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Mr Monkey sees Threadbare at the MCDC, 13th July

Mr Monkey trotted down to the Manchester Craft and Design Centre to see Threadbare : drawings in thread by Debbie Smyth a little more than a week after it opened.

Mr Monkey looking at two large street scenes by Debbie Smyth Mr Monkey knew that he was going to see some "drawings in thread" by Debbie Smyth, and he knew that Debbie Smyth was based in Cheltenham and that she got the solo exhibition at the MCDC on the strength of work she showed during the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Show in 2009, but he didn't really have any idea how anyone could draw in thread, or what they'd draw.

When he arrived at the MCDC Mr Monkey was surprised to find the exhibition area filled by two very large drawings of streets in Manchester's Northern Quarter, which, from a distance, didn't look like they involved thread at all.

Mr Monkey looking at a man on a mobile phone in one of Debbie Smyth's street scenes Mr Monkey looking at a shop sign in one of the street scenes When Mr Monkey got really close to the drawings - taking care not to touch them, or become entangled in them - he found that they'd been constructed with a mixture of nails, thread, ingenuity and artistry.

In the hands of someone less talented this might have ended up as nothing more than a nail-based join-the-dots picture, but Debbie Smyth has created some strangely beautiful things.

Mr Monkey did spot some holes that suggested that sometimes the nails went in the wrong place and had to be pulled out.

He also suspected that the slightly rough surface wall was holding some of the hanging threads in place.
Mr Monkey looking at a cabinet of smaller pieces by Debbie Smyth Mr Monkey looking at a photo of Debbie Smyth installing her street scenes After he'd looked at the main pictures, Mr Monkey let his humans visit the Cafe Aromat for tasty paninis and discovered a cabinet of smaller framed thread drawings. They were very like the larger drawings, only smaller and much more portable. One of Mr Monkey's favourites was Ursus Maritimus.

The framed drawings are for sale, but you can't take them home until the exhibition is over.

Before he left, Mr Monkey found a set of photos taken during the installation of Threadbare, and was interested to see that making the big pictures involved shining bright lights to create shadows.
Threadbare runs until 30th October 2010.
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