Friday, 27 October 2017

A Riot Of Colour...

We enjoyed a proper day off together on Tuesday- and went over to IKEA at Southampton, then up to Mottisfont Abbey, a  National Trust property near Romsey. We first visited there in May 2015.
The place was feeling really autumnal- and as it was Half Term, there were dozens of happy families enjoying the sunshine and the golden, amber, brown and russet leaves all over the grass. Giggling little girls and boys carrying bouquets of huge sycamore foliage, like bridal bouquets - and others stomping in puddles in their wellies and kicking up clouds of leaves then crunching them underfoot.
But I had not come for the gardens, or the main house- I was just interested in the exhibition on the top floor [and Bob was patiently indulging me] It was celebrating 50 years of the work of American artist Kaffe Fassett. Helpfully the sign explained that his name rhymes with safe asset. Check out the NT site here
I've admired KFs colourful style since I discovered him in the early 80s - he was in his forties then, he is now 80!
His mantra is 'if it doesn't look right, add in 20 more colours'
Much of the stuff I had seen before, I went to his exhibition at the V&A in 1988.
I have two of his books - Glorious knitting and Family Album. And no, I've never knitted anything from either!
 At Mottisfont, the walls of the rooms had been painted in bright colours - pink, yellow, green, blue, lilac - in order to form an amazing backdrop for his work.
I was in awe of the patchwork hangings, tapestry cushions, and knitwear. So much detail, so much colour...

I wanted to rush home and start stitching something! I had a lovely conversation with another woman about patchwork and suffolk puffs [whilst our husbands discussed woodworking tools] Then she whispered 'Did you see the pink lady?' I think we all noticed the charming grandmother, whose outfit went so well with the exhibits!

What confidence, to dress so brightly. I think maybe the NT staff in each room should have followed suit.
I liked this clever use of stripes, mitred into squares of varying sizes. The blue and white cushions on the bench appealed to me too. I am altogether over fond of blue and white for home decor, as friends and family keep reminding me.
The tapestry of vegetables was delightful - but Bob was concerned it did not hang straight, and suggested that maybe it had not been blocked properly. 
We concluded this was one of K's earlier pieces when he had not learned all the techniques. 

I have a piece of work made of colourful Suffolk Puffs, which a friend passed on to me. Maybe I should turn it into a hanging like this? But where would I put it?

Perhaps I should plan to have an exhibition when I am 80 - after all, I have one little jacket, two quilts and three teacosies which I could put on show...



  1. I'm quite a fan of Kaffe to. I saw him on one of Kirsty Alsopps programs and he was a complete character.

  2. I love your pieces. How inventive and creative.

  3. Thank you Nicky. Fishcake, I never saw him with Kirstie, but I remember a short series he did way back in the 1980s [BBC2 I think] Sadly it was never repeated

  4. I think you would make a very good exhibition!


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