Tuesday, 27 December 2016


this year I was invited to participate in an exhibition being held for the Latvian Cultural Festival that has been held around Australia between Christmas and New Year since 1951 

the exhibition title "past present future" prompted me to create this autobiographical piece.

loosely based on traditional Latvian costume it includes an apron, a striped wool skirt, a wool blanket, a found antique linen blouse and rather a lot of bones. 
the stitched text translates poetically as "I'm walking and wondering why I leave no footprints"  and is borrowed from a poem by Janis Elsbergs 
(the literal translation is somewhat more specific)

dyed with eucalyptus, local colour infusing into something from elsewhere, from the ground up. 
the apron was reconstructed from a linen shirt and other items sourced during a trip to Latvia in August this year. 
thank you Lufthansa for the nice cotton napkin you left in my lap, which somehow became attached as well and which serendipitously made sense, as my background is Latvian and German.

the pockets full of whitewashed bones represent the cell memories we each carry within us and which I am convinced are handed down from one generation to the next.

I was born in the late 50s, and raised as a "European in exile", a child of two displaced persons from two different cultures.  

but the Australian landscape got under my skin.

I installed the work yesterday.

it was the last piece to go in, the rest of the exhibition had already been  hung.

frankly my work looks rather 'out of place' compared to the rest...everything else is precisely formed/woven/wrought/cut/stitched/shaped...I think it sticks out like the proverbial bull terrier's testicles.
I guess that's the truth as well.
and if it isn't true, it isn't worth doing.


  1. so I'm trying to picture what the opposite of bull terrier testicles would be....


    1. hee, hee, I had a wonder about that myself, ronnie gal !

  2. sometimes "somesing a liddle diffrent" is what knocks your socks off and makes you think. i love the presence of this piece.

  3. I came across a quote recently (possibly Native American) which read,
    "Respect your ancestors, for you are the result of a thousand loves" ...
    a romantic view, to be sure, but loaded with truth in that we are undeniably made from the mixing of cells spanning thousands of years and perhaps as many places.
    I find this kind of personal depiction of genealogy most intriguing indeed.

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  5. Maybe your work looks rather 'out of place but for me it goes "seelentief"cant describe it different..........

    1. Thank you Martine. It went that way to work on it.

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  7. Wow! What beautiful pieces of cloth, colour, stitching and bone! Feel the need to try another apron making day. True that about ancestry - turns out I have 7% Northern Russian/Finnish in my bones!! As well as the British and part Irish . . . who'd have thought it? Would love to see that exhibition, and I look forward to seeing you clothed in the above pieces!

    1. Now that the show is done.... I WILL be wearing that apron , though possibly without the bones. But I think it will go well with my new boots. :-)

    2. i would love to see you wearing it WITH the bones, rattle and rattle and scattering them around, circling back to find them. you might need a pack basket as well...ok, now hti shas become a mythology in my morning mind.

    3. it might just evolve into a performance piece...especially with encouragement like that!

  8. Wow! No idea how I missed this post but now I have seen it and WOW! So powerful. Fading into the background: Well, it won't. I am not sure why you should want to. I am glad you don't.