Ann Sutton: On From Weaving, A Survey at the NewArtCentre, Roche Court

It’s not often a weaver of such note has a exhibition within striking distance of Devon, so this was not to be missed.

And what an exhibition it is, in such a lovely space. As I write, the exhibition is only on for another week (last day 15th January) and I urge you to see it if you can. The NewArtCentre is surrounded by 60 acres of parkland with amazing sculptures on view,  so if you do make it this week, sturdy shoes and lots of layers would be recommended!

Each room had a collection of work; lithographs in Bedroom 3, small weaving in Bedroom 4, painted nylon grids in the main room. Colour, of course, linked it all. Isn’t that what we think of when we visualise Ann Sutton’s work? There were also surprises for me though. I hadn’t seen her perspex tubes or boxes bound with rayon, which I enjoyed peering into and around.





It was so fabulous to see work I’d only previously seen in books; ‘One to Five, Both Ways’, ‘Double Weave Number Game’, ‘Too Long For It’s Space’ and of course ‘Logical Weave Footstool’, that we all just wanted to curl up with (and really examine how it’s made!)

The utter joy of visiting a weaving exhibition with a group of weavers is that we all have the same desire – to know how it’s made! To examine closely, try to work out where it was joined, how many shafts it was woven on. In fact, Liz and I were caught on camera peering intently at a piece from Ann’s ‘Disappearing Honeycomb Series’ to work out how many shafts were used to create the different sizes of cells. (We decided 24!)

This series of weavings; ‘Disappearing Honeycomb Series’, were divine. It was one room you could lose track of time in. Each piece was a similar length, width and composition of disappearing honeycombs. But the colour studies and combinations were so beautiful and varied, from the jarring combination of red and green, to the super subtle cream and orange.






The exhibition has left me with a strong desire to play with colour and yarn, not even on the loom or knitting needles, just to wrap and knot yarn in different ways and explore colour and structure.

And not forgetting another good reason to visit weaving exhibitions with other weavers is the shared desire for good food after the visit!

The Loom Shed is about our textile community, and Liz and I realised as we arrived, it would have been great to mention to everyone we know we were on a trip further afield. Next time, we’ll let you know if we are on our travels again, it would be lovely to meet up.




The pictures show

Bristle Box – Maquette, 1969. Bound Tubes – Ring, 1968. Order to Chaos, 1967. Disappearing Honeycomb Series -Green:Red 2002: Disappearing Honeycomb Series -Cream:Orange 2002. Disappearing Honeycomb Series -Red:Blue 2002