Friday, June 26, 2015

It's Winter Here Brrrr

The experience of beautiful warm weather in Europe landed with a thud as of course it is the middle of winter southern Australia, and I must admit I am more of a summer person than a winter person at the best of times. I stayed with my mother initially but she has no internet, I do have one  of those sticks but as I knew a week after arriving I would be housesitting with good wifi access there was no point wasting the money. I do have a mobile of course but my texting skills leave something to be desired....I had hoped to have organised more house sitting, but  I have found out that many house owners are overwhelmed with applications when they post  a house available on the website to which I have paid to belong. So of course you do not get street cred if you do not have plenty of  references. I have also found it disconcerting that there is no place to put the fact that I have a working with children's check which is much more thorough than a police check ( and I don't feel like paying for two lots of checks, given it already costs a goodly sum to join the website )

( don't read if not so inclined ...I will  move to my shed but not  until the weather warms up in late October ( when I get back from Europe)- it's too cold and damp there at present and I have not stockpiled any wood  for the  heater either.The suggestion of  BNB was a good one but not one I can do as essentially due to the legislative changes no one can live on the block despite the fact that it is zoned residential. Basically the new legislation ( from late 2011) that is causing me the headache has stated that there will be no building/waste water renovations on blocks less than 40 hectares in water catchment areas, until such time as the Council brings up a Waste Water Management plan- and that is what I am (and many others) are waiting on- there is still no plan in sight and if and when it does come, it has to be put up for public input- meanwhile no one is applying for permits, or selling vacant land and of course blocks with houses on have seen increases in price- which means that my rates have gone up despite the fact that nothing can be done on my land- i think its grossly unfair that vacant land is rated on the same  basis as occupied land- I think it's grossly unfair that a council can put my life on hold for over three years and now and it looks as if it will be longer and the tone of letters I am getting from the council are bordering on obnoxious.I feel as if my land has been compulsorily acquired for "clean " water without the benefits of compulsory acquisition and with a rate increase to boot! Council have it  in their power to grant a moratorium until such time as their plan comes into place, which they refuse to exercise because wait for it my land is is presumed I have another property to live on despite the fact that I have told them this was my share of the property settlement when I divorced)

So meanwhile I am treading water  and so have decided to go to India for a month after the middle of July and see my friend Fiona Wright from Creative Arts Safaris- we want to do some further searching on the indigo and wood block  printing fronts.

Yesterday I went to see the John Wollesley exhibition at the NGV at Fed Square in Melbourne and as I overheard someone in the exhibition say "They have to drag people off the street to see this!" I wish I could share images but in all reality the whole exhibition has to be seen. Have a look at this video to get some idea of how John Wollesley works- the exhibition was simply breath taking- glorious actually and the NGV volunteer guide Elizabeth Douglas, offered insights on so many levels.  As this exhibition is FREE I think I shall be making a weekly pilgrimage. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at my aforementioned situation....long have I  played with banksia and banksia images- these knobbly weird seed pods have captured my imagination since childhood... there are some on my block in Gellibrand, perhaps they can be my totem- plus the Gellibrand river is home to  species of life that is forever shrinking... maybe  whatever the universe has in mind for me one is  mapping that area in my own way and for that I need to live closer to the earth and be in my shed- the notion certainly put a spring into my step and has had my imagination racing all night and all morning and I can see something positive in it all and something that at the same time  allows me to express my  concerns for the environment and clean water.... and be creative as well. So thank you John Wollesley for your marvellous insight into marginalised land, its minutae, its diversity, it's wonder, its miraculousness ,it's harshness, it's rhythm, its ancientness , it's vitality and it's endurance, it's ever increasing marginalisation at the hand of our greediness for land , but ultimately your hope as well..... in fact I might head back there Sunday- anyone want to join me?

Did you know some dutch citizens have taken their government to court and won in the first ever climate change liability suit? The Dutch government has been ordered to cut its carbon emissions !!! one for the people!

And last but not least. I still have dragon, rabbit, King and some Queen panels available for the Medieval Project ( there is more information on the tab  on the tool bar of the blog). They can be purchased from me by emailing me . There is also some olive tree panels ( they are $15 plus postage- approx $2) and some  rabbit panels ( bottom left and $10 plus postage).

And of course my book Musing in Textile:France is available from me- again email me as prices vary depending on destination. However if you order and pay before 30 June 2015 ( panels or books is does not matter which) a hand print on hand dyed fabric will also be yours at no extra cost.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Goodbye Europe Until Next Time

Well I am at the airport waiting for my plane and have some time to  kill. It's been a great trip with a few mishaps and I am actually dreading going home. I have some housesitting next  week for two adorable cavalier spaniels and I will pack up my studio ,simply because it's a bit of a luxury.

Some wonderful things happened... I have been invited to exhibit at:
Creatif ' art Aix en Provence in September. 
I hope to be at Ste Marie aux Mines not as an exhibitor but in another role( more information later)
I am also guest exhibitor at  Salon Tendances Créatives TOULOUSE in October
I will be exhibiting at the offices of Ethiea Gestion  next door to the Hausmann Printemps ( in the centre of Paris) but most exciting of all this group who are in partnership with organisations in Chartres and organise a mixed artist exhibition in Chartres have invited me to exhibit in March 2016-it's been a dream to have my Chartres pieces exhibited in Chartres!

Some less wonderful things...
I managed to kill my camera- my friend , my companion and well go every where piece of equipment. Thank you Bill Volckening for your kindness and trust in lending me your camera- it will come back!
My newish ( still under warranty) laptop has developed a very sad list on  one side of its screen hinges....and I did nothing to it
My Kafkaesque experiences with my block of land in Gellibrand continue, to such an extent that I go between despair and what the heck's at present a worthless asset , which I cannot sell, on which I cannot live and for which I have to pay premium rates- despite the fact that at present it's worthless. So I think my solution will be to call a bit of a work party, come help me fix up my shed please? and fix my shed so that I can live in it when I am in Oz- it's mostly lined already , has a wood heater- just need  to do something about a water tank,bathing/toilet facility( which can be solved in a camping kind of way) and power and something kitcheny.I may as well continue to Kafkaesque experience and see what happens if I do live there can only get better right? it also frees me up to be more in Europe and as you will see from the exhibition list this is obviously where I need to be for my work...
I will have to give up my studio in's a luxury to some extent and too far from Gellibrand in any case.

But most of all I was inspired...
India was 10 times maybe 100 times what I thought it would be  and no small thanks to my friend Fiona Wright and Creative Arts Safaris
Florence was wonderful- the unit I rented was in a suburban area, so I had to do things like a local, but also got to see some wonderful things- I think the one image that stays with me all the time is this one form the Duomo in Siena in marble....

Saturday, June 06, 2015

De Fil en Fil

If the previous three weeks was filled with art and duomos in Florence and its surrounding region then this last week has been filled with flowers and quilts.

I spent Thursday installing my work and some of the medieval project late arrivals in the little church dedicated to St Anne at Barcellone.It is one of the exhibition sites for the De Fil en Fil exhibitions organised out of Chabeuil. It is a lovely little stone church looking out over golden wheat fields and walnut trees, shaded by big plane trees....the bell rings every and each hour as well as the half hour in case you forget what the time is.  I do hope we get a few more visitors though!

Medieval project pieces from left to right , top to bottom, Neroli Henderson, Lyn Weeks,Lyn Weeks, Sherry Boram, Zak Watts, Jane Rollason, Judth Oke and Lyn Weeks ( and yes I took the photo before I put on the name labels). They will join the other pieces in Australia when I return at the end of next week.

Columbina is enticing customers for my book Musing in Textile:France ( which can be ordered by emailing me if you are not visiting the little church at Barcellone)

I visited some friends near Mantova at the end of my Italian stay in particular to see the little Castello Castiglione- but as luck would have it the keeper of the key was not prepared to use its opening powers on the only night I had so alas I could only photograph it from the outside. The tower of the castello was designed by Julio Romano for the Castiglione family.

The gardens  on northern Italy were filled with flowers of all kinds and I could not resist pomegranates ...... and Columbina was rather taken with water lillies....

I also visited another friend in Seyselles, and could not resist a visit to Marie and Lydie Coste of le Train Rouge, marionetteers I have visited before. They had a new Marionatte, Cassanova, and he was a bit taken by Columbina, but she would not have any of it as Pierrot had won her heart! She only posed for the photo in the arms of Cassanova because she had to.