From Saturday 2nd August, visitors to the historic Bromham Mill in Bedfordshire will have the opportunity to view Digswell Alumni and Trustee Jo Atherton’s unique flotsam tapestries.
‘Flotsam Weaving’ is the latest exhibition in the Gallery of the 18th Century watermill, showcasing a striking collection of weaving created with material found on beaches around the world.
Balloons from France, Italian plastic shipping tags, fishing gear from The Netherlands, toys from the USA and even lobster trap tags from Canada have all found their way into Jo’s intricate tapestries.
Discussing her work, Jo explains: ‘I like to think of the sea as a soup of forgotten fragments. By weaving these items together, I provide a second chance for ignored artefacts to be read anew.’
The Harrold-based artist’s enthusiasm for beachcombing is infectious: ‘Discarded objects arriving on the beach each have story to tell. Where did they come from? How did they end up in the sea? For the most part we will never know, but that can’t stop us from wondering…’
Much like the stone tools, pottery and metals that archaeologists use to define human cultures of the past, a layer of plastic will one day signify our own throwaway society. We leave a trail of plastic in our wake, but what do these discarded fragments say about us?
Jo will also be running a series of weaving workshops in the Mill alongside her solo exhibition each Saturday in August from 11am to 1pm. For a cost of £15, visitors can enjoy a two hour artist-led workshop including a demonstration of her unique technique and the chance to work with a huge range of materials to create their very own tapestry to take home.
Please visit her website, http://flotsamweaving.com/weaving-workshops/ for details on how to book your place.
- Jo will be exhibiting at the Gateway Gallery in Luton Airport’s main terminal building from 25th September – 25th November, after winning their annual competition for a two month exhibition.
- The National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth has invited Joanna to produce a solo exhibition in their Quarterdeck Gallery from February to July 2015 which will feature her tapestries alongside a short film and series of school workshops around the theme of flotsam.
A former Fellow of Digswell Arts Trust, Joanna was recently invited to return as a Trustee. She is Artist in Residence at St Francis’ College in Letchworth, and writes a monthly column for the Hertfordshire Visual Arts newsletter. She has an MA in Cultural & Critical Studies from the University of London and a BA (Hons) in English Literature from King Alfred’s College,University of Winchester.