As of today, Tuesday 17th March 2020, my About Ashton exhibition is on show in the Market Hall, Ashton-Under-Lyne!! You can read more about the venue in a previous blog here. After a few months putting this work together, it feels like a mixture of excitement, nerves and relief! On a practical note, it is likely that many fewer people will get to see it in person than we originally thought. This is because of the unprecedented times we are witnessing with Corvid19. But I want people to be able to have a good look at it and hear what it’s all about. Even if they can’t get to the market hall.
In my About Ashton exhibition, I showcase my interest in Ashton, its special buildings as well as my fascination with the market hall and its thriving community. I also share the first of my Lancashire cotton mills series of mixed media collage.
My About Ashton Exhibition-Places
These watercolour, pen and ink illustrations reflect my interest in drawing on location and capturing a sense of place in my work. I often come to Ashton and these places form part of my impression of Ashton as a fascinating, historic mill town.
In these representational paintings, I first put the colour down on the paper. In this way, the colour is like a first expression, it is loose and not necessarily in exactly the right place. With this impressionistic start point, I then work over with a fountain pen to create a bold drawing which contrasts with the loose colour. Finally, I add my beloved text.. My interest in using text in my work goes hand in hand with my interest in telling stories of places through a combination of image and narrative.
My About Ashton exhibition-Market Hall
These paper collage pieces reflect my interest in and love for markets! I grew up in the south of England in a small market town. The twice weekly market was very much part of life. Since moving to the local area, I visit the Market Hall regularly and love to people watch and draw here in the market! I love both the history and the structure of the market hall itself, as well as its thriving community. These aspects are reflected in this series. Inside the market, not only are the stalls a source of fascination, but the roof structure is also an interesting aspect of the view. Outside the hall provides equal fascination. I tried to capture interesting views that include the architectural features of the building as well as the bustle of people going about their business.
These pieces have been created in my studio, using a variety of papers and printed text, together with inks and other mixed media materials. Pencil drawings on location are the start point for these collage works.
About the Lancashire Cotton Mills
These mixed media paintings are all about my fascination with the Lancashire cotton mills and are the first of a new series of work. They are inherently more abstract than my other works and reflect my interest in expressing my feelings about places.
Through drawing, mark making and collaging on location, as well as exploring my interests through writing, I create these paintings in my studio. They start intuitively, by mark making and laying down collage papers and then I respond to the first marks. I love the textures and materiality of these old mills and try to reflect that in my works through the build up of layers of paint, glazes and paper. This layering enables me to create a depth and a feeling of age. The text comes from books used by mill workers about dyes, spinning, weaving and running of mills. They date back to the early 1900s.
Through the overall series, I am trying to communicate my love for these special and often stunningly beautiful places. Aspects of our industrial heritage, and the mills as a metaphor for a sense of belonging and fit, are all part of my exploration.
The exhibition currently continues until June 8th and all artwork is for sale.
Thanks so much for reading.
Best wishes Liz x