Friday, 19 October 2018

More about Macmillan and 'Serenity' cards

On October 17th, I spoke briefly at a Macmillan volunteers and fundraisers event at UKFast in Manchester, with Debbie Smith, the Macmillan Cancer Support Information Centre Manager at Wythenshawe Hospital. I explained all the support I have received from the Centre over the last two years and the difference it has made to me. I almost managed not to get too emotional!

Debbie talked about her role, the people she supports and how the new extension will help.

We also showed the A1 sized 'Serenity' linocut I was commissioned to create for the new extension to the Macmillan Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital. It's now framed and on the wall.

Macmillan Centre Manager Debbie Smith (left) and Carolyn Murphy with 'Serenity' 

Carolyn Murphy with her reduction linocut 'Serenity'

I donated a second original linocut from the edition, which is now in the Macmillan family room in Wythenshawe Hospital.

Now cards of 'Serenity' and A3 reproductions are available to buy online via the charity Love From The Artist. All profits go directly to the Macmillan Information Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital.

'Serenity' cards now for sale online

2 designs from 'Serenity' are available - this one is 'Balloons'

You can follow the creation of my first linocut commission on this blog by following this link to the first in a series of blog posts I wrote at the time. I was also delighted to be featured in a blog post on the 'Probably Prints' site.

Monday, 15 October 2018

In the 'Northern Collective' Exhibition in Keswick

I'm very excited to be part of this large group exhibition, which has just opened at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. The sixteen artists involved are united by spending time drawing together in the Lake District and various venues across the North West. Artist Geraldine Walkington, from Kendal, organised our first group exhibition.

On Tuesday we delivered work to the Circle Gallery promptly at 10am, for it to be hung by the team at the Theatre. The exhibition opened to the public the following day & runs from 10 October to Sunday 11 November. We held a private view on Sunday, which was my first chance to see all the work on the walls. I'd highly recommend popping in, if you are in the area. The Theatre is in a fantastic location, right by Derwent Water, with a café with views to the Lake - ideal for a lunch stop! The exhibition itself is really varied in media and style: including paintings, printmaking, textile art and assemblage.

I decided to include my large 'Serenity' linocut, which was commissioned by Macmillan, plus 3 smaller linocuts - 2 with a link to the Lake District. 'Over Morecambe Bay' is based on a sketch I did whilst up at Grange on one of Geraldine's Drawing Days, whilst 'This Way' is a linocut of a Lake District stile and footpath sign.

I've included in this blog post more detailed pictures of the whole exhibition, so that you can get an idea of the work on show and the artists exhibiting as the Northern Collective, even if you're not able to make the journey to Keswick. Images of the Preview are on my website. I hope you enjoy a look around, in person or online!

Artworks by Colin Binns in the exhibition

Textile art by Jaini Hadley on show

Paintings by Geraldine Walkington in the show

Work by Gerry Hickson

Assemblages by Petra Hartmann
Linocuts by Carolyn Murphy
Collagraphs by Annabel Wilkes in the exhibition
Mixed media artworks by Ann Marie Foster

Paintings by Janette Phillips

Printmaking artworks by Lynn Pascoe
Artworks by Barbra Cropper
Katie Bentley paintings in the show
Julie Emary's work
Angie Mitchell linocuts in the exhibition
Priscilla Edwards & Marian Jazmik's work
Christine Sandford's artworks
After the exhibition preview, we had time for a short stroll near Derwent Water as the sunlight was fading. It was a glorious autumnal drive to Keswick and back home!
To see more of my work, please check out my website: where you will also find an online Shop with currently available work. Thanks!

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Hanging the Old Parsonage exhibition

Our 2018 'Spectrum' exhibition in Gallery 1 at the Old Parsonage in Didsbury is a challenge to hang, partly because the ceiling is so high and the step ladders are huge, but also because the hanging system ensures that all work is hung by fishing wire from a high level picture rail, so that there are no nails or screws into the walls.

Work hung on strong, fine fishing wire (40lbs +)

Last time I was at the Old Parsonage, back in 2015, my work was in Gallery 2, which is smaller and has a much lower ceiling. Then I was working with local artist Malcolm Allum to hang the room. Malcolm had a tried and tested system to get all the work at eye level.

This year, with Anne Mackinnon, Cate Gibson and myself, we had to refine the method to hang Anne's work on 3 levels and Cate's and my work on a single or double level. I'm logging here how we did it, so we can all refer to it in future. It may be useful for you too. Fingers crossed. I've outlined the steps below:

  1. Start by measure the distance from the bottom of the picture hook to the centre point you want for your eye-level pictures.
  2. Run a piece of masking tape across the full width of a trestle table so that it is straight and even. Declare and mark one side of this as your 'centre line'.
  3. Attach a pen with a clip along the top of a chair, using masking tape and fishing line, so that it can't move and you can still access the clip end
  4. Position the chair carefully so that the distance between the centre line on the table and the inside of the clip of the pen measure exactly the same distance you decided on in point 1. Don't move the chair!
  5. Take the first work you want to hang and put it on the table, measuring it carefully so that the centre of the work is aligned to the centre line.
  6. Attach the fishing wire to one of the 'D' ring fittings on the artwork and run the wire out to the pen, through the pen clip and back to attach to the other 'D' ring fitting on the artwork
  7. Hang the artwork by hooking the fishing wire over the picture hook on the top rail. It will hang at eye level.
  8. Continue with all the other work
  9. To add higher rows, repeat this exercise but re-measure a new higher or lower centre point for step one and move the chair distance accordingly before continuing.
  10. If you happen to be out by a tiny amount on any pictures, we decided to add an extra twist or two to the wire when hanging on the top picture hooks. Not scientific this bit, but it did the trick!
Measuring the centre of an artwork to place it on the centre line 

Pen attached to the chair, artwork on the centre line

Hanging work on different levels with high ladders

We managed to get our work level and looking professional with very little effort. We'll be using 'Malcolm's system' as we called it again!!

Cracked it!