12/23/2015

Lighting The Darkness

Illustration from "Can it be true?"
published by Oxfam as a charity Christmas card.

Much as I love Christmas I do dislike the dark and gloomy days of winter and am always cheered by the notion that once we have passed the winter solstice the days will begin to lengthen.

One of the best things about Christmas is that we get time to spend with our loved ones. This year we visited our son and his partner in London. Whilst there we had a multitude of wonderful things to see; as we arrived at Euston station we decided to walk to the British Library. On route we passed St Pancras church and noticed that The Crypt Gallery had an exhibition of paper-cuts, paintings and calligraphy called Lighting the Darkness. There we met the jeweller, engraver and silversmith Alan Craxford who took time out to talk to us about his paper-cuts.


Alan Craxford Paper-cuts

Alan uses various layers to create shadows which change with the light, thus incorporating the dark and the light into each piece.  His paper-cuts are very beautiful, each one delicately cut with an expert hand, if you have time do visit his website, his work is extraordinary.


Fabric of India Exhibition
The next day we had pre-booked tickets to see The Fabric of India exhibition at the V and A.
I was familiar with many of the printed textiles, having encountered some during my studies. I was less familiar with the embroidered and woven pieces. As with all major exhibitions at the V and A, I always feel rather dazzled and overwhelmed by the scale and complexity of the exhibits. I wish I could have made multiple visits over several weeks in order to absorb the artistry of those exquisite fabrics.

The Royal Albert Hall
The grand finale of our visit was a night at the Albert Hall to see and hear the Kings College Choir
which was amazing! We even joined in singing Hark the Herald Angles Sing at the top of our voices, safe in the knowledge that nobody would notice when I sang off key.

The Dream Quilt by Adele Geras illustrated by Valerie Greeley

When we arrived home we found my first sample book had arrived which called for a celebratory glass of wine. Somewhere in the back of a delivery van is a box of books though I know not where.

Wherever you may be I would like to thank you for visiting my blog and wish you a Blessed Christmas and a Bright and Shining New Year.
                                                   CHEERS EVERYONE  X X X

28 comments:

  1. Loved those paper cuts Valerie. Your Yorkshire Pudding idea reminded me that as children we ate it with pieces of apple and brown sugar. Those were the days!
    May the farmer and I wish you and your family a very happy Christmas and bright wishes for the New Year. We hope that it might be a more peaceful year too.

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  2. I Would have loved to join in singing with the choir, off-key as well! The best to you Valerie, on Christmas and in the coming New Year.

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    1. Thank you Jeri, and all the very best to you are yours. x

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  3. Sounds lovely. Merry Christmas.

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  4. What cherished memories Val! All the same wishes for you as well.
    ps...of course you can come and visit anytime! the light is always on.

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  5. King's choir must have been a joy in the Albert Hall. I'm reminded that I must revisit King's for evensong in the New Year - a free treat.
    Your book looks fabulous!
    Merry Christmas!

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    1. I like the sound of that free treat, thank you for your kind words. x

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  6. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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    1. Thank you Gunilla and the same to you. x

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  7. The Fabric of India exhibition sounds amazing!

    I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas Valerie, and best wishes for the new year! :) x

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    1. You would love it Chloe, so very inspiring.

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  8. Sounds like you had a lovely visit. Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year:)

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    1. Thank Rosie, and the same to you and yours. x

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  9. Valerie, as I looked at this beautiful post, I've also been listening to the Lessons and Carols service from King's via BBC Radio 4. I am definitely now in the Christmas spirit!

    Best wishes to you and yours...I hope to see you in the New Year. xo

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    1. Thanks Frances, best wishes to you too. x

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  10. Christmas in London,my favourite city and my favourite season, this brings back so many happy memories. Very best wishes for a Happy New Year.

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    1. How lovely to hear from you again, best wishes to you too. x

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  11. It all sounds wonderful! Happy new year to you.xx

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    1. Thank you Jess and the same to you. x

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  12. Dear Valerie - when I started reading this post I thought "I've seen that card before!"
    It was sent to us by our dear friends in Derbyshire!
    Total department of small world indeed!
    Such a lovely card!
    all best wishes for a wonderful 2016!

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth, small world indeed.Best wishes to you and yours also. x

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  13. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and family, warm wishes from across the freezing pond.

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  14. What a busy year you had and wishing you every success for 2016 with all your projects. I loved your results from the Wrexham printing day, the toadstools tinted brown. And the fabrics sound exciting, you have so many skills. Wishing you all the best..Millyx

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  15. it sounds like you did wonderful things. your art is so charming. it is heart warming to know that days are getting longer in the dark gray days of winter. we don't get much sun in winter..... i think i simply become winter along with everything else.

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  16. A Merry Christmas to you, too! Though a tad late'ish. I love this piece. Your posts are always so interesting and lively.

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