Hi Everybody, well we are almost there! The first Masterclass starts tomorrow and the official opening of the Festival takes place at Swansea Museum tomorrow evening. Two years of planning and we are now in the final countdown.
Today's Masterclass Tutor is the wonderful Susie Vickery. You will know Susie's work already as she has very graciously let the Festival use her colourful embroideries to decorate our promotional material. Susie's work is so varied and interesting, and her life experience and wisdom shines out from her pieces.
Susie's Masterclass on the 14th August is fully booked, but I'm sure that you will be heading to her website after reading her responses to the Masterclass Tutor Questionnaire and will want to take part in one of her future workshops/events. I find it so inspiring that Susie began her creative journey a little later in life, and taught herself how to animate - wow!
What was the first thing you ever made? I started sewing and making things when I was very young, but the first thing that I really remember was when I was 7. I lay down on an old bed sheet and my sister traced around me for my first dress. I appliqued a picture of a bear on the front and stitched yellow bias binding around the armholes and the neck. And I have been sewing ever since.
Who was instrumental in fuelling your creative spark? My mum taught me to sew and I spent my childhood making things toys, doll's clothes, furniture for doll's houses, and clothing. I don't think that my true creative spark was really given full reign until I was 40 when I began studying embroidery by distance learning.
What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self just getting interested in art and creativity? Explore and find out things. Now with the internet it is possible to be exposed to all the art and creativity in the world. I grew up in little Australian country towns, with no libraries and not a lot of creativity. But now it is possible to be inspired by so many amazing people and to find out how to do anything. I taught myself to animate and to edit my animations from the internet. If I ever need to work something out technically there is always someone out there to tell me how. I am also overawed by all the joyous creativity all over the world that I can share in.
What was the first record/tape/CD you purchased? Songs of Leonard Cohen. It came out in 1967, I bought it in 1973 and listened to it on my old cassette recorder.
What was the last book you read? I have nearly finished reading Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain.
James Bond or Captain Jack Sparrow? Who is your favourite action hero/heroine and why? Stephen Maturin in the Patrick O'Brian series of books about the Napoleonic Wars. He is a physician and botanist. I think he is partly based on the botanist Joseph Banks, whose biography by the same author I am reading. Maturin is a revolutionary spy, supporter of the French revolution and a wonderful creation. (You may know these books as 'The Master Commander' series).
What is the saying/mantra you try to live your life by? Life is short, and so am I
Who are the artists/creative people who have most influenced your work? A whole world of creativity has influenced me. After living in Nepal and India for 20 years I have been very influenced by the Tibetan Buddhist art, plus all the popular culture design, painted Bollywood posters and the old Indian packaging and advertising.
What would you like your epitaph to be? She made a lot of stuff.
Red sauce or brown sauce - or does it depend on the situation? Depends on the situation, sometimes chilli flakes are the best topping.
What is your guilty pleasure (or is it too guilty to disclose here)? Listening to the Archers, wherever I am in the world, thanks to the internet I am up to date.
Which historical figure would you like to have a drink with, and why? I think that I would like to meet Jacques-Julien Houtou de Labillardière, the botanist on whom I have modelled my puppet. I would like to find out what he was really like and to express my admiration for his work.
What is the first thing you think of when someone mentions South Wales to you? Oooh tricky one. Don't forget I am an ignorant Australian.
What are you most looking forward to seeing/doing when you come to visit Swansea for the Festival? Hoping to meet up with some other tutors that I know. And to enjoy being surrounded by like-minded people.
Thank you Susie, for completing the Masterclass Tutor Questionnaire and your wonderful answers. I'm tempted to purloin your epitaph for myself! I hope you have a wonderful time in Swansea and enjoy finding out about this rather special part of the world. A special thanks once again for letting the Festival use your embroidery in our promotional material.
Are you excited yet?
May 2, 2018
October 18, 2015
A timetable of exhibitions, venues postcodes and dates.
Please check the venues for actual day and time openings..