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Today we are excited to launch a new collection and introduce the latest artist to join The Shop Floor Project.

Miku Tsuchiya is a celebrated painter from Nagoya, located on the Pacific coast of Japan. We are happy to announce that we are now her exclusive gallery, outside of Japan, representing and showcasing her extraordinary work to a wider audience.

So let’s meet Miku and her new work; from the large-scale works to the smaller, more intimate pieces.

The Gardeners is a new collection of work commissioned by The Shop Floor Project and explores the artist’s deep connection to her surroundings and nature.

The Ponds, Miku Tsuchiya 2023

Working slowly with layer upon layer of translucent watercolour washes, Tsuchiya creates delicate paintings which have an almost veil-like quality. There is a stillness to the works, even a monastic quality, with ancient stone-like figures wandering through gardens, picking flowers, bathing in pools or sowing seeds.

Grass, detail: Miku Tsuchiya 2023

Within Miku Tsuchiya’s work there is an ongoing exploration between a need for community and a search for solitude.

Sniff, detail: Miku Tsuchiya 2023

For example; the simple, intimate pleasure of walking barefoot on long grass or smelling a flower (see the quiet delight on the face above in Sniff as the figure smells the flowers with eyes closed) is contrasted with the joy of a park full of people in Play Ground (below), where the sounds of laughter and play is audible.

Play Ground, Miku Tsuchiya 2023

This contrast may be a result of where Miku lives and works. On the outskirts of Nagoya City, she has found peace and inspiration in the nature reserves that surround her. This can be seen further in this short film made for this collection:

Strange, dreamlike compositions hide and reveal surprising details; a little heard of wild horses, giant stone heads, canvas tents, sundials and chairs, lots of tiny chairs and seats often appear in Miku's compositions.

Round and Round, detail: Miku Tsuchiya 2023

Saunter, detail: Miku Tsuchiya 2023

The Park, detail: Miku Tsuchiya 2023

Miku’s work brings to mind the silent, meditative works of Gwen John (1876 - 1939), with a tissue paper, silk-like delicacy that feels like light filtering through voile.

Woman in Pink, Gwen John, 1919

Another great influence of Tsuchiya’s is the French post-impressionist (1863 - 1935) Paul Signac with his use of colours, composition and atmosphere.

The Dining Room, Paul Signac: 1887 (Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands)

The creation of atmosphere, of a feeling, is something that Miku excels at. In Slow Evening (below) we can sense the time of day and even the time of year. The figures are gardening and harvesting in the slowest way possible, resting on the ground, all limbs stretched out in ease and relaxation. The painting seems to be asking why rush when the evenings are warm and long?

In the epic work, Harmony with the Soil (below), the painting depicts an organism, a living system that functions as an individual life form.

The pale stone-like figures, with their elongated features and distorted sense of scale, are repeated throughout Miku’s work. Ancient and Modernist in equal measure, the figures populate the gardens with a quiet purpose, as shown in Sowing Seeds (below).

Figures in quiet conversation in Far Side of Here (below)

As if painted straight onto terracotta walls, this powdery feel Miku creates with watercolours is a direct response to the European frescoes and wall paintings which continue to influence her work. In the painting The Well (below), two figures in long white robes look down into a well, in what appears to be a monastic garden. Although uniquely Tsuchiya’s hand, this work could be from a Florentine fresco, exploring the daily life and routines in a 13th century walled garden.

The Well, Miku Tsuchiya 2023

These are peaceful works that have a fascinating strangeness about them. Look for long enough and the motifs, flowers and rocks become sentient beings, each object anthropomorphised so everything in Miku Tsuchiya’s delicate world becomes entangled and interconnected, impossible to separate. Like a poem, these paintings are felt rather than deciphered.

Colony, Miku Tsuchiya 2023

Miku Tsuchiya is prolific in Japan with exhibitions, publications and books (shown above) published about her work. This is the first time her work has been shown outside of the country.

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The designs for this year’s Paper Chain Garland Kits started life as lino-cut prints. Inspired by early 20th century children’s book designs from Eastern Europe, with their woodcuts, bold shapes and inky colour combinations the Paper Chains this year have a distinctly folksy feel. 

A table full of printed motifs and designs, rubbed off the lino block onto paper with the back of an old silver spoon. Peeling the paper away from the block is an exciting moment.

There’s something very wintery about inky black and an off-white colour combination seen her on The Star Vine and the Winter Dandelion pattern.

Another design takes inspiration from the classic cut-out paper doll chains.

The bakers in the Biscuit Makers design (above) wear traditional dress and stand proudly, hand in hand, amongst their baked goods.

The Old Flag is a celebratory design directly influenced by early 20th century Russian book covers. The lino-cut design is inked in reds, blues, pale pink and sage green and has a delightfully ‘wobbly’ effect, showing the hand of the maker.

Gather around the table and assemble metres and metres of paper chains, tell stories, eat mince pies, sing some songs…


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To photograph our winter collections we always look for interesting and often ancient buildings and interiors to host our shoot, somewhere full of atmosphere and filtered light. For Christmas 2021 we took up residence for four days at a tiny early 16th century gem of a building.

This white rendered cottage with three rooms, a huge attic and a lovely cottage garden has sat in the hamlet of Dragley Beck in Ulverston Cumbria for over 500 years. In the 18th century it was the humble birthplace and home of Sir John Barrow, a mathematician and arctic explorer.

Here are some snaps from behind the scenes at our shoot. Old flag floors, tables, chairs, lime mortared walls, shadow and light.







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