Saturday, 6 August 2016

Open Studio - Allanbank Mill Steading

We've waited a year to have the opportunity to go back to this place - Allanbank Mill Steading.  It is the home and studios of quiltmaker extraordinaire, Pauline Burbidge, and her sculptor husband, Charlie Poulson.  They throw their property open to visitors on the first weekend of August, every year.  We went there for first time last year, and have been eagerly anticipating our return ever since!  

Pauline's work is magical.  Have a look at her website, and see for yourself.  http://www.paulineburbidge-quilts.com/quiltscapes.php  Charlie's work is fascinating too.  It is varied http://www.charlespoulsen-sculpture.com He has pieces in lead, and also designs living sculpture, with willow, as well as producing drawings.  I think I enjoy his living pieces most. Clever stuff.

The open studio displays Pauline and Charlie's work in the steading buildings, and they also invite a guest artist to exhibit over the weekend.  This year it is Graham Murrell, a photographer, who also produced a series of thoughtful quotations, which I found rather more interesting than his photos!  Sorry, Mr Murrell.  
We started off in Pauline's design studio.  She has another space, in the granary, where her quilting machine is set up, but I enjoy the energy in the space where she does her thinking and planning.  It is light, bright, ordered and full of beautiful, carefully observed things.
Allanbank Steading is a glorious place.  Swallows swoop in and around the buildings, chattering on the overhead wires, excitable because their peaceful barn spaces have visitors wandering in and out.  
The garden is burgeoning with colourful and expressive plants.
Last time we were here, we very much enjoyed Pauline and Charlie's attention to detail.  It can be found in every single aspect of the property.
So, that's year's very enjoyable visit over.  Roll on next year!

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