Sunday, January 24, 2021

A trip to Maryborough - Impressed!

 Barry and I were recently invited to participate in a printmaker's show at Maryborough. The exhibition is called Impressed, and is on at Gataker's Art Space in Maryborough throughout February. 

The venue is beautiful and our friend Ken Munsie has a solo exhibition downstairs at the same time which is lovely - really worth a visit.

So we drove up to deliver our work a week or so ago. Here is our before shot - laugh!

Maryborough was a very important port and has a fabulous river-side precinct with traditional buildings and lots of public art. They also installed a war memorial in their gardens recently and I was very taken with it in so many ways.  Here are a few of the pieces that caught me.

This is only a small part of the war memorial which is truly beautiful - rusted corten posts curving across, with terraces reflecting the cliffs at Gallipoli.  All beautifully wrought - but it was this fragment of contrast that is my reminder point of the whole.

As you wander through the gardens, there is a path with movement activated voice-stories as well as these sculptures.  Charles Bean's diary, glasses, typewriter and the beginnings of his manuscripts.

I looked across as this woman's form from behind and I thought, she is reading that someone has died. When I faced her I thought maybe she is just reading news from the front; but her posture still speaks of the distance and the dread.

In the concrete path barbed wire was etched along with other map lines of the western front.

It was a beautiful place to visit, reflect and remember. There are just so many pieces of public art from Mary Poppins to posts to stones, to street lights, to murals...

And across the way in an almost falling down building I found part of a wall stitched together with wire.

A short but fabulous visit.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Thursday Thoughts...

"but for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short." 

Jane Austen

I liked this one not only for what it says but also for how it says it. What style and use of the English language in such a short part-sentence.

I wonder if I could adopt "but for my part..." and use it more frequently in conversation?

All that aside, I think I know the feeling to which she refers; of finishing a book that you are so involved with that when it ends you are left a bit shell-shocked or bereft.  Sometimes it can take a while to settle back in to what is going on around you (I am so loathe to use the words 'normal life' these days) and to leave the world of the book behind.

I found this was particularly so with Hanya  Yanagihara's A Little Life.  My goodness that world and those characters stayed with me for ages, and I was constantly thinking about them and wondering how they coped.

It is truly a remarkable skill to establish characters and scenes that are so life-like that they appear as real as what you can see with your eyes or experience around you.

The book was set in NYC...The Chrysler Building in 2013.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The letters are out!

 We got back to Barry's shed the other day to remove the concrete letters from their moulds.  It was an interesting process!

At times the skinny bits of silicone fought to stay attached to the concrete; whilst the nice long thick bits were happy to be released.

Here's what one of the moulds looked like after some effort. Rather warped, odd, and almost rude in places!

The letters are all out and tidied away now as we plan our next steps and what to do with them.

Barry did the major sandpaper grinding off of the bottoms; whilst I did the fiddly filing on the curves and cracks.

None of them are perfect but I like their little quirks.  It was excellent fun and I am sure we will do more!

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Time being marked

So marking time has begun and I have been busier than I thought I might be - so far I haven't been able to keep up with daily stitching and am playing catch up a fair bit.

But to begin. I chose my hankie, and taped a piece of paper to the desk.  I wrote the big things that had happened thus far down, and then taped the hankie over the top to make tracing easier.

The hankies are so fine it is easy to see through them to trace.

I am using one of those erasable pens; I can either rub it out or iron it out afterwards.

Hoop, needle, scissors thread.


Stretched and ready to begin.

First line done and relaxed half way along the second line.

Stretched and stitching

Looking lovely.

I have just about finished stitching the thing that marks 10 January - then yesterday I had to add 4 things because so much happened on one day! 

I honestly had no idea that there would be so much going on in January. Glad I started early or I would have forgotten all these twists and turns. I am only marking the things that are big for me - personal or that shock me or make me stop and think. 

Sort of my like my personal Covid headlines.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Thursday Thoughts...

"The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell, and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth." 


I only collected these words in the past month or so, and despite how long ago they must have been written (Rumi being a 13th century poet), how apt they feel in the time we live in.

Part of me is sad that the mirror had to break - but perhaps that adds meaning to the words - the truth is somehow broken now.  Did the internet and social media break the truth?

I often think about our various perspectives in a less broken way - as if through facets on a cut gemstone. each facet offers its own little window onto something and a unique view or perspective of the same thing. Yet the stone remains whole.

The broken mirror is slightly tougher as it suggests to me that what you hold in your hand is partly the truth - and that the truth itself is broken and that is why you only have a fragment of it. It certainly feels less hopeful; that in some ways we can never put the truth back together again.

At the very least, I  hope we can find ways to mend and heal our broken world.

Detail of artwork by Zhao Zhao, seen in Singapore 2019.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Lovely letters

 Sometimes it's the random things that catch your eye; that you act on, that you get delivered, that you vaguely recall what you had in mind, that you then pack away and then later on recall, and then get excited about all over again!

And so it was with these silicone moulds for concrete letters.

We had purchased three sets a while back and finally got around to playing with them during this resting down time. And such fun it was.

With no real idea of how to do it, we gathered some tools for general concrete use and a bowl for mixing our small bag of concrete and headed off.

We filled the moulds, and tamped out as many bubbles as we could. 

We were generous in our filling.

We managed to do two full alphabets, and a few more in the third from a single small bag.

It was quite detailed and time consuming in its own wee way - trying to gently fill each letter, tamp it down, top it up wipe off the excess etc.

I am sure we will be better at it next time around - the tools were a tad too large for the job  and we think we could make the mix a bit runnier, but that's what happens isn't it? You learn.

And then because the colour complements so well... we discovered this gin over Christmas. The name ink seemed perfect for printmakers right?

Plus the colour. So perfectly purple.

Until you add tonic - then sweet pea pink it becomes!

I am easily entertained...

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Marking time

As last year drew to a close I wondered if I could somehow be prepared, be organised.  I knew in my heart that the switch would not flick at midnight on 31 December to some magical clear bright future.  This time around we knew the year would be a year of change and wouldn't it be good to have some way of marking it?

A record of some sort, a gathering and noting of things from 1/1 to 31/12.

As fortune or connection would have it, I had been pondering some handkerchiefs that had belonged to my mum.  Dad had passed them all to me a while ago and as we packed up the house I held them, thought about them and wondered what I could do with them.

And so it came to pass that I thought I might stitch on them, keeping a record of the Covid year (here was me thinking that would be the main thing to keep track of!).

As I sorted them I realised I had 10 of mum's and an eleventh from a cousin.  So I am missing a 12th, but my sense is that I may accrue that one through the year somehow - I am happy to set forth with my 11.

So I washed them and ironed as I got ready to go. All lined up on the back of a couch.

Layers and details.


Trying to work out a sequence for the months.

And in the end I randomly selected one to begin with!