Take Time is a two day residency at Haarlem Artspace in Wirksworth.

Karen Logan works on a number of projects at once and sometimes a piece will sit unfinished for months, unforgotten, hovering in awareness. With the Tablecloth Cloak pictured above a problem with its manufacture stopped progress and requires a period of sustained focus to sort out.

Realising every artist will have their own Tablecloth Cloak the idea for Take Time formed.

Take Time is for the idea not yet begun, the work that’s unresolved, the unread text, the need for a pondering walk – a creative itch that repeatedly pops into consciousness but for whatever reason there’s no time.

The artists involved took part in a virtual residency at Haarlem Artspace in November 2020 and Take Time builds on that experience and the insights and relationships formed. Here we check in, reconnect and support each others creative practice in a caring critical environment.

This blog records our intentions, actions, process and insights. We will check in AM and PM on Sunday 30th and Monday 31st of January 2022 and at the close of both days each artist will share an image and text on this blog.


Karen Logan

Frustrating day

Finished new panel, ironed it and carefully pinned it into place, tried not to stretch the fabric while allowing it to find its fit. Result – still puckered and hanging oddly.

The cloak is unwieldy and hard to handle. I draped it over the ironing board to see how the outer/inner fabric was working together (or not). The fabric wasn’t lined up at one edge – even after careful measuring and cutting. Unpicked hand stitched seam, and also the seam on the other edge of the cloak to release any tension there.

Attempted to lay cloak flat on the floor, but it was difficult to do this with two layers – it is huge! Tried my best but have now separated the outer and inner fabric, will stitch the seams flat into place, iron again and the attempt to join both together once more (hours of hand sewing required). I also need to find somewhere with a huge table.

If this doesn’t resolve the issue then I’m wondering if I need to buy a huge piece of fabric to line the cloak? The bias cut outer fabric may not sit well against non bias cut… Is what I’m attempting too difficult?

The outer cloak is made of similar cotton type fabric, the lining a mix of cotton and some looser weave tablecloths and I’m wondering of this is causing the problem. So the cloak is folded away again and issues unresolved. I understand why my subconscious was avoiding this work.

Over these last two days I’ve reflected on the unseen labour that goes into creating an artwork, the trial and error, frustrations and dead ends before something clicks into place.

Tracey Meek

Another fine day spent evaluating and bringing together various elements of my fungi experiments. I realised that it’s not just mycology that I am interested in, its ecology; root systems, shared networks within the natural world, the too and fro, the symbiosis. I guess when I relate it to my practice, or my experience, there is a sense of frustration, a very basic, why can’t humans be more like this. Or where has our natural instinct gone? When did the ‘we’ get replaced with the ‘I’  Once again, all faith is restored over a lovingly prepared bowl of soup, and a sharing of thoughts and ideas, and fears (and frustrations.)
This cardboard clone (layers of cardboard and oyster spawn) has been sitting in my airing cupboard for a few months, gathering momentum. Again, I took it out, soaked it in sterile water and left it overnight. It is now open to the elements and it should get a lovely soft white coating, hopefully followed by mushrooms. I love the last remaining flashes of cardboard, clinging onto the mountain for dear life, about to be taken over by an avalanche. These brick-like structures fill me with joy, and I begin to consider how I might combine with other life forms.

Tricia Rice

First and last

I spent this second day of the residency exploring my beachcombed collections in the context of the regular journey to visit my Father on the Sussex Coast. Each stop on the beach in this part of the country is tied to that visit and often part of my travel. It does mean the individual collections are part of a bigger story and my journeys. The first collections mark the beginning of my practice, the last marks the final visit to Dad, the weight of which drew this avenue to a close for now.


Meeting in person at Haarlem Artspace in Wirksworth, we shared our intentions for the day and worked in our individual studio spaces. We met again for a nourishing lunch (thank you Anna) and briefly at the close of the day.


Karen Logan

An unruly hem stopped the progress of my Tablecloth Cloak – the lining fabric causing the outer fabric to twist and hang in an odd way. The outer and inner parts of the cloak are each made of six bias cut panels using tablecloths sourced from charity shops and Ebay. Each weave is different and it’s a miracle that just one join was problematic.

I unpicked, rinsed, teased into shape, ironed dry and re-pinned the badly fitting panel and it did the same thing. Laying the large paper patten on the studio floor it was obvious that the fabric panel had distorted and I needed to start again.

Using a tablecloth I’d kept for the hood, I cut a new panel with a 1 inch seam allowance and pieced the fabric together, hand stitching to achieve the desired shape. Tomorrow I will set this into the cloak and discover if the problem is resolved.

Sitting at my studio desk I realised that by creating a residency I’d given myself permission to focus on this one task and was concentrating in a deeper way, feeling protective of my time.


Anna Mawby

Today I have been placing images of myself in the water, under bowls of water, behind tubes of water, and in puddles of water (which I unintentionally made when I kicked over the bowls).

I have been listening to podcasts about embodiment and thinking about being immersed.

Today I felt connected to the process of creating.


Tracey Meek

It feels super nice to be back in the studio today. This January has somehow felt longer than others and to have a moment to gently think about my work and the direction I want it to take has been lovely. Sharing ideas and just chatting and eating with my Haarlem peeps is just what the Dr ordered.

I decided to spend some time reflecting on a development project that I took part in last year, looking at using public art spaces in a more honest, connected way.


An Oyster mushroom biofab block, leftover from the project, has since been sitting in my porch, hoping for kinder weather.

I open it up, carefully removing the plastic mould to see what’s inside. Lovely white nougat, that at some point may be good enough to eat. I have two choices. I can soak with water and return to a sterile as can be place and allow the mushrooms to grow, or I can kiln cure it on a low heat, this will strengthen the form and get rid of any nasties. This creates a biofab brick; at this point there is no more growing and it becomes a much more functional material.

Decided to give it one last shot and soak with boiled / cooled water. I will remove the water tomorrow and put it back into it’s mould. Hopefully the mycelium will eat the rest of the straw and mushrooms will begin to form.


Tricia Rice

Exploring my archive

As a collector I keep most of the things I find. With a reduction in beachcombing and travel over the last two years I have begun to feel the weight of the accumulated archive which has become static rather than dynamic. This residency has provided me with the ‘permission’ to take the time to re-explore my archive and look for new connections. My process is methodical and without tangible products at this stage, but a necessary step in reacquainting myself with my finds, my memories and experiences, so that I can begin to re-imagine the existing collections. Sharing this with others on the residency has also introduced new avenues to explore in my practice, such as the clear but undefined ‘hierarchy of preciousness’ I attach to things and a very strong attachment to the link between collecting and visits to my late Father and where he lived on the coast.