My Mother’s Day gift was a 1 day WAFTA workshop with the lovely Katrina Virgona. 3D Textiles (or what the heck to do with an armature?!) I have admired Katrina’s work for some time and her piece “Emmeline” from twentyONE+ has pride of place in my studio.
The workshop was a great reassurance that I was generally on the right track with the few armatures I have made and has given me confidence to explore a range of wires, sizes and techniques for future projects…now happily sitting in the background until needed.
The great group of fellow workshoppers inspired each other throughout the day. It’s always delightful to see the what others create from exactly the same instructions and materials.
We also discussed the pros and cons of Instagram…I now have an Instagram account louisewellsartist
Everlasting Love? asks “If we continue to throw away our once loved technology for the latest bright shiny new thing, will we have room to plant flowers? Or will the only flowers be made from landfill contents?”
The 1000+ flowers in this garment are made from over 500m of UTP computer cable. The enclosed eight strands of wire were untwisted, stretched, dyed, wrapped, spray painted and assembled.
These images of the gorgeous Amy on judging day are by photographer Elle Norgard and courtesy of the City of Mandurah.
No longer a whisper, La Mariposa was revealed yesterday in a beautiful performance by Tash from DTX Studios in Perth’s Forrest Chase Mall.Wearable Art Whispers was the brain child of Anzara Clarke, a project involving seven artists from around Australia, each contributing to the garment. Each artist responded to the project theme “La Mariposa” from Clarissa Pinkola Estes book “Women Who Run With The Wolves” and the work of the previous artists. The artists in order are Deb Hiller (WA), Sue Sacchero (WA), Tanya da Silva (NSW), Philomena Hali (NT), Larissa Murdock (QLD), Stephanie Powell (NSW) and Louise Wells (WA)Each artist chose the area of the work they wanted to create and wow, seeing each piece up close they are all works of art. Deb – started the garment with a lovely velvet corset, beautiful details up close, Sue – a stunning skirt with panniers to give La Mariposa the hips she proudly wears, Tanya – a beautiful macrame necklace, Philomena – A felted dreadlocks headpiece with embroidered words relating to La Mariposa, Larissa – Delicate hand pieces distributing pollen, Stephanie – Wings, that are exactly as described in the text, Louise – A 2.8m cocoon made from recycled crochet doilies.We each has a month to design and create our section, followed by freighting to the next artist. We have a private Facebook page for up dates, show and tell, and support. I am really looking forward to meeting some of these women in a couple of months at Fibres West.As the last artist I had the pleasure of seeing the whole garment to conclusion. I chose to make La Mariposa a cocoon (more correctly a chrysalis) to emerge from, to start her journey. This is the first piece of work I have made with performance in mind as the initial concept. I was delighted that Tash could see my vision and brought her to life so beautifully. Still have goosebumps!
I attended another fantastic Wearable Art Mandurah judging day yesterday. The excitement and anticipation grows each year. I love the chance to catch up with the friends I have made through this competition and it’s the day you have the first opportunity to see many of the other amazing garments designers have entered. Here is a link to some images in the Mandurah Mail.Away from the studio, you see your own garment at its best. I was very fortunate to have the gorgeous Amy model for me and Duvah’s hair and makeup team did a beautiful job. The garment is called Everlasting Love?These images are quick snaps I took from behind the professional photographer…
This box arrived late last week. It has grown in size and accumulated address labels as it has travelled across Australia, through the middle, up and down the east coast and now back to Western Australia. Wearable Art Whispers is a project facilitated by artist Anzara Clarke and will be a part of Wearable Art Mandurah 2017. I am the last of seven artists to contribute to the project, each person adding their own unique piece to the garment, whilst responding to what has gone before. It was a delight to open the box and see the beautiful work the others have made. You, will have to wait…My Studio Supervisor is guarding the contents of this box.
WAFTA members received their “Altered States” bags at the general meeting last night. The challenge is to create a small work (30 x30cm) from the contents of the bag which will then be exhibited in September…this is also a secret. A quick look in my bag…it is going to be a big challenge, one with lots of giggles 🙂
Not so secret is the announcement last night of the WAFTA Fibres West 2017 Scholarship. I am delighted and very grateful to be the recipient of the scholarship. Fibres West is in July and I am really looking forward to spending a week away to immerse myself in everything textiles. A 5 day workshop with Amanda McCavour, along with lectures, activities and textile related events.
And finally last week I made an Artist page on facebook.
Louise Wells – Artist. An extremely simple process I discovered when I mentioned to the Gen Y in the house “I really should have a Facebook Artist Page” “Yes” he said, and proceeded to set it up for me quicker than I could login to my account…occasionally things really are that simple 🙂
And to really end – Last Saturday my High School celebrated its 50th year. It was wonderful to catch up with old friends and also to be reminded of where my immersion in art began. I attended a specialist art program here for five years along with every other art and sewing class I could wiggle my way into.
Aha and AHHHH…These are the words you want to hear from participants in your workshop. That lovely moment when something clicks or they can see a connection to what you are presenting and the type of work they already do…a new way of working, a slight twist, an “of course”… I’ve had all these moments myself at workshops and artist talks. Some of them are defining moments in my work. Often a small, seemingly insignificant part of the whole, has made the difference.
I had the great pleasure of running two half day workshops for WAFTA late last week. Simple Steps to Surface Design was part of a series of Textile Techniques Toolbox workshops to coincide with the launch of “Altered States” WAFTA’s member challenge exhibition. The challenge is to create a small work of art from the surprise contents of a bag of materials. These workshops are designed to inspire and expand possibilities.In my half day workshops we covered screen printing in various forms, gelli printing, stamping, spray stencils, fugitive medium, Dylon and RIT dyeing. A lot to cover in a few hours, just a taster to explore further if it was of interest. The participants made lots of A4 size samples – reference material for future work.I loved seeing my stencils and stamps used in ways I would never have thought of…how each participant explored new possibilities. I loved their delight when something surprised them and they were excited to explore further.
I am really looking forward to seeing all that comes from this.
My week started out with some great things happening, like my Wearable Art Mandurah 2017 garment getting through the pre-selection stage and now heading to the Judging Day in April and a small piece I have been working on becoming “resolved”…not finished, but ready to be assembled together.Great sadness followed as we made the necessary decision to say goodbye to our 16 year old Golden Retriever Austin. Difficult beyond belief. He passed away peacefully in his favourite spot in the garden surrounded by the family and with the help of a home visit vet.
We all shared our favourite stories of Austin over a glass of wine early that evening. Then at a complete loss of what to do what to do with myself, I returned to the rag rug that I started making in January when I was also at a loss. At that time finding it really hard for a number of reasons to get started doing any new artwork. A practical rug made from old t-shirts for our family room floor, simple, repetitive, few decisions needing to be made and holding no arty angst. The making routine got me started again. I’ll be sharing the making of this rug soon if you want to make your own.
On Saturday we saw I, Claude Monet. A rather slow moving, although very interesting film of images of Monet’s work and photographs of his family, friends and home with voice over reading from his letters and diaries. Throughout the movie, he expressed his exhaustion and his frustration with his work…all his life. He lived in dire poverty for many many years and never truly felt he did much work of great value!
I think to most of us his garden and Les Nymphéas (The Water Lilies)…say otherwise.Here is little Olivia on our visit in 2008. Here is a short video of at the Musée de l’OrangerieThe WAFTA general meetings started for 2017 on Sunday after a two month gap. It was lovely to catch up with new and old friends and we had an interesting talk by Canadian artist Laura Vickerson.
Yesterday we photographed works for two exhibition entries. One was a reshoot as I was never really happy with the white background we had used previously. I loved the detail shots, but when the full work was viewed on a computer screen it kind of got lost in the background. If you can imagine a 1.5m work the size of a gift card, the fine details appeared as one dull colour. We shot it with a black background yesterday and with the greater contrast, it came alive.
I’ve been hand stitching solidly for a couple of weeks on the second piece. An often asked question is “How long did that take you to make?” Well, completing the hand stitch alone, I caught up with all the TV shows I had recorded, finished Wolf Hall DVD Series and the entire final season of Downton Abbey. The listening and glancing TV watching technique of course.
I’ve just got a bit more paperwork to finish and then dive into the next work.
The past few nights I have ironed all the recent purchase of op shop ties ready to start working with.
Firstly a transformation of the studio into boudoir for our friends from Sydney for a long weekend. It’s amazing what you find when you have a good clean up…
Five lovely days including an unheard of visit to the beach on a Monday morning…what an extravagance. The beach and weather stunning – it was meant to be 🙂
Then the submission of my 2017 entry for Wearable Art Mandurah WAM. The work has been finished for a while, photos taken, but pressing that “submit” button…it’s when you let go of your work.
On Saturday I gave a talk to the WAFTA WASG (Wearable Art Study Group) about my journey and experiences over the past 4 years making wearable art followed by a mini workshop.A simple way to start making Wearable Art – Discover the possibilities of upcycling your recycling bin!
Participants worked directly on dress forms, playing with recycled materials. Using pins, staples and masking tape to speed up the process.
It’s always interesting to see a garment develop on a body shape. You can do lots of drawings and designs, but when you place the items on a body form it comes to life.
All the participants made wonderful and unique starts to wearable art garments, including two 10 year old girls present by default. I could see the start of some wonderful garments for the 2018 WAM competition!
The workshop reminded me that I really enjoy teaching, something that I have been pushing aside for a long time.
I’m well into the next deadline and it’s slowly progressing with machine and now hand stitch. This needs to be my focus for the next few weeks.
A holiday to the beach helps me breathe…just looking at this image I take a deep sigh. Ahhh…We were very lucky to escape the horrid heat of Perth this past week to enjoy lovely weather in beach front Busselton. A breeze that gives you a warm hug, along with the bliss that nothing needs to be done.My ideal relaxing holiday