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Out of This Earth - Student Exhibition 2024

Earth Materials

In writing this introduction, I was aware of the impact the climate had for this intake of ‘Out of This Earth’ participants. The UK saw the warmest and wettest February on record, and while we were in the pouring rain, Australia was experiencing extremely high temperatures and humidity. These weather conditions drove a slower and slightly frustrating start for most people but they persevered and have made great progress in their explorations with earth pigments, soya milk and cloth.

The pieces shown in this exhibition demonstrate how individuals found their own way, their own preferences and their own ideas. It was a joy to work with a new group of participants and see how they responded to the different approaches with this exciting medium. When setting out to find new land, we have to be willing to let go of outcomes, trust the process, learn from results and repeat techniques until we’ve gained some mastery. At that point, we can steer the ship with greater intention and produce work that transcends technique.

The process of creating art means we have to take leaps into the unknown and embrace failure.  Not (fully) knowing can be scary, but I’ve always encouraged participants to turn fear into curiosity as discovery is only possible though action. Repeatedly asking the “what if” question drives new ideas, new results and offers us the opportunity to build the understanding and skill necessary to make intentional work.

I’ve been delighted by the hard work and curiosity shown by this group of participants.  Pieces have been re-worked and layered, rotated and cropped, cut and collaged.  Stitch has also been added to provide accents and detail. And… offerings have also been made to the sacrificial fire of learning!  The encouragement participants have offered each other through Facebook engagement has been generous and supportive - a key aspect of the Fibre Arts Take Two community - which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of.  I offer thanks to every participant – for signing up, doing the work and forging on regardless of what the weather (or the results) threw at you! 

For you, the viewer of this exhibition catalogue, let’s remind ourselves of what Chris Ofili says:

“The studio is a laboratory, not a factory. An exhibition is the result of your experiments, but the process is never-ending. So an exhibition is not a conclusion”.

May the journey continue.

Claire Benn


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Would you like a printed copy of this Exhibition book?

We are delighted to announce that this online student exhibition is now ready to be purchased as a book from Peecho!  By clicking the below link - you can purchase the online student exhibition as a hardcopy and have it on hand whenever you need it to share with others. Please note that Peecho is a third party book printing company and we have no control over the postage costs to your destination.

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