Sunday, 24 November 2019

leaf love and a month-long magical mystery tour


Would you like to join me for a workshop?
A long one that lasts a month?

Want to learn different ways of bundling to
let those lovely string marks shine on your work?

Want to know to bring saved dried leaves back to life?

Would you like to ease into a daily morning writing practice,
connect with a whirled-wide community and
dance your way through February?

Why February?

It might be the shortest month but in the North,
though we all know that the earth needs a rest before
the abundance of spring, the long hours of dark together
with driech weather can get to your soul.
And not in a good way.

Here in the South we just feel the roasting
heat of summer will never end.

So once again I have dreamed up an adventure
that can be enjoyed from wherever you are in the whirled.
It begins now, with a wee bit of prep, then goes to sleep
while you deal with whatever
the Festive Season is throwing at you 😉.


Late in January I'll send a wakey-wakey email
to remind you that the fun is about to begin,
and then every day in February
an email will fly in from me, with instructions
for the mystery project that we are making together. 

All I will tell you now is that it is both beautiful and useful,
and that we will be using cloth from your stash
and your ragbag along with whatever threads
you want to stitch with,
and all of the beads and buttons your heart desires.

You'll begin each day with quiet moments of grounding,
light a candle, do a little writing and then work on your project,
step by step until it all comes together
and you take it out into the light of day
at the end of the month.

And did I mention pie?
There will be pie.


Want to know more ?

Please click on the heart below.






Saturday, 2 November 2019

wandercards


goodness me.
I blinked, and now it is November.
It's been another extraordinary year.
I've had exhibitions in New Orleans, Scotland and England.
Taught in Canada, Scotland and France,
and taught myself a lot about small-scale
film-making for my online school.


The weather is still
awfully dry here in South Australia
in fact
the dams look a bit like that
lovely rusted image above.


I found a pile of dried eucalyptus leaves
in a garden in Mexico
which was a brilliant excuse
to acquire this lovely blue enamel pot.
It's beautifully light and fits
nicely into my suitcase.


The River Tay welcomed me back
(or so I like to think), and several
happy hours were spent filming
bundles drifting on the tide.


Now I'm home a while,
happily dancing with indigo,
teaching myself as much as
I can about that particular magic,
while also working on new projects
for the
School of Nomad Arts.

One of which has been released today.


Some years ago I published a very limited edition
of 'wandercards',
inspirational cards devised to offer ideas for
the exploration of the poetics of place.
There were rather a lot of enquiries about
a reprint, but in the interests of sustainability
I thought it best to make the texts available
online (saving the costs of printing and
mailing) so that people could make their
own unique sets, using repurposed materials
if they wished.

You'll find them here



Tuesday, 13 August 2019

still breathing

I apologise for the decreasing frequency
or
perhaps that is
increasing infrequency
of postings here.

blogger makes it tricky to interact with the readership, you see.
I can't respond to your questions, the platform simply won't allow it.

but I can still tell a few stories.

 


it's been an extraordinary year
(they all are, really) with wanderings that have included exhibitions in one of the busiest locations in the UK, as well as one of the more remote (but seemingly with lots of lovely visitors).

a day after 'leafpoems :: treeclooties from here and (t)here' concluded at the Inverewe Gardens in Scotland,   'incomplete journeys' opened at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham ... truly two extremes!


and presently I have work in 'borderline' at Fabrik, in South Australia,
as well as a chapter on my work in a beautiful new book

'True Colors'
by
Keith Recker


most of next year's workshops are up on my website
and I am very happy to say that the 
School of Nomad Arts
is blooming beautifully.

thanks for hanging in here.
if you have something that needs an answer, drop me a line.
there's a wee icon at the foot of my website
that will let you send me a message.

cheerie,
India


Tuesday, 5 March 2019

longing(be)longing


two places have become available in the only fully residential retreat I will be leading this year, in beautiful Bretagne - Brittany, on the shining edge of the shimmering Atlantic Ocean.

this is one of the thin places of the whirled, where it feels as if you could easily step from this one to the next. 



the layers of history are dense and complex :: at our accommodation there is a fig tree with a girth so big it seems as though it could have been planted by a returning crusader

at the foot of the garden there is a path winding down to a burbling stream that wanders through a faerie-tale forest, the kind in which you expect to see unicorns leaping lightly over fallen logs or to find a strand of Melisande's hair





our workshop is called 'longing(be)longing' and will take us deeply into the investigation of the poetics of this place, one that seems to allow us to see further, hear more clearly and feel more deeply.

time slows in this place.



we will be hand stitching and dyeing, making a journal and capturing poetry as it drifts in on the breeze.



all meals are provided by our chef Geraldine (a specialist in mindful eating)

and at night, the Atlantic Ocean will sing you to sleep.

does this sound like something you need?

please contact Claire des Bruyeres to secure your place.










Tuesday, 26 February 2019

gardens of the heart and a free class

what a month it's been ... unpacking and documenting the lovingly stitched contributions to Gardens of the Heart, putting the pieces together with the help of lovely volunteers and installing the exhibition at Fabrik Arts + Heritage has taken up much of my time. I'm so grateful to the h.ART group and to the new Director at Fabrik, Melinda Rankin for unstinting and generous support.


here's a wee video to give you more of an idea of how it turned out. If you live in South Australia you have until March 17 to see the show for yourself. I keep expecting Oberon and Titania to step out of the shadows.

I've also made a free class for you at the School of Nomad Arts :: 'laundering leaf prints'.
so many people write to me asking how best to wash their naturally dyed and printed textiles that I thought I'd save myself a bit of email-answering time by offering some instructions.

you'll find a link to it here


Sunday, 27 January 2019

dear blogger, could you please get your act together?




Blogger is being extremely sporadic about letting me comment, even on my own blog.
Commenting on others, forget it.

This evening there was a comment on a post from 2009.

A number of (frustrating) attempts at answering have failed, so here goes.

India we are trying to help save the kelp forests from destructive mechanical harvesting, here in West Cork,Ireland. I am experimenting with bundles of cotton fabric using seaweed for dye patterns, but having trouble getting much to happen. I wonder if silk would be better and seaweed as mordant. This would become banners for a public art project. Maybe I need to add something to the mix to bring out the colours of the plants? I am a novice, have the bundle book, and would appreciate any suggestions you might have. Janice McEwen "

Answer: dyeing cotton is tricky, silk will be more rewarding. And seaweed generally plays more nicely when wrapped around a piece of metal.

Want to learn more useful things about dyeing with plants and wandering the whirled with your eyes open?

'being(t)here', one of the most popular workshops I've offered over the years, is now available online at the School of Nomad Arts. It begins with the new moon in March with offerings every 28 days or so, into December

please click here for more information


Sunday, 23 December 2018

dear Martine

dear Martine

sorry for the slow reply ... I have tried several times to reply to your kind comment on the previous post, and Blogger simply would not publish. My fingers were crossed that it would work today, because it's nice to be able to engage in conversation, I think. But Blogger refused.

What I wanted to say was that I'm glad you're still here, and that I love "bumping into you" in Europe from time to time!

And I'm so grateful for your support of my work :: it must be about ten years that we have had a connection of some kind ?

That's what I have come to realise about my work...Yes, it's about sharing the printing of leaves on to cloth and paper, and writing poetry and listening to the whirled but it's much more than that. It's about creating community.
And what is really going on, when we gather around a cauldron and make bundles, or sit around a big table and stitch; is that we are (like in old times) gathering around a village well.
There is talk, there is caring for each other. It's not just what I teach but what each person shares, too.

Which brings me to my big news.
I have so enjoyed creating classes for my online school that I have decided to create an annual version of one of my favourite workshops, 'being(t)here', that I have taught all around the whirled but which has been a little different in each version, depending on the place and the time of year, and on what I have been thinking about deeply.

The first online edition will run from March to December 2019, with eleven instalments each delivered on a new moon. It's a huge project and I'm slightly terrified and utterly elated at the same time. But that is what makes life exciting and worth living. It's splendid to have things that are really worth getting out of bed for (in addition to my delightful granddaughter and my loyal hound).

On that note, I wish you a lovely and peaceful Christmas (or any other gentle festivity you might indulge in) and Joy and happiness for the New Year.

lots of love

India

PS if your name isn't Martine and you've read this far I still wish you happiness and health and all good things for the coming year, and thank you for reading my words.

PPS Blogger has now decided it won't publish my comments on other blogs, either. Which is kinda sad, because there are a number that I do read, and it's good to leave a calling card. Guess Blogger has decided to place limits on my screen time. Good thing they aren't hosting my online classes!!!






Friday, 30 November 2018

dear 1393 (the annual report)

the glorious view over the heathlands, from Mount Chudalup
one of the remarkable wildflowers in South West
Western Australia

to the 1393 folks who've stuck by this blog over the years.
a little over ten years, as it happens.

thank you for hanging in there.

this calendar year has been a particularly full one. I've taught five times in Australia, twice in Scotland and Canada,
once in New Zealand and once in France. that's eleven workshops. seven of them were a week (as in 5 days) long, three were three days, one was a mere seven hours and one ran over two weeks.


a string-and-bundle installation
created for the sculpture park
'understory' by the participants of
the retreat to Northcliffe, WA,
in October

I made paper by hand during a brief residency at Richard de Bas papermill in France and spent time in New Orleans, dreaming up new work and collaborating with musician John Fohl.

I built a new website at a new address, and then bought back my old domain name from my former host so as not to lose all the goodwill that it had built up over the past ten years
and
somewhere in between I took a big swig from a cup of courage and
having previously resisted offers from others (the kind that read "come to our studio across the seas at your own expense, let us film you doing tricks and then we'll give you 5% of the profits") launched the School of Nomad Arts, which is giving me much delight.

I had no idea it would be so satisfying to make wee movies and create online classes.
now I know.

I'm writing this post from the beautiful gardens at Inverewe in Scotland, where I am spending the last week of November, dyeing with windfall leaves, preparing for an exhibition in their Sawyer Gallery (next June) and dreaming up more classes for my school.

unsurprisingly, the mirror tells me I'm looking a tad frayed.

it may be time for a wee rest.
time to go home, cuddle that gorgeous grandbaby and go wandering with my dog.

but it's been a fabulous year.


the week at Northcliffe, during which we spent all day each day outside in sunshine and in rain was absolutely glorious. we made a field trip to Mount Chudalup, and created an installation for 'understory', the local sculpture park. people worked on their laps or on the grass, stitching dyed pieces into a 'wayfarer's comforter', a big soft cloth to keep them safe and warm on their travels.

local colour at Northcliffe

a mere two days at home to repack my bags, and I was off to Scotland to begin a three-and-a-bit-week road-and-ferry trip with  Alison Mountain (half of the team of two that make up Big Cat Textiles) . the plan was that Alison would cook for the first retreat (at Ardtornish Estate, near Lochaline) and I would captain the sailboat, and after that we would co-present a retreat on Orkney...meaning we would take turns at cooking and at telling stories. (we are nothing, if not optimistic)



the lovely people at Ardtornish were so chuffed to have us, that we are already confirmed to return in 2020. the gardens there reminded me so much of my parents' lovely garden at Mount Lofty, before it was blackened by fire. and the house itself reminded me of Arthur's Seat, the towered house just a bit further up the mountain from us...where Nancy Harford taught me how to wash Persian carpets with velvet soap and a garden hose, introduced me to the joys of gin+tonic and told me the secret of everything... "whatever happens dearie, never lose your dignity".  I'll confess I'm not always good at keeping that in mind, but I do try.



after five glorious days expecting at any moment to encounter the Dowager Countess Crawley and her withering words around a corner, we left Ardtornish behind us in the wee hours :: driving northward to catch a ferry to the charmingly named port of St Margaret's Hope, Orkney. it was a magical sail across to this gorgeous archipelago, arriving in time for a brilliant sunset. the next day was taken up with serious (double-trolley) food shopping in preparation for the arrival of our participants.  

the Ring of Brodgar

  and so began a week of 13 hour working days, beginning with the morning porridge prep and concluding after the last dessert plate had been cleared. happily we had a cheerie helper (a rare luxury) who smiled through piles of plates and wrangled the ancient dishwasher into submission. 

thank you, Caroline! 

when she isn't disguising herself as a dishie on a far-flung island, she actually runs a clothing company. (and lest the reader thinks I've begun taking interns in return for dishes, no. I have not. both the shared workshop and the assistance will remain unique events. no applications will be received!!)
if you'd like to know more about the actual class...Jane Wheeler has described it in great detail.

and now I'm in my last week here, boiling up a cauldron at the Inverewe Gardens. I came here with the intent of focussing on the eucalypts, but the story seems to be changing as windfalls drift on to my path, squirrels skip across it and herons soar gracefully overhead.  

next year holds four in-person workshops, three solo exhibitions and a number of research trips planned to add depth to the classes I offer online. thank you for your support, whether you've come to a workshop, joined an online class, bought one of my books or simply taken the trouble to sit down and wade through this blog.

let the season of twinkle-lights begin!!


Friday, 5 October 2018

a collaboration

life seems to be steaming by like Niagara Falls.
blink and another month goes by.

since my last offering here I have become a grandmother.
other grandmothers will be smiling quietly to themselves as I confess that I have totally fallen in love with the tiny buglet.


In between cuddling the wee one (and making silly hats for her) I have made another course for the School of Nomad Arts - this time it's an offering for February. It starts now (four months ahead of time) so that participants can prepare by doing a bit of preservation dyeing.

And then (on my way to Maiwa in Vancouver) I've been in New Orleans for a week or so, working on   a piece of cloth and a short film, to which local guitar legend John Fohl has kindly added a soundtrack.

Wanna see it? click here