Sitting in a small hexagonal space in the Art Gallery of WA, Eveline Kotai asked us to breathe…and to observe. I had the pleasure of spending the next 50 minutes as she spoke, looking at her artwork that encompassed the walls behind her. The more I looked, the more I saw, the more I felt.Eveline’s work has always had the effect on me that people often talk about when first seeing an original Rothko. It gives me a sense of calm, but full of emotion, hard to describe and quite overwhelming.
She started her artist talk by commenting on the quote at the entrance to the exhibition. That we now spend more time reading the didactic than viewing the work, then often after only a few seconds of our attention we move onto the next work.It’s a really hard thing to do, to sit and simply look. So many distractions; the time allocated to the visit, the people you visit with, your initial attraction to the work…
She talked about how you really need to live with artwork to truly appreciate and understand it. I know of all the artwork I have purchased over the years; the initial attraction has grown this way and there is never a buyer regret as you sometimes have with other purchases.
One work that took my attention at Ruth Halbert and Jane Ziemon’s exhibition Fragmented Memories at Spectrum Project Space at the opening on Friday night is Ruth’s piece In Memoriam.Made from a beautiful piece of wool bought in Scotland for her aunt. The gift was too precious, and her aunt never used it. She gave it to Ruth on her Uni graduation, with the addition of moth holes along the folds. Plant dyed and stitched, this work deserves a longer look.Fragmented Memories is on show until 26 September 2019.
I LOVE Mikaela Castledine’s work in Immortal Stories at Linton and Kay Galleries Subiaco. Whimsical and poignant. The works are delightful. Attending the artist talk and discovering the stories behind each of these works only adds to my appreciation. Stories of her own childhood (that many of us will relate to) and precious stories shared by others are now not lost.Artist talks not only give you an insight to the work, but also an insight to the artist, their ways of working and their thoughts and views on how to live a creative life. To me this is gold!
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 feel like I have some breathing space right now. I have in essence finished the two pieces I have been working on solidly for the last few months, and pleasingly well ahead of schedule. They need hanging systems, photography and then the relevant paperwork to be submitted, all doable in the time available. This space has lead me to look around the house, see the dust, the overgrown garden and mending surgery as Margaret Ford calls it (major) in this case. Poor Beaker had major surgery last May and at the time I had not counted on the arrival of a puppy! Beaker now has a new red suit and slightly shorter arms. I think he looks as happy as ever. Callum is happy as Beaker can still dance. You can read Beaker’s full story here Other family favourites – My own nowvintage “Rabby” lovingly crocheted by my Nanna. Such and interesting shape to make clothing for…this is where as a pre-teen, I learned creative crocheting, adapting patterns, making my own designs…a good skill for an artistic future!I made Bikini bottoms to accommodate a tail.Nanna also made “Owly” for my Brother. This is one of the two he has.
And another generation back, my Dad’s Teddy. All much loved in their time.
I started making button necklaces a few years ago after “inheriting” my mother in-laws’ button collection when she moved into a nursing home. They are really simple to make and admired when ever I wear one.
For some time I have planned to write up some simple instructions as I am often asked how they are made. Fellow WAFTA committee member Anne Williams has been generously making button necklaces to raise funds for WAFTA. She was ‘volunteered’ to be my model for the instructions. Please click here for the details.