteered with a charity feeding the homeless people at Grand Central, which made a great impression on me. In the character of the clothes worn by these homeless people I found an emotional connection with my work, and my own use of recycled clothes.
I have developed this at ArcadeCardiff. The quilt called ‘Outside the Overthrow’ refers to the Overthrow Boxing Club on Bleecker Street, with its façade of torn posters and graffiti merging into the layers of clothes worn by the man, George. And there are several other quilts shown here which are still in progress – they take a long time to make.
It was a shock when I returned to Wales from New York last December. I didn’t know how to begin to process all my new ideas in my tiny studio. The Arcade residency offered me not only the space to do so, but also the strong support of a committed community, and I would like to thank everyone for their invaluable help. It has been a hugely positive and creative time. Thank you.
BIOGRAPHY
Born in Wigan, lived in Wales for 20 years. Studied Ceramics at Cardiff and Textiles at Birmingham. Numerous group & solo exhibitions in UK, USA & France. Represented Wales at Lorient 2011, selected for biennial Quilt National (USA) 8 times, winning the competition in 2009.
www.anne-smith.weebly.com

• • •

Anne Smith
Bleecker Street

01/11/18 – 24/11/18

Ers 6 mis, rwyf wedi bod yma yn seler ArcadeCardiff, fel artist preswyl. Mae’r stiwdio danddaearol yn un mawr a diwydiannol ei olwg, ond rwyf wedi ymgartrefu yma, gyda charped a thân drydan Magicoal a radio. Ar y waliau mae 2 focs cardbord o Greggs, wedi ei agor allan yn fflat. Ar y pinfyrddau yma rwyf yn pinio darnau o ddefnydd a darluniau ac yn eu symud o gwmpas, gan drio darganfod lliw a chyfuniadau siapiau cyffroes.

Rwyf wrth fy modd gyda thraddodiadau gwneud cwiltiau, a hefyd y rhyddid o baentio haniaethol, a dros y 22 mlynedd diwethaf rwyf wedi cyfuno’r rhain i greu cwiltiau mynegol sy’n hongian ar waliau, wedi ei hysbrydoli gan fy mhrofiadau a meddyliau. Rwy’n hoffi’r syniad o greu rhywbeth cyfan allan o ddarnau siapiau gwahanol o fy mywyd (a bywydau pobl eraill, oherwydd fy mod rhan amlaf yn gweithio gyda dillad wedi ei ailgylchu o siopau elusennol). Hefyd, bod pethau gwych yn gallu cael eu mynegi mewn modd syml a deunyddiau diffwdan. Rwy’n hoffi fy ngwaith i fod ag ansawdd arlunol, er nid ydw i’n defnyddio paent, dim ond gwnïo gyda llaw a pheiriant. Mae’r technegau sy’n cael ei ddefnyddio yn syml; gwnïo gyda llaw, pwyth cwilt a phwyth redeg i ddal clytiau at ei gilydd.

Roeddwn wedi cael fy ysbrydoli yn wreiddiol gan gwneuthwyr cwiltiau cyfoesol o America, felly roeddwn wedi cynhyrfu i dreulio 4 mis yn Efrog Newydd (wedi ei ariannu yn rhannol gan Celfyddydau Rhyngwladol Cymru). Roeddwn yn byw a gweithio mewn fflat stiwdio fawr yn The Sheen Center ar Bleecker Street yn Manhattan, fel artist preswyl. Roedd yn her cysylltu fy ngwaith araf ei gam, gwaith synfyfyriol, gyda’r ddinas fawreddog. Yn eironig, beth sylwais yn fwyaf oedd manylder agos o fywyd pob dydd. Strydoedd ochr, arwynebau, pobl yn gweithio a busnesau, haenau o hanes ym mhobman.

Siaradais gyda phobl o bob math, a gwirfoddolais gydag elusen yn bwydo’r digartref yn Grand Central, a wnaeth argraff fawr arna’i. Yng nghymeriad y dillad a gwisgwyd gan y bobl ddigartref hyn, fe darganfyddais cyswllt emosiynol gyda fy ngwaith a fy nefnydd fy hun o ddillad wedi ei hailgylchu.
Rydw i wedi datblygu hyn yn Arcadecardiff. Mae’r cwlit ‘Outside the Overthrow’ yn cyfeirio at Overthrow Boxing Club ar Bleeker Street, gyda’i wyneb o bosteri wedi ei rhwygo a graffiti yn ymdoddi mewn i haenau o ddillad a wisgir gan y dyn, George. Mae cwiltiau gwahanol yn cael eu harddangos sydd heb eu gorffen- mae’n cymryd amser hir i’w gwneud.

Roedd yn sioc pan ddychwelais i Gymru o Efrog Newydd mis Rhagfyr diwethaf. Doeddwn i ddim yn gwybod lle i ddechrau prosesu fy syniadau newydd yn fy stiwdio fach i. Mae preswylfa Arcade wedi galluogi bod gofod i wneud hynny, maent hefyd wedi cynnig cymorth a chymdeithas ymroddedig, a hoffem ddiolch i bawb am eu cymorth. Mae wedi bod yn gyfnod positif a chreadigol. Diolch.

BYWGRAFFIAD
Yn enedigol o Wigan, ond wedi byw am 20 mlynedd yng Nghymru. Astudiodd Cerameg yng Nghaerdydd a Gwehyddu ym Mirmingham.
Arddangosfeydd grŵp ac unigol yn y DU, UDA a Ffrainc. Cynrychioli Cymru yn Lorient 2011, cael ei dewis ar gyfer biennial Quilt International (UDA) 8 gwaith, gan ennill yn 2009.

www.anne-smith.weebly.com

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