Thursday, March 24, 2016

There is Still Time

To join the Travellers Blanket class which starts on 25 March 2016. Price for the course is $60AUS and you can email me for the information sheet

The idea of the travellers blanket is to tell stories with stitch- it is very much a process class as it is all about hand stitching and using fragments to relay the story. I am always amazed at the beautiful work produced with just these simple concepts and often simple stitching. People have used fabrics collected on trips, or given to them by friends or even fragments from family members, of hand printed memories encapsulating the seashore, or bright Indian memories, to sari scraps, or hand rusted fragments. Because of the lengthy process each piece seems imbued with a kind of cloth memory of all the thoughts that passed through your hands as you work with the cloth.

The following blanket is  from a few years back and records my ideas about the discovery of Australia and the  journeys of discovery inland. Just a little over 200 years ago white man landed in Australia and proceeded to scurry across the land claiming it for  British government and settlers. Murder  and genocide was perpetrated on the indigenous population that was present at the time of landing and settlement. Explorers perished in the harsh desert and tropical conditions- not a single one of them consulted the lore and knowledge of the local indigenous people who travelled the land on foot from one end to the other for thousands of years. Such was the explorers confidence that they knew better- were more scientific and therefore superior they preferred to die than have a conversation with the local indigenous people. So the  wriggling lines represent the explorers moving around the circles of intense local knowledge- not once consulted but rich with knowledge and stories. It seems to me that much of the world still travels in this way.

 Each circle has been made with quite simple stitches, but I have tried to create a visual richness for each circle to suggest their stories.
 The background cloth is hand dyed Khadi cloth- and you can see how the dye wicks along the hand spun threads almost ikat like. The cloth is also beautiful and soft to stitch through and seems to love hand stitching.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Workshops at le Triadou

Just a quick note. I will be teaching workshops at the atelier in le Triadou when I get back. I just have not had time to  put it on my blog.
Workshops will take on Fridays and one or two Saturdays.There is only place for 4-5 students at a time because of the space. Cost of the Workshops is 50 € , and for some workshops there is a materials cost. I will provide coffee and tea and something for lunch , but it would be good if you brought something to share.

I will posy more information tomorrow.

Friday 25 March 2016
Dyeing fabric- dye fabric to create a palette to use for later workshops or just to build your fabric collection!
Sunday 27 March- a come and play day- more information tomorrow.

Friday 1 April 2016
Tifaifai- create your own design Polynesian inspired  quilt. If you cut out your positive carefully you will be left  with the negative cutout which can also be used. This can be a one or two day class- depending on how big you would like to work. This technique is good with  bali batiks or fabrics you have dyed yourself.
If you do the one day class you will make a small piece only.
Saturday 2 April
Tifaifai- this is the continuation of the two day class or if you can come only on this day you will make a smaller version.

Friday 8 April 2016
Form and Variation -This class will explore how you can change Play around with a form and abstract and  also concentrate on ideas

If you would like to join the class  please email me

Examples of the dyeing- I will post more tomorrow.

Some ideas on the Banksia seed pod for Form & Variation

Monday, March 14, 2016

Travellers Blanket On-line Class

A quick post from Chartres- will share images later int he week, but until now my phone kept on going  flat every time I was near anything picture worthy and I left my camera behind in Le Triadou. The week has been busy with travelling to Chartres- necessitating quite some trains and setting up my work  at the Collegiale Saint-Andre in Chartres- a magnificent stone building dating to the 1200's , but oh so cold! Very glad  I borrowed a woollen coat from a friend!It has been a delight to meet the other artists involved and we are all hoping some sales will happen! People have been quite surprised that Textile Art can be what my work encompasses, and the response of the other artists has been very encouraging!

But firstly I wanted to remind you of the Travellers' Blanket on-line class starting on 25 March 2016. If you would like further information I have an information sheet that I can send. But basically the class is to encourage you to create your own stories in cloth using fairly simple stitches. Dyeing instruactions are given for the background and the stitches are shown-though I do use quite simple stitching.You enroll by emailing me and I will send you payment details.

And I have finally finished my tifaifai piece which  I made form the theme La Confiance- the theme for the exhibition in Chartres.It is the first tifaifai I have made for quite some time and am always delighted with  how well this design technique works!

The colour is a little off because I have used my phone to photograph the piece and it measures about 125 cm square ( it is for sale if anyone is interested).  We had to write a page long statement about la Confiance and the way we had interpreted it  ( how is that for an  artists' statement! ), and I am surprised by the number of people who have actually taken the time to read the whole statement.
La Confiance
I have chosen the pomegranate motif as it has many historical connections and was important in early textile designs. The mythical associations of the pomegranate have to do with the changing of the seasons- with periods of dormancy and regrowth, this is the ebb and flow of life, of eternity  and we have to trust that it will continue.

In the Greek myth Persephone is abducted by Hades and taken to the underworld . Her mother  the goddess Demeter ( the queen of corn and growing things) was so devastated that she laid to waste the earth in search of her daughter. After many trials and tribulations she manages to locate her daughter and asks Zeus to prevail upon Hades to release Persephone. Persephone had become accustomed to Hades and had agreed to be his wife.  It was said that those that tasted any fruit in the underworld would be destined to remain there. When Zeus insisted Persephone return to her mother Hades invited her to eat the seed of the pomegranate, which she did. Persephone returned to the world of her mother and brought with her flowers and growth, but because she ate the seed she was also destined to return to Hades for 6 months of the year.

The story is an allegory for the changing seasons, of  rebirth and growth and  dormancy in the winter period. It represents nature and the cycles within nature that we need to respect. It is a reminder that if we trust in this way, that life will continue, that it is an eternal cycle.The pomegranate it also a fruit with many life enhancing  and medicinal properties and it’s juice is rich and red. You could find it on the corner of every market when I travelled in the Middle East.

So to represent the trust I have chosen the pomegranate tree as the symbol of life- it’s circular motion suggests eternity and the border with the quadrilobe motif again  inspires eternity. If we adhere to  the cycles of nature, and trust that those are what will carry the world forth into the future then we must stop subverting nature.To trust that things will continue also means to be active in relaying the trust.