Exhibition Review: Sue Stone – Stuff and Nonsense
We were recently lucky enough to visit the private view of Stuff and Nonsense, a solo exhibition by textile artist Sue Stone. We decided to enlist the help of someone slightly more impartial to review the show, seeing as the artist in question also happens to be our mum! We’re delighted that recent TextileArtist.org interviewee Jo Smith has contributed some insights into her experience of the exhibition.
Currently showing at The Gate Gallery in Grimsby is the new exhibition by renowned textile artist and 62 group member Sue Stone – ‘Stuff and Nonsense’ – which is running until Saturday 29th June. I consider myself very fortunate to have this exhibition so close by; I have visited twice already and not for the last time…
Hand stitch, appliqué, and machine stitch combined
For me, this exhibition represents Sue Stone at her absolute best and includes a whole host of characters and family members, young and old, all produced in her trademark style of combining simple hand stitches, appliqué and free machine embroidery with painting techniques.
Created with a palpable sense of tenderness, something that Sue does so completely is capture the human, the essence of what makes us who and what we are and the importance of remembering, belonging and family.
Displacement and Nostalgia
There is an element of displacement within her work as the past and present come together in vibrant graffiti strewn streets, sepia like, the subjects are out of context and time as the seemingly ordinary becomes slightly surreal with pieces such as ‘East End Girls aka Alice, Madge and Muriel’ and ‘A Girls Day Out for Hilda, Nellie and Ida’. A small glimpse into the lives of previous generations conjures forth a strong sense of nostalgia for simpler, less complicated times and connects with the viewer in a tangible way; she is a master of documenting the passing of time and emphasising how our lives are are touched by those around us.
I found myself drawn to and moved by references to the innocent victims of war as depicted in ‘Some Things Never Change’ and ‘When Will This Ever End?’ the solemn children’s faces and terrible injuries a stark reminder of the true cost of conflict.
In contrast to the sadness of these pieces you will find the reassuring inclusion of ‘A Nice Cup of Tea’ sat alongside ‘Tea Party in Tokyo’ and ‘A lot can happen in 50 years’ a tribute to her sister, indeed, there is something for everyone in this exhibition.
Deceptively simple, her stitch work is pure artistry, the unfussy line work and beautiful way she renders the clothing of her subjects draw you in and keep you looking whilst the warmth of the individuals shines through. I found this exhibition breathtaking and would recommend that all with a love of textiles, get along and see it for themselves, you will not be disappointed, I loved it so much I bought a piece to treasure. Not to be missed.
If you’ve enjoyed this review or you have a textile art event or exhibition coming up, let us know by leaving a comment below or contact us.