The Making of Everlasting Love?

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.

The idea for Everlasting Love? came from these connections –
Our everlasting love with bright shiny new technology, often quickly discarded is resulting in landfill. Will future generations be planting everlasting daisies made from plastic coated copper wire from computer cables as our environment carries this burden of waste?
My vision was a wearable carpet of everlasting flowers.
Each of the 1000+ flowers in this work have been created using UTP computer cabling.
The blue plastic covering was stripped away, the paired wires were untwisted using a cordless drill, then stretched and dyed pink.The flower shapes were then spray painted in three shades of pinkOver 500m of cabling was used. I tried several materials to create the desired “skirt/train” shape and background for the flowers, eventually settling on chicken wire for the lightness and transparency.The “skirt/train” is clipped to adjustable shoulder straps and connected to large metal rings across the waist. The challenge was to make this comfortable for the model as well as quick and easy to remove. The corset has a side zip as well as adjustable lacing. Through experience in wardrobe I know you need the quick change option of a zip. Recycled buttons from Para Quad were hand dyed yellow for the flower centres and pink for the flower buds.
There were lots of trials for the flower buds.The final version being on an armature from wire, felt and sari silk to cover the shoulder straps.
 The completed carpet of flowers.

Artwalk Freo – Getting out of the studio

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

A Dollar Each Way by Roberta Chantler

Fruits of Our Labours by Denise Mallon

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.

Eroding Dunes by Liz Humphreys

Water for the Goldfields from the Forest by 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.

A Pinch of Salt Please & Red Earth by Stephanie Knudsen

Wildflowers by Hilary Arber

Farm Feet with Attitude by Pat Forster

The exhibition consists of two Series of works:- Series – One Sand/Strata/Scheme/Salt & Series Two – Primary Production.

Lovely close up stitch details.

The exhibition runs until 18th June 2017.

 

 

Armatures Workshop with Katrina Virgona

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.3D workshop 113D workshop 123D workshop 13

3D workshop 143D workshop 16The 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.3D Workshop3D workshop 93D workshop 10

We also discussed the pros and cons of Instagram…I now have an Instagram account louisewellsartist

 

Everlasting Love?

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?”

CITY OF MANDURAH WEARABLE ART, APRIL 2017

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.

CITY OF MANDURAH WEARABLE ART, APRIL 2017

I am delighted that Everlasting Love? will be in the Wearable Art Mandurah showcase Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th June. Along with La Mariposa and her cocoon.

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

 

Wearable Art Whispers

No longer a whisper, La Mariposa was revealed yesterday in a beautiful performance by Tash from DTX Studios in Perth’s Forrest Chase Mall.cocoon (3)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)La Mariposa 1Each 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.La Mariposa 2We 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.La Mariposa 3As 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!La Mariposa 5La Mariposa 6La Mariposa 4

A Week of Joys and Sadness

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.13 march 2017 059Great 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. Rag rug aAt 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.Ray Rug 2 I’ll be sharing the making of this rug soon if you want to make your own.Callum and Austin

As the end of the year approaches…

Tree 3Christmas 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. JacarandaOver 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…

And what does this garment look like? Sorry not yet…Instead here’s some Christmas Wearable Art made by a friend of Josh’s.Christmas Josh

Open House Perth

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
Bishop See Gardens 1Bishop See Gardens 2Bishop See Gardens 3
London House – St Georges TerraceLondon House 2London House 3London HouseTextile Designer, Megan Salmon’s  Cow at the front of CloistersMegan Salmon's Cow
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…Cloisters 3Cloisters 2Cloisters 1P & O Building 56 William St. This beautiful Art Deco building was built in 1929 as the WA office of the Orient Steam Navigation Company.P & O Building 3P & O Building 2P & O BuildingState Buildings cnr St Georges Tce and Barrack st.State Buldings 2State BuildingsThe State Theatre Centre of WA  (2011)State Theatre 2State Theatre 1Robert Muir Old and Rare Books recently moved to the two story heritage listed stables (1913) in Lindsay St.
Muirs Books 2Muirs Books 3Mum checking out a 1925 copy of Anne of Green GablesMuirs BooksNorth Perth Bungalow – Lawler St, North Perth 1937 Art Deco bungalow with modern extension.Lawler stLawler St 3Lawler St 2Woods Bagot – The Palace Hotel (1897) cnr William st & St George Terrace, newly renovated offices of Woods Bagot Architects. Woods BagotWoods Bagot 8Woods Bagot 7Woods Bagot 6Woods Bagot 5Wood Bagot 4Wood Bagot 2Perth Technical School 1910. Stunning Art Nouveau lead light windows.Perth Technical CollegeOld Perth Boy’s School (1852) – Curtin University, 139 St Georges Terrace. The oldest stone building in the Perth Central business district.Old Perth Boys SchoolOld Perth Boys School 2West 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.WA BalletWA Ballet 2WA Ballet 3WA Ballet 4WA Ballet 6Shoe StoreroomWA Ballet 7WA Ballet 8WA Ballet 9Whipper Snapper Distillery. Kensington St, East Perth. Perth’s first urban whiskey distillery. The boys enjoyed a tasting.Whipper Snapper 2Whipper Snapper 3

A Short Break

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. Oct 17 109I 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.AW5
Artist talks are always interesting as they give you a much greater insight, understanding and appreciation of the work.AW5 6AW5 4AW5 3All of the works can be seen in the online catalogue.Margery GoodallSunrise Sunset by Margery GoodallKathy BeilbyChanging Landscape 2 by Kathy BeilbyJudy HooworthCreek Drawing #13 by Judy HooworthClaire SmithSevere Weather Event by Clare SmithCarolyn SullivanFlower 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.Silver Liings #4Now nine months later the view from the roadside.Forrest Highway

The afternoon was a nice catch up with friends and thanks to their local knowledge, a delicious dinner that evening at Market Eating House.