Saturday, 1 March 2008


once again wandering far from home in an eyrie on the 15th floor the view is very different from peaceful paddocks. In the streets below people howl and scream. Sirens wail. sleepless seagulls swoop and dive from the night. maybe they are planning a Hitchcock re-enactment

from my window I make light drawings with my camera.

the purpose of this foray to the east is to hang an exhibition at Planet, a beautiful establishment on Commonwealth Street in Surry Hills (an inner burb of Sydney). they make the sort of furniture that asks to be stroked and stock ceramics and textiles. there are lightshades made of twigs and sticks, like eagles’ nests; and stools that are simply carved and polished chunks of tree. the floor is burnished concrete and undulates slightly, tempting the child within to slide about in socks, but there is work to be done

and here it is

Ross and Kate (at Planet) make that work easy. i am happy to take their advice about how the space works and where to hang which piece.

night again and I sit on my hotel bed and make 43 metres of silk string so that a series of silk bags (intended for the book, which is to be unleashed at the exhibition as well) can be hung in the manner of prayer flags. Once again I bless my friend-in-the-west Nalda for the gift of string-making.

the 29th dawns. I keep a threaded needle attached to my recently
r(eco)nstructed pinafore. from time to time I retreat to a quiet space and soothe the turmoil of anticipation by making rows of calming blue silk running stitches. in any event my clothes are always works in progress…this one is planned to acquire many fragments and layers together with found buttons and other embellishments.

a flower-gypsy calls by, his van brimming with sweet-smelling bunches. we choose gardenia, and roses in apricot, brick and coffee tones. delicious. stripping the leaves from the stems I long for cloth and a pot to bundle them for dyeing…such a waste to throw such treasure in the bin.

the opening is at 6. after days of torrential rain the sun decides to smile on my ‘watermarks’. my brother and his family are there to lend support. exhibition openings are dull work for children but they bravely consume cheese and bread and manage to survive several hours, thus setting a new world record. (the Three would have swiftly sidled off exploring, had they been in attendance). my friend Toyoko brings exquisite chocolate. another friend has come all the way from Wellington across the ditch. (thank you, Lyn, you have no idea just how much that meant!) her sister adopts one of my favourite pieces. she looks fantastic in it. truly a second skin. lovely to know ‘the children’ are to go to kind homes…

signing books is a novel experience and a battle with dyslexia, so as not to muck up. when not pressed I am capable of quite beautiful writing but in public situations the penmanship rapidly unravels into dissolute and drunken chickentracks. fortunately for me nobody complains: it is already sufficiently challenging to have one’s soul exposed in the pieces adorning the space. exhibiting work is a yinyang thing…one part of me wants to have the work seen, the other part feels as though my skin has been pared away and the flesh is exposed, so wants to run and hide, even though everybody says kind things about the work. for now, this is another opening survived.


  1. India,your words conjure up such fascinating images. "stools that are simply carved and polished chunks of tree" and lightshades "like eagles' nests". I love your textiles! The colours and plant prints are visually exciting even to someone who is new to textile art. Goodluck and congratulations!
    I know exactly how you feel about openings. I want to exhibit but find the openings very the point of not wanting to exhibit at all.

  2. I've just been dipping into your blog. NOw I am going to leave myself time to explore your blog, your work and your book. I am enchanted.

  3. Yup, understand the relaxing pleasure of running stitches and making string. What a wonderful entry today. I loved the light drawings. Verrrrry cool.

  4. Simply magical! I love your fabrics from the soul and your scribbles from the heart. Lucky are those who saw your work up close :)