Wednesday, 30 May 2012

roundabout and roundabout and roundabout we go

early in 2010 i travelled to Japan for the express purpose of studying the textiles on show at the Amuse Museum
the Boro cloths were marvellous indeed and i wrote about the visit here
there was something i didn't mention
something i kept close to my heart while i was waiting to see where it might lead
- that something was the weaving of cloth

a skill i had not used for some forty years
rediscovered thanks to a friendly weaver working on the top floor of the Museum
who was happy for me to take her photograph
[my apologies, i do not have her name]
and who kindly invited me to try weaving at her loom

in doing so
she lit a small flame that has been gradually growing.
and while i've been keeping my weaving fairly quiet
it will play some role in the exhibition "muddy waters"
to be shown at the Murray Bridge Regional Gallery in March 2013
along with paper and cloth, felted/stitched/dyed marks

i've never much taken to being limited by labels and i can't for the life of me see any reason for restricting my practice to a particular medium
- i want to tell my story the best way i can
and will utilize whatever is necessary to do so

and while i admit to showing "finished objects" when presenting work publicly
it's really not about that at all
the "things" that are shown
merely tell a Reader's Digest version of the bigger story
and that bigger story is all to do with the process of the work

...stitching on another plane the night before last
the woman to my left asked "what's it going to be?"
and was i think a little confused when i said "it might not be anything, it's what it is now that's important"
then wanted to know whether i was using a pattern

my response was "well, no, i'm just drawing with a needle and thread"
and she took her arm off the arm-rest and reduced herself into the middle of her seat
and focussed on her crossword puzzle.

maybe she thought it was contagious.

but back to weaving. i realised it was in the bones
[literally handed on in a long chain from mother via grandmother via great-grandmother and so on]
and that it had been subtly in my work anyway
woven pages in books, interwoven photographs
interlaced cloth pieces embedded in felt,
in making rag and stick and wire fences in our tiny garden on the Andamooka Opal Fields
so i dived back in

there are many weavers whose work i admire and respect
[Sandra Brownlee is one of them
Chiyoko Tanaka is another, along with Jun Tomita]
but i have no intention of trying to copy any of them
- i will be weaving my own path
in my own way

lucky for me
when i need to know something about weaving
i can still ask my Ma

 the last words for today go to Frank Lloyd Wright

"The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes"


  1. glorious story , wonderful message of [ having the courage to be ] believing in and following your own path, stunning pictures and perfect note from Frank to round it out
    [ gosh i sound like an official reviewer , or at least one that's paid :)]

    1. and thank YOU for alerting me to Frank's splendid words!

  2. I wave to you on your path, while I follow mine. Life becoming beautiful.

  3. Geez . . . you caught me blushing . . .

    1. a bit of colour is often a good thing...

  4. process is everything..... product is only interesting to me (as a maker or a viewer) when it captures some of the essence of process and/or serves as evidence (an unfortunate and incomplete description) of the journey... process... process... process....

    1. makes one wonder about the link between 'process' and 'procession'...

  5. Part of your India magic is the fact that you will not be boxed in some category and that you follow your own path creating the most exciting work. That woman on the plane had no idea just how many people would have loved to exchange places with her !!! I'm so glad you are adding weaving to your process. Looking at the few pieces you have shared on your website it just feels so right.

    1. my cats like sitting in boxes...and on the weavings. hmm.

  6. Oh that question 'but what is it going to be?'... how many times!

    It is a step on a journey. That's enough for me.

    Your weavings are beautiful.

  7. this sounds very exciting, the pictures already fortell, the quote is beautiful.

  8. It's all interwoven so beautifully.

  9. "i want to tell my story the best way i can
    and will utilize whatever is necessary to do so"

    i love how your story unfolds and keeps us (me) amazed.

    there's nothing like a loom with a view.

  10. that the world is made up of so many "crossword" people amazes me... but always nice to be able to work in peace... ha

    1. there's room for us all though...imagine the piles of stitched cloth if every one of us had the same interest

  11. "it might not be anything, it's what it is now that's important" ah, the zen of it all.

  12. I love how you have made weaving completely your own!

  13. your story, your words, your weaving....i love everything about this post

  14. your words always make smile and then think India. This post has not dissapointedxxlynda

  15. looking forward to seeing where this next adventure takes you and where you take the weaving jxx

  16. What a nice post! Love your reflections on the meaning of process and journey, and how that somehow is what makes life more beautiful.

  17. I heartily agree, why should we be expected to stick to one genre/artform, when there is so much to explore and learn! And for me too, though of course it's nice to 'finish' a project, it's the unfinished piece that holds the most beauty and mystery. It holds all the potential, all the possibilities are still alive and throbbing within it, while I always feel that once a piece is 'finished', it's almost as if it a cut flower...because that living process of creating has been cut off.

  18. I am glad - and encouraged - that you will not be confined. It's so evident that your weaving springs from the heart of you. It takes my breath away.

  19. What a wonderful post - thank you. I am a devolving weaver - I've gone from a 8-harness loom to cardboard squares. I get happier with it the simpler it becomes. This makes me happy that you are rejoining this thread in your life.

    1. simple is good. i like my two shaft loom because i can weave with my whole body
      it becomes a slow rhythmic dance

      i also like my tiny "weave-it"...

  20. 'My dancing, my drinking, and singing weave me the mat on which my soul will sleep...' - Old Man of Halmahera, Indonesia. Enjoy the journey.

  21. Great post - re-followed back hither and thither after following Kaz's link to your Saori weaving (be still my beating heart I will get my loom from her in 20 days and counting)....and so true...I've never been a follower of recipes and/or patterns.

    What is it going to be? What are you going to do with it?

    I wish I had a dollar for every time someone asks such a question

    Donyale from Moggy and Me (for some reason it links to a blogger account I don't use)

  22. The 'reader's digest version' made me laugh- truth in jest!

    I've been thinking about weaving lately too, baskets especially, and baskets of clay, paper mache, concrete casting...any way I can make a bowl. For me it's more about the process than the media or even the finished piece; even just in jewelry it seems the hammering of the metal is the 'meat' of the journey, whether I get a finished piece from it is neither here nor there.

    And I find when people ask me 'what are you making/why are you buying that/what do you want that for' I find it easiest to say 'I'm an artist'. Seems to make people more comfortable with the insanity they apparently see before them!

  23. You've made such pretty weaves. I love to see painterly weavers, less complexity, and more vision. Weaving is a path.

  24. Page 16 is a complete delight. x