Monday 30 January 2012

at a loose end on February 7th?

if you happen to be in Goolwa [South Australia's geographic answer to New Orleans] next week, you might like to swing by...

Saturday 28 January 2012

simple folded paper bag

sometimes you need a bag

and there isn't one handy in your pocket.
 catch a passing piece of paper

fold the top down a bit

turn it over

fold [at right angle to original fold]

then fold in the other side

tuck one flap under the top collar of the other

turn it over again

fold it more or less in half

tuck the folded up bit into the collar

open out the bag

what you put in it is up to you
you're on your own now.

i'm busy with my walnuts.

Tuesday 24 January 2012


dipping my hands in blue the other day

reminded me of a place i haven't been in a while

and of another i've been in more recently

that has a similar feel at times
blue has magic and grace

where she muses on the latter

Saturday 21 January 2012

cogitating on the coincidentality of confluence

it was interesting to read Ronnie's thoughts over at 'art & ect' this morning
especially as i'd just participated in a workshop that centered on the premise of drawing from memory
and not just memory but specific memory
of a piece viewed in the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia
[ie the first instruction being "draw a copy/your memory of a work by another artist"]

it was an intriguing and rigorous physical and intellectual exercise
and as the instructor [Christopher Orchard] very clearly pointed out
none of the pieces drawn by participants were "art"
and in fact, pieces made in workshops [of any kind]
should not be considered as part of a person's oevre
and certainly not exhibited as such
[regrettably something too often seen in the textile world]*

but continuing in the spirit of Ronnie's discussion
i thought it might be interesting to put some of my drawings up here
with a link or two to the original works

the visual information was gathered when i wandered into an exhibition at the AGSA titled "Terrain" and found this object by the late Rosalie Gascoigne, an artist whose work i have long admired [i even flew to Melbourne for a day a couple of years ago just to see a retrospective of her work]

i won't paste her image here [copyright issues] but you can follow the links

so my first image went like this

it then wandered on to

and then sanguine was introduced as a variant
but still using elements of the original image

followed by the instruction to call a figure to mind [again from the collection]
and bring it into the composition

the figure is rather less recognisable than the more graphic work, but was derived from Mortimer Menpes "alone in a shoe shop"  and you can see that by this time [in the afternoon, some three hours after viewing the original painting] my memory of the figure is more than a little hazy [and drawing figures ain't my strength in any case]

one of the points our instructor made along the way is that it would be pretty difficult to draw/paint something free of anything you had previously seen. our imaginations are inevitably influenced by experience and memory [subject food for discussion with a good glass of red]

i had a fabulous few days working at drawing and was quite satisfied with the marks i made. but again i stress they are not art. they are perhaps wobbly stepping stones in a stream on my path to somewhere else. breadcrumbs in the forest.

i told a student in a class a couple of years ago in response to her announcing she wouldn't be stitching together the pieces during class as her intent was to frame all her samples and present them as her upcoming solo show, that no self-respecting artist would exhibit workshop samples unless they wished to lose all credibility. i won't be exhibiting these either or using them as the foundation for deriving "new" work.

but you may well spot some distilled essences of them somewhere in the future...a good friend has already been pointed out to me by that the drawings i made under Orchard's direction in class could be seen as being influenced by the weavings of Sandra Brownlee with whom i spent time in Halifax recently [even though they were drawn from Rosalie Gascoigne] . they might well be. i'd have to be a stone NOT to be influenced at all by her work.

then again
it might also have been influenced by Greg John's sculpture 'Fugue' on the banks of the River Torrens. [i had my lunch on the grass nearby]

where am i going with this? acknowledge your sources, ask people for permission [especially if you want to publish their work] and play nice. it's better karma and makes for a nicer whirled.
and now it's time for a cup of tea.

ps and before you ask, yes, i made that big word up.

* and before someone takes up the issue of exhibitions and textiles and calls my bluff on The Talisman Dress, let me state that exhibitions openly described as being the outcome of a workshop process are an entirely different matter...especially where the stated intent of the class is to collectively exhibit the work

Friday 20 January 2012

chuckling quietly

it's a funny thing when one of the places i'm least likely to be recognised when attending a class as a student is in the city nearest where i live

and i'm very grateful for this blessing
it means i can be anonymous in a wonderful drawing class
two days of blissful [and rigorous] work with charcoal and paper

the much used drawing board was a delight
before work even began

Wednesday 18 January 2012

intangibly treasured

at about 3.30 this morning
Morpheus kicked aside the covers
and went somewhere else
leaving me sleepless
so i dangled a hand over the edge of the bed
 and fished up the nearest piece of reading material
which happened to be

an excellent text sent to me by
Janet de Boer
organiser of the Geelong Textile Forum
where Miyoko Kawahito will be teaching later this year

pootling through the pages i learned something new [several, really]

that in Japan, certain processes may be denoted Intangible Treasures. and then there are also Tangible Treasures.
that there is actually a proper Japanese descriptor for the process of beating leaves into cloth. Miyoko Kawahito calls it tataki-zome, whereas i gave it the label hapa-zome [back in 2006 when i sat in the green room of the Yamaguchi Performing Arts Centre, beating leaves from roadside weeds and cemetery prunings into a 6 metre x 6 metre floorcloth for a scene in "Wanderlust"]

the funny thing is that hapa-zome has become part of the dye vocabulary and i've even seen it referred to [in print] as "the ancient art of hapa-zome". the art may indeed be ancient but the appellation certainly isn't.

anyway, for the record
tataki means "beaten"
whereas hapa means "leaf"

Martha was busy digesting a mouse
and couldn't care less

Saturday 14 January 2012

land mark

work installed at 'The Cedars'
- home of the painter Hans Heysen [1877-1968] and well worth a visit in its own right -
part of the Adelaide Fringe

materials : 9 stones, repurposed wool blanket, eucalyptus dyes, earth and
a very convenient tree stump

Monday 9 January 2012

eco coloured northern wanderings - may 11,12,13 of 2012

an adventure in bio regional dyeing 
with some gentle stitching time
in the subtropics

we'll be working in the delightful 2.5 acre garden where the 2010 Fieldwork class was held. [it's on the north western outskirts of Brisbane approx 20 kms from the city centre]
covering an introduction to ecologically sustainable dyeing, the composition of the optimum eucalyptus dyebath and of course ecoprint bundle dyeing...
we'll gather windfalls and weeds, observe the effects of various found metals on colour outcomes and stitch together the samples as they dry to form a beautiful composite cloth which will offer possibilities for ongoing stitching and embellishment
this is a three-day intensive class suitable for all textile lovers; the only skill you really need is the ability to thread a needle.  
dates : 11,12,13 May 2012
for more information or to reserve a place, please contact workshop host Roz Hawker 

Sunday 8 January 2012


might be back in Queensland 
towards the end of the second week in May
for three days of play and discovery
in the same magical garden
where we stitched and dyed in 2010

more details soon

comments have been re-enabled
if you really feel the need to be personally critical
kindly drop me a line
because the blog ain't the place for it

Friday 6 January 2012

on the other side

 it's been hot in the deep deep south and very tempting to emulate Felix
shown here looking as though he has raided Grandma's tequila bottle

but there is work to be done
pieces to be installed for the
images will follow in a few days time