Thursday, October 21, 2021

Thursday Thoughts...

"Books are many things: energy shots, life-jackets, flying carpets, alarm clocks, oxygen masks, weapons, salves. Who needs what and when can’t be predicted till it happens". 

Jeanette Winterson

Perfect description of books for me!

Wake up calls, things that heal, things that can do damage, escape routes, rescuers and life affirmers. All of these things can be found in a book.

I like that their enormous variation means we don't know who will need what nor when they might need it; and yet at that particular point in time there might just be the perfect book for the moment.

I can recall some books that arrived in my life at just the right time. Often I hadn't been searching for them and hadn't known I needed them, but I am grateful that they arrived, offering just the right thing at just the right moment.

Books can be hard hats too! (2016)

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

More red thread

 The work is now all done; the work of the others is arriving, price lists are being updated, a myriad of other plans are underway and studio space is cleared.

Almost there!

Here is another one of my pieces. Hand stitched, slow stitched and linking four panels.

Details of some of the panels, with the odd little red cross to mark a spot.

And bits without crosses...

And partly unfurled.

There are plenty more pieces but I'll show them over the next wee while...

Sunday, October 17, 2021

A week away and more women friends

 It's only a week until we open the showing "The Red Thread". Have to say I'm little bit excited by the prospect and really looking forward to showing our work together; and to sharing it with folk.

I am well into my home straight I think - always a few loose ends to tie off - ha! 

Late Friday afternoon Barry and I ended up in the same place for long enough to fiddle with finalising the winding mechanisms on two of my tiny artists' books.

Barry had drilled a couple of holes in the sides of my tins, and also into a brass rod for me stitch into to attach a fabric scroll.

This is a tiny tin, and it was very fiddly with the shortest and finest of needles I could find.


The scroll unfurls, following pathways of friendships...

The fabric I used is from my friend Liz Ackert.  She sent this piece though a while back; and its time and place is now.  I stitched some of the fabric together with a soft thread that I had dyed using the leftover beetroot juice from another friend who had been pickling her bumper crop and couldn't bear to waste that vivid colour. Women Friends.

There is a second, companion piece as well. This will unfurl another time...

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Thursday Thoughts...

One of the most amazing things that can happen is finding someone who sees everything you are and won’t let you be anything less. They see the potential of you. They see endless possibilities. And through their eyes, you start to see yourself the same way as someone who matters. As someone who can make a difference in the world. If you’re lucky enough to find this person, never let them go. 

Susan Colasanti

As I think about friendships, and partnerships and love, these words appeared from the long list and settled quietly. 

They say so much about how the best of those around us can show us ourselves and can reflect back to us the good things that we are and that we do. They can help us realise things about ourselves that we have wrapped up and put away in boxes; or never even believed for an instant. They help us see possibilities.

I think this is because of trust.  If you trust a person and believe they care about you; when they tell you something you listen. Their gift is to see the fullness of you; and believe in it. 

Darwin sunset, 2005.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Updating 1

 Every now and again, one realises that things need updating.  Recently we revised and re-built our websites - yay.  We updated the online shopping thing - yay.  And as we did this, we realised the photographs of us were well, to put it mildly, rather out of date.  We think they might have been taken in 2014; and 7 years on we are both a tad older and different looking.  

We ended up getting  a package of professional photographs taken by Megan Gill Photography.  We asked for individual photos of us (some that were arty; some that were more professional) and also some joint photographs.

We were thrilled with them, and today we have updated our websites and uploaded the short videos she took of us. Mine is here...

Here are a few of them - so happy with the way they reflect the different bits and pieces of who we are...

You can find how we used them here on my website; and over at DEP as well. They are black and white there - nice!

In addition to updating our imagery, we needed to update our descriptors of who we are and what we do.  Never an easy task.

Despite the pressure of learning new skills; working through the complex behind the schemes worlds of website interfaces and the like, it was good to stop and reflect on these things.  But more on that later...

I just love how this contemporary photo reflects the same joy as this very old photo - me and books!



Sunday, October 10, 2021

Women Friends once more

 I have mentioned the kindness and generosity of Pauline Prior-Pitt in allowing me to use the words of her poem "Women Friends".

It has become the theme for my body of work for The Red Thread, and I am yet to tire of it.

This is one of the folders I have printed and prepared to contain a print of the poem. I like the thread tying it together.

And inside I have printed the poem in red, agains ta background of some of the key words printed in black using large wood type. Back here I was wondering about printing a big full page of highlight words; and in the end I cut the page down to offer a background instead.

Another couple...

Background words running top to bottom.

No background!

Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Thursday Thoughts...

“Originality is undetected plagiarism.”

William Ralph Inge 

Diving back into the archives of my single document; this quote about art comes from page 10, probably around about 2011. All thing have their time!

I like this one.  It appears to me to be so very insightful and incisive.  

Originality.  How original is anything? I kind of love that he almost suggests that there is no such thing as originality.  That things only appear original because nobody has yet been able to identify the source from which the inspiration has flowed.

I pretty much agree that nothing in and of itself is entirely original. I assume it is so with music and writing - that someone has previously put together those 6 notes in the same sequence; or that the metaphor used to describe a certain something has also been used somewhere else previously. 

With art I oftentimes think that little bits and pieces may be gleaned and pulled together in a new and individual way; not copied but the inspiration or response to something can be found if we stop to investigate.  We see so many things these days; we have a response to a colour, a shape, a layout, or a look and it might sit in our memory bank for years and then re-emerge within something else.

There is a dissolving point along a spectrum between 'originality' and 'inspired by' and I think that makes for a great conversation!

Crossed letter from Catherine Dickens to Fanny Burnett

And this is a funny one.  I told a friend a few weeks ago about how I was hoping to resolve a stitching problem.  Today I was scrolling through photos from a trip to New York in 2013, looking for images re originality/plagiarism, and here is an image of something that I have been thinking of doing! Who knows where my idea came from - was it this image, or reading, or whatever...what I do know is that it isn't original!

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The Red Thread!

Well, here we go and the countdown is on!

I am part of a small yet beautiful showing of work, along with  three of my bestest artist friends

Susan Bowers, Stephanie McLennan and Tory Richards

We chose the theme The Red Thread and have each explored it in our own very personal ways. For the past year or so we have been pondering what it means; how threads hold us and connect us to each other and the world around. We have prints, mixed media drawings, textiles and artists' books on show, and for sale.

The show will be open from Saturday 23 October - Sunday 14 November, Friday - Sunday from 10am - 4pm; and at other times by appointment

There have been hints and suggestions of things with red thread throughout the blog and Instagram for a bit; but I have taken quite a while to settle and land.  I am still settling (eek!) but am quietly confident I am on track - thank goodness nothing needs framing!

And so images like this have caught my eye - when my silk thread fell to the floor; and that shadow line.

And here, as I wind and unwind rich redness.

And I collect the thread and pop it on some fabric...

And my work table fascinates as I just kept moving along sideways as things unfurled, literally at times.

Reminding myself of the order in which the threads were used...

And letterpress printing some words...

And the wrapping with the red thread...

I have seen sneak peaks of the others' work and so much of it is beautiful.  Far less literal than me; but I have enjoyed working with red, given I rarely head too far out into the land of colour!

My red threads are all about female friendships and I have really enjoyed my time with them.  There are more to come and I will show them as they are finalised and when the show begins...

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Textile Exhibition visit

Barry and I trotted down to the Old Ambo Gallery at Nambour last week to check out the Baltic Mini Textiles Exhibition. It is on show until 23 October, Monday-Saturday 10am-3pm.

We had a lovely time and really enjoyed the variety of textiles and works.  It is an internationally, juried touring exhibition, and each piece can only be 20cm x 20cm x 20cm  so they are full of details - delicious!

As I explored further, I found that there is still time to enter for the 2022 show - have a look here

Here are some of my favourites, and some details.

This form always gets me in the feels as they say.  I love this most simplistic expression of 'home' in my western artistic vocabulary at least.  This form always says home to me and I adore it in any style - wood, textile, clay, paper, metal, paint. I just love it.

Teresa Rucinska, Poland - Tenements

This was a startlingly detailed and layered piece - such TINY slivers of paper cut and glued. Mind boggling really.

Helene Tschacher, Germany - OD Catalogue

and a close up

Details only here of an interesting 3D form

Janina Gajska-Bruzdowicz, Poland - Awakening

A shot from above - this piece was a cube with these 5 'nests' within it.

Barbara Esser/Wolfgang Horn, Germany - Tex Cube One

I also love a grid (and a cube as above) and this was lovely. A sense of formality with organic edges.

Feliksas Jakubauskas, Lithuania - Screams of the sea

I enjoyed the textures created by the hand and machine stitching here; as well as the whimsy of a bear, with a fish.

Sue Stone, England - Self Portrait with Bear and Masks

It was a delightful show and we felt lucky to be able to view an international show like this in regional QLD.