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I find myself ridiculously excited.

 

I am going to a meeting in London on Friday, all art and education related stuff, which I’m really pleased to still be involved in, even after shucking off the job a few months ago. We all have an interest in education, even if we no longer work in it, or have children in it. Or at least we should. I actually think it would be a good idea that those who go to university should get it for free. Society as a whole benefits from people who learn, and keep on learning. A more diverse and more widely valued post 18 education system benefits all of us. So all of us should pay for it. (Idealist andSocialist, I know!)I was lucky enough to start my higher education when we got grants, and lucky enough to continue it recently when my MA could be funded… or at least 2/3 of it, with the support of NSEAD. Whether a person is suitable for such an education should certainly not be solely decided by whether they can afford it. Society is missing out.

We could end up with a government full of rich-boy waxy-faced clones who all went to Eton and Oxbridge for goodness sake!… oh…. hang on…..

 

anyway… all that aside…

 

My son stood me up. He had a better offer than traipsing around London with his mother, so I found myself free for most of Saturday. What to do then? So many exhibitions, events, galleries, and yet really, so little time.

So I have opted instead for a rather more homely, personal experience, and I’m going to see Marion Michell. Don’t worry, she knows I’m coming! And I can’t wait. We have conversations now through Facebook, Twitter, emails and our blogs. She is the latest in a line of people that I would never have met without the internet.

I am travelling light, to enable me to carry some selected pieces of work, so she can look at mine “in the flesh” and vice versa. People who work in textiles, I have observed, are always very keen to get their hands on other people’s work. People who work with textiles often say “please touch” rather than “don’t touch”. The experience of finding my items, stitching them and thinking about them is so tied up with the part of my brain that deals with touch, how can I deny the viewer that experience? (I do insist on clean hands: bacon butties and chocolate cake do not make for happy textiles in the long run)

Marion sent me a piece of her work, that I have hanging in my studio, a pair of itchy woolly crocheted elongated pants, complete with luxurious curly pubes. I have taken to tickling them on the way in each morning, as a way of saying hello to my studio. Every time I do it I giggle!

Sets me up for the day!

 

So, I can’t wait to meet this mysterious woman! I have no idea what she looks like. From her writing I can kind of guess at her age, but I’m not sure. I just know though, that we will talk and talk until I have to go. We will play, and laugh, and talk seriously too maybe.

 

THIS is why I am evangelical about blog writing… so many people I have met through it, particularly Julie Dodd, Franny Swann, Sophie Cullinan, Kate Murdoch, Wendy Williams and so many more I hope to meet in the future…

 

The conversation shapes my work, frames it, gives it context and layers onto it more meaning than I could hope to do on my own.

 

See you Saturday, Marion!

 


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