Delightful Distractions

As I slog through the “middle part” (= many, many, many hours at the sewing machine) of my current work with my self imposed deadline fast approaching, procrastination and distractions are extremely tempting. One delightful distraction last weekend was the inaugural exhibition of The December Gallery. Jan Mullen and Annie Shelley present a stunning body of work, Annie’s beautiful tonal drawings, perfectly complement Jan’s work. I’ve been following Jan’s blog on the development of these series’ of works she has on show and I admire them even more knowing the thinking and work behind them.
 My son Callum participated in the Disabled Surfers Association program at Leighton beach on Saturday morning… I need to mention here my great respect for volunteers. The Disabled Surfers Association is a very well run program with loads of volunteers of all ages giving people with disabilities a wonderful opportunity for a safe and successful surfing experience. Callum loves it and looking at the photos so does everyone else.This gave me the chance to see the Fremantle Art Centre Christmas Bazaar.
My afternoon continued with visits to Midland Junction Arts Centre to see Eco Echo by Fibrant group and the Felt West pop up shop.
My work has not progressed as far as I had planned this weekend. There are 100s more of these required before I can proceed to the next step, but my love of why and what I do has been restored.

Open House Perth 2017

Described as “When residents become tourists in their own city” Open House Perth, ran for it’s 6th year last weekend. This year we concentrated on the inner east and north discovering some gems.
 Old Perth Girls School 1936 -1962, and more recently occupied by the Police department until 2002, is now ready for the next phase, a 3 – 5 year use until the developers are ready to start the more permanent project. Cafes, tourism, arts, community involvement  are all considerations for this time frame. I can envisage some wonderful possibility here.
Above- view from the projection room into the assembly hall.
The building itself is a quality build, the original lockers, fire places, bookcases were a delight, as were the anecdotes from past students on our tour.
 I imagine they’ve given up trying to match keys to lockers 🙂
Edward Millen House in Victoria Park is at a similar stage. It was built in 1912 as the first maternity hospital in Western Australia, becoming a repatriation hospital in 1920 – 1960, and until 1995 for various medical purposes. Current owners, the Town of Victoria Park spent over a million dollars in 2007 on  maintenance works. The community visiting over the Open House weekend were invited to share their views on the future of this beautiful heritage listed building. I hope its use will mean it’s available for the public to enjoy.
 Next was The WA Ballet. A beautiful example of new use for a stunning Art Deco building. Government, councils, private donations all coming together to make this work. I loved the tour so much last year, I went again and am now hoping to get an in-depth look at the wardrobe dept 🙂
Lastly, a couple of residential houses. The Triangle House in Mt Lawley that I drive past regularly was a spacious surprise inside that we all loved. The build on this awkward triangle 170m2 block is a great example of what good design can do and the creativity that arises from limitations.

It’s November Already!

This year has gone by so fast. However, it’s not over yet and there are lots of great things happening (AND lots of sewing still to do) in spite of the fact that all the shops/media want us to do is count down to Christmas…and panic!

Two great events are happening this weekend.

Firstly, my friend Liz Arnold has her solo exhibition Reef – A Fine Line opening this weekend. Come and see some of her beautiful intricate pen drawings based on the fragile coral reefs.

It’s on at The Basement Gallery Hay St Subiaco 10 – 25 November

Also on this weekend is Open House Perth  11 – 12 November. This fabulous two day event allows the sticky beak in you to see the city’s historical gems and and nosy around some really interesting new design. I attended this event last year and blogged about it.

 

The Time of My Life – in review

Canadian independent creative magazine Uppercase asked for submissions recently on the theme Diagram Your Life. If you drew a Venn diagram of your life, how would your life and creativity intersect? What would a data-driven self-portrait look like? 
I am delighted my work “The Time of My Life” was selected for inclusion in issue 35. The work was originally made for the WAFTA InTension exhibition in 2011. In late 2010, I documented my time spent on the activities of the day for 100 days, each with a colour representing a separate activity. At the time of making the work I felt very frustrated about my lack of time in the studio. All the pink areas are studio time. Reviewing this seven years later, with my darling children all now beyond their teen and schooling years and mostly independent (although all still at home) my art practice has significantly changed and developed, and I do have more time available. The mad rush to get everyone out the door early in the morning is much less of a challenge and no longer am I running kids to appointments or after school activities and cooking dinner in spurts between the drop offs and pick ups.
In other ways there are still lots of demands on my time, however my priorities have also moved much more towards making art and art related activities. Sometimes often the housework is at a minimum, my garden is designed to thrive on neglect and I don’t go shopping without a specific purchase in mind.
In hindsight I can see the time spent away from the studio not so much as a frustration, as it can be just as valuable to my art practice as the hands on activities at my desk. That time helps me process ideas, find a solution to design challenge, see new possibilities, and relieve my sometimes aching back and shoulders!

The Studio Reality

I’m working on a place mat sized space of table in my studio at present, surrounded by clutter on every available work surface. The tidy, spacious studio images in Down Under Textile Magazine a few months ago is long gone (some would say they’d never seen it so tidy)
I’ve started sampling for my next project and as I slowly resolve the idea in my head, I am considering all possibilities and have pulled out every thread, fabric, and What If?
 This is a mess that may or may not become part of this work. I suppose what I am saying, is it’s the mess of inspiration, not of lack of storage space nor enthusiasm to tidy up 🙂
 I will be forced to “tidy” as the project progresses, when I need more table space to work and as I narrow down the possibilities of what might go into this project.
 Supporting my mess/clutter = inspiration, Austin Kleon in his newsletter last week talks about The art of finding what you didn’t know you were looking for. By not having everything in your studio filed and organised beautifully allows for the chance discovery as you search for what you thought you were looking for. 

City of Stirling Art Awards

My work Silver Linings #5 Seeds of Hope received an Highly Commended at the City of Stirling Art Awards last night !
 Out of darkness and disaster come seeds of hope, regeneration, new beginnings, an opportunity to do things differently.
The Silver Linings theme began in response to a series of back to back personal challenges in 2015. As the series has progressed, the inspiration for works has trended toward explorations into nature and life cycles. In this work I was inspired by travels along the Forrest Highway after the Yarloop Bush-fires. Amongst the blackened devastation new growth appears, a sign that our Australian bush is tough, resilient and adaptable to the circumstances presented. 

Back to the Studio…and Back to the Routine

It’s already two weeks since we returned from our lovely holiday in Italy and Germany. I’m over the jet lag and have caught up on most of the jobs “to do after our return”. Below are photos of the beautiful Lake Garda, Italy.
My daily/weekly routine has returned and I’m happy to be able to make a start on my next wearable art piece after only being able to think and dream about it for over a month. Some purchasing of materials and a quick dyeing session yesterday means I have made a start on some samples.
The first full day session of WAFTA@WAM was last Saturday. In this program I am helping others through all the steps to create their own Wearable Art garment to enter in Wearable Art Mandurah (WAM) for 2018. I’m really looking forward to seeing their amazing ideas develop into finished garments.
I was delighted to find in the mail on our return, amongst all the bills, my copy of Down Under Textiles Magazine. Back in February I was asked to become a regular contributor and this Issue 29 has my first column. The magazine, also as of this issue, is available in Barnes and Noble in USA.
In the mail this week was a copy of the beautiful catalogue for Art Quilt Australia 2017. There are many stunning works in this exhibition and I feel honoured to have my work juried for inclusion amongst them. If you have the chance to be in Launceston, Tasmania before 22 October I think it would be well worth a visit.
 

Altered States

Altered States 2017 Members Exhibition has just opened at the Perth Town Hall showing until 23rd September.

Members were given the challenge to make a small art piece using the contents of a bag of stuff. Numbered bags were allocated on receipt of entry to the challenge. Most of the contents of each bag are very similar as you see below.In addition, each bag had a piece of op shop clothing. My bag had this black dress, complete with plastic rhinestones!There were only two rules:
1. Use a little or a lot of everything in the bag,
2. The final piece to be a maximum of 30cm x 30cm (2D) or 30cm x 30cm x 30cm (3D).

It has been fun, and also quite challenging for many of us to work with materials and colours that we wouldn’t  normally consider. Some amazing ideas and works have resulted. My work is below. I’ve dyes and painted many of the items in the bag. You can see more of the works on the Altered States facebook page  It is well worth a visit to the exhibition!Title: Trappings

Artist Statement: Known or imagined, recycled and preloved fabrics have an air of mystery, a previous belonging. This thick, black, stretchy, polyester fabric however, feels void of a story. Is it just part of the trappings of consumerism? Set to be among the never worn, never decomposing clothing destined for land fill.

Techniques: Hand Dyed, Coiled, Machine & Hand Stitch

 

 

WAFTA @Wearable Art Mandurah 2018

Would you like to enter Wearable Art Mandurah in 2018? I have loved being a part of this competition over the past four years. I’ve made lots of great friendships in this wonderful community of designers, and there are many many opportunities to have your work shown. Along with making my own garment for the 2018 competition, I am running a five month long – one day per month program WAFTA @ Wearable Art 2018 starting 30th September. This program is designed to help you step-by-step through the processes and challenges to create and enter your work in the upcoming 2018 competition. I’m going to share my successes and my disasters! We will cover:

  • Concept development
  • Material choices
  • Tips and techniques
  • Judging criteria
  • Mentoring and instruction
  • Pre-selection photography
  • Artist statements

Suitable for Beginners, Tertiary Students, Groups (1 or 2 people) and Individuals.

It’s going to be loads of fun!  I hope you can join us, places are filling fast!

Click here for further details