Monday 22 November 2021

When friends come together "In the Middle of the World"


Judy Martin's exciting larger than life pieces
Reflections on a lifetime living in beautiful rural Northern Ontario

My heavily stitched smaller pieces
Reflections on years of living close to nature in beautiful Nova Scotia

An aged record of time past

In a way all three connected to the passage of time

Every year as the seasons move towards Winter
the undergrowth in our woods dies down to soft greys
All that remains are the deep ever greens and waves of red berries
Life giving berries for the creatures and birds of these parts.
Our winters are harsh here.

In the depth of winter swarms of robins with their white eye markings
descend on the wild holly bushes and eat to their hearts content.
The berries are all gone before winter's end.

The older trees whose bark is weaker and less resistant to insect invasions
soon become scarred by pecking woodpeckers searching for supper.
Did you know their tongues wrap around the back of their brains
protecting them from concussion as they hammer away at those holes?
This is the sort of information that comes out of my Handy Hubby.
The practical thinker in the family
Thank goodness one of us is!

I would wrap both arms around Judy's bundles and hold them close.
In the background is "Winter's Edge" my response to Autumn fading into winter.
The season when warm hugs are needed.

We both used warm autumnal colours
I can imagine Judy's repetitive motion while wrapping her wool strips around and around each bundle. 
I remember well my repetitive tearing of strips and couching them down over and over each other.
They are connected as we are in friendship.

My thoughts were to fade the colours into the sky
ending with a barely visible weakening sun
that is really only visible when you stand close to the actual piece.

Right from the days of childhood embroidery
Repetition and rhythm have been my favourite creative principle
Repetition of simple stitches
Rhythm in the physical movements that create the stitches
And I try to create flow and rhythm in my pieces.

Always exploring and still learning.

And this is the mess of all beginnings!

And finally one more friend who is such an important part of this project
A young curator who's dedication to this project is unbounded
A wise, thoughtful person working very hard in the background on our behalf.

I am full of gratitude for these two amazing women

We are sharing quite a journey.

And thank you to Judy who sent me her photos of the show for me to use since I could not travel.
More to come!


  1. Beautiful, beautiful works. I could live with any one of them!! xx

  2. How wonderful that you have been able to collaborate on such an exhibition, even at a distance, and even in these times!

  3. Lovely to see pictures of your amazing exhibition. What strange birds those Robins are - not a bit like our Robin Redbreast! xx

  4. Your work is brilliant Penny. So enjoyed this newest glimpse you shared with us. xo

  5. The cloths themselves, the combination of your work with Judy's a an amazing curator...the stories, the info from a handy hubby and even a messy beginning all come together for this wonderful sharing. Thank you!

  6. Absolutely love your trees & berries piece, your stitching has created great texture & depth. such an interesting bit of info about the woodpeckers!

  7. Oh how I wish I could see these in person!! I know photos simply don't do them justice, even though the photos are wonderful.


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