Early last spring when nothing much was flowering, I watched the first blooms of the Everlasting Daisies on the median strips in our neighbourhood and on the daily commute taking my son to school. I watched the daisies follow the sun, close their petals against the rain, cloud cover and as the sun sets and open brightly again on sunny days. I documented them as they faded and went to seed. This coincided with my son’s final day of high school. Both with the promise and hope for new beginnings the following year.A year prior, on the last morning of Vicki Mason’s Fibres West class we learnt to make flower like brooches from computer wire. In July as we set up twentyONE+ there was a skip bin full of discarded computer equipment and cables near the gallery as the University was upgrading their technology systems.
Sunday afternoon and the others are going to the footy. I should continue working on the canvas I have a deadline to finish, I feel like having a nap, I chose to visit Artwalk Freo… Best decision.
Artwalk Freo is a 4 km walking tour of home studios of eight well known Fremantle Artists, held last weekend. I visited six of the venues. Eveline Kotai, Jo Darbyshire, Annette Seeman and John Teschendorff, Ian de Souza, Penny Bovell and Trevor Richards.It was a delight to explore the lovely calm, light filled spaces in which these artists produce their work, see work in progress and materials of trade. Each artists’ home was filled with their own unique and interesting collections of books, objects, artworks, their own and those of others.Images are of Trevor Richards’ 1960’s house with its stunning terrazzo floors throughout (I understand built by the owner of the factory that produced much of the terrazzo flooring in Fremantle homes), and the original kitchen!Coincidentally, Down Under Textile magazine arrived today and I am thrilled that my own home studio is featured. As many people have already commented, it is very tidy…on this occasion 🙂
WA Inspired Art Quilters is a group of eight ladies:- Hilary Arber, Roberta Chantler, Meg Cowey, Pat Forster, Elizabeth Humphreys, Stephanie Knudsen, Stella King and Denise Mallon who have joined together to exhibit their work with West Australian inspired themes. Their first exhibition is currently on at Mundaring Art Centre. It was a cold and wet Saturday afternoon when the Quilt and Textile Study Group visited the exhibition and were given an inspiring and informative talk by one of their members Liz Humphreys.
It is very evident that the group have a love and appreciation of the Western Australian landscape, have all travelled widely and many lived in rural settings.
The exhibition consists of two Series of works:- Series – One Sand/Strata/Scheme/Salt & Series Two – Primary Production.
The exhibition runs until 18th June 2017.
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.
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.
I’ve just seen the images of all the other finalists and I know the showcase is going to be amazing.
Here is a short video of 2016 showcase:-
To purchase tickets for 2017 showcase click here
Dates and Times:
Saturday 10th June 6.30pm
Sunday 11th June 2.30pm
Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
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!
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.
Christmas is just around the corner and this week I am in full swing preparing lists, shopping, cleaning and cooking. I’ve had the blinkers on Christmas up until now. Over the weekend, I (95%) finished my Wearable Art Mandurah (WAM) garment and cleaned up the studio. I have been working on this garment solidly for the past three months. Although not due until mid February I gave myself a Christmas deadline. I find it is really necessary to allow my work to “sit” for a while…time to consider how to finish, does it work? will it hold together 🙂 I know I can’t work well up against a last minute deadline. The nature of my work doesn’t allow for this and the stress caused is not worth it.
This Brain Pickings article arrived in my Facebook feed today and beautifully sums up why.
Acts That Amplify: Ann Hamilton on Art, the Creative Value of Unproductive Time, and the Power of Not Knowing
From Anne Hamilton’s essay “Making not Knowing”
One doesn’t arrive — in words or in art — by necessarily knowing where one is going. In every work of art something appears that does not previously exist, and so, by default, you work from what you know to what you don’t know. You may set out for New York but you may find yourself as I did in Ohio.
I find this happens in my work, a seemingly brilliant idea in my head, in reality, goes completely astray…the completed work becoming quite different to my initial imagining.
But not knowing, waiting and finding — though they may happen accidentally, aren’t accidents. They involve work and research. Not knowing isn’t ignorance. (Fear springs from ignorance.) Not knowing is a permissive and rigorous willingness to trust, leaving knowing in suspension, trusting in possibility without result, regarding as possible all manner of response. The responsibility of the artist … is the practice of recognizing.
This is the challenging part – the trusting in possibility…time allows for this, it can’t be rushed for a deadline. It appears when ready…ideas and connections come when I’m in the shower, driving the car…
So, this week I prepare for Christmas, next week watch the cricket, read books, see friends, relax…
Last Friday night my husband and I watched a Rom Com called The Ageing of Adeline. At one point the love interest invites her for a lunch date “to a place in the city you have never been before”.
Open House Perth this past weekend was a bit like that for me. My Mum and I spent two lovely days walking around the city discovering unknown treasures, exploring exquisite restorations with complementary modern additions, along with some buildings yet to find their purpose in this new century. Some venues were a wander of discovery, others include a free guided tour. Open House Perth ticked all the boxes for me – Architecture, Design, History and being a sticky beak!
Bishop See Gardens (built 1859) 78 Mounts Bay Road
London House – St Georges TerraceTextile Designer, Megan Salmon’s Cow at the front of Cloisters
Cloisters (1858), St Georges Terrace. Not part of the Open House event, but had to take a few photos of the brickwork of this stunning Tudor Victorian Style building as we walked by…P & O Building 56 William St. This beautiful Art Deco building was built in 1929 as the WA office of the Orient Steam Navigation Company.State Buildings cnr St Georges Tce and Barrack st.The State Theatre Centre of WA (2011)Robert Muir Old and Rare Books recently moved to the two story heritage listed stables (1913) in Lindsay St.
Mum checking out a 1925 copy of Anne of Green GablesNorth Perth Bungalow – Lawler St, North Perth 1937 Art Deco bungalow with modern extension.Woods Bagot – The Palace Hotel (1897) cnr William st & St George Terrace, newly renovated offices of Woods Bagot Architects. Perth Technical School 1910. Stunning Art Nouveau lead light windows.Old Perth Boy’s School (1852) – Curtin University, 139 St Georges Terrace. The oldest stone building in the Perth Central business district.West Australian Ballet Centre – The WA Institute for the Blind (1937) Whatley Crescent, Maylands. As you can see, I loved the Wardrobe Dept. and spent some time on the backstage tour talking to one of the costume makers.Shoe StoreroomWhipper Snapper Distillery. Kensington St, East Perth. Perth’s first urban whiskey distillery. The boys enjoyed a tasting.
My Husband and I took a short break away from the kids and the dogs to Bunbury last weekend to see the Oz Quilt Network, Australia Wide Five exhibition at BRAG and especially the Artist talks held on Saturday afternoon. I was one of four WA artists who spoke about their work on show. Oz Quilt Network President Margery Goodall spoke on behalf of several artists from other states, their work, inspiration, techniques, challenges, and how they go about creating.
Artist talks are always interesting as they give you a much greater insight, understanding and appreciation of the work.All of the works can be seen in the online catalogue.Sunrise Sunset by Margery GoodallChanging Landscape 2 by Kathy BeilbyCreek Drawing #13 by Judy HooworthSevere Weather Event by Clare SmithFlower Cover by Carolyn Sullivan
My work Silver Linings #4 Seeds of Hope was inspired by travels along the Forrest Highway towards Bunbury, Western Australia after the Yarloop Bush-fires in January this year. We drove past the blackened devastation caused by the fires only two weeks after the event. Even at this early stage, new growth was present. The tops of the Zanthorea (Grass Trees) had started shooting, small specks of green appeared in the ash; a sign that our Australian bush is tough, resilient and adaptable to the circumstances presented.Now nine months later the view from the roadside.
The afternoon was a nice catch up with friends and thanks to their local knowledge, a delicious dinner that evening at Market Eating House.