Morning my lovelies...
I have had great fun playing with a new camera over the weekend capturing
some fab Fenland sights to be used in my new exhibition pieces.
Driving through the Fen roads of the shadowy Cambridgeshire lands watching the ever-changing skies
always makes my soul sing despite the weather.
The Fens can be isolating and quite daunting if you are not familiar with them.
If you are expecting a big welcome all gooey-eyed and filled with scrummy deliciousness then you
will be disappointed.
They don't greet you with their arms open wide for a snuggly hug; instead what they do do, is allow you to see them as they are...warts and all and if you enjoy them all well and good and if you don't, well they take the view (very much like many Fenland folk) and that is simply to say then keep on driving through...
"you either take us as you find us or skidavel out of here!"
You can travel for miles and not meet a soul at times.
For me that's what I really love.
|Whittlesey Mere Washes|
|Pollarded Willow at Whittlesey Wash|
Silence can be so beautiful in our fast pace of everyday living.
Many people are often put off visiting the Fens saying that there is nothing to look at...
I have to disagree!
If you want chocolate box cottages with beautiful roses around the door, pretty windy lanes filled full of charm or even neatly cut village greens I have to say sadly you probably will be let down
if you are after atmospheric landscapes, moody skies, miles of peace
and beautiful rugged beauty then you will definitely be overwhelmed by wonderful
delights that await.....
|Moody Skies over Fen fields|
The Fens have evolved over many centuries from a very harsh landscape that only the toughest survived to what we see today; the long uneven roads surrounded by the billowing Fen reeds that shelter their neighbours, the drains.
Families, over time have learned to live with each season, the black clods of mud constantly traipsed into their cottages and the wild Fen winds alongside the extreme poverty that constantly surrounded them and yet their homes were always filled with such cosiness and warmth for family
in the best way they could offer.
My exhibition pieces will focus on the connection of woman and cloth throughout time and how they survived with very little, living out in the middle of this vast landscape that chilled them to the bone in more ways than one.
Often Fen women were the strong threads running through a family line that held everything and everyone together.
Personally I don't think much has changed on that side of things.
Did their embroideries help their well being?
Did they see cloth as just a chore of constant repairs?
Would sewing have meant something very different to them instead of how we see it today?
What did they think when they looked out of their windows whilst stitching?
I'm often told the Fens hold nothing but dreary gloomy colours that dull the spirit but
when I look, all I can see is the vibrant colour of life.
My ancestors originate from the Fens.
They are in my blood and I'm very proud to call myself a Fen woman.
I would love to hear from anyone who lives(ed) in the Fens or who has a connection to them and would like to contribute to the stories and memories
I shall be collecting towards my exhibition
If you want to leave a message at the end of this post or get in touch I would love to hear from you!
I will be posting a questionnaire on here soon that you may want to fill in also...
In the meantime I will leave you with a few snippets of Fen life that I will be using in my textile pieces...
Toodle-ooh for now!
x x x