Sunday, April 15, 2012

Stacks and stacks

Over on her blog Jennifer has posted about staring at stacks of teabags that lurk around in her studio - wondering if and when they will ever get used. She asked the question if other folk had stacks that were sitting there waiting for them to do something with.

I have been bustling along with a few commissions and BAO editions so have been quite focused for a while now, moving from this to that and onto the next thing, so I hadn't given much thought to the stacks-in-waiting in the studio.

As I did, I realised (just like my last Th Th post suggested) that these stacks had been sitting there for so long, they had almost become invisible and they had definitely stopped their quiet whispering to me, the encouragement to think about them and make something with them.

I re-discovered the following stacks, each of which I had been totally excited by at the beginning.

Firstly a stack of hand-made paper clay tiles by our friend Ken Munsie.  He had these as an outdoor exhibition piece in June 2010 and I loved them. He kindly gifted me some when the show was over and I had plans for putting them places, and making things with them.  Sadly, not yet.

The second stack that came to mind was this fabulous stack of prepared pages - aching for words or images or something in order to become a book.  I was most excited by the process and the results way back here...Part of the trick I think is that they sit in this fabulous old worn and decaying tin box and I think they are just beautiful as they are.  But no, I shall act!

My third stack was this bowl of coral that I found when we stayed at Alyangula about this time last year.  I had been missing my muse and these pieces and this beach just sang to me and filled my heart.  I saw language and hearts, and messages and glyphs...and I haven't yet acted upon that gift.

Lastly, some of the 'bone' coral from the same trip - still in the paper bag it came home in!

Thanks Jennifer for making my eyes open wide again as I looked around the studio and reminded myself of these pieces-in-waiting, these yet-to-be artworks.  I am enthused again to explore their potential.

As Jennifer asked - do other folk have stacks like this waiting to become something?


  1. I have stacks and stacks of stacks! (I don't believe in minimalism..... life should be lived to the MAX with STAX of STACKS!)

  2. I like that Ronnie, we could do stax to the max!

  3. wonderful, wonderful stacks……I love the paper clay tiles and the coral bones especially.
    I am a hoarder of so many things….you are inspiring me to make a similar blogpost!

  4. Mosts creative people are hoarders I reckon. Maybe because you can see beauty in so many things that you collect them along your way. Love the coral.

  5. What delightful stacks! Ken's handmade paper clay tiles beg to be touched and seen daily...but so do the pages and shells and bones. What fun! What fun!

    Thanks for answering the call to post photos of stacks. So far, many have listed the contents of their stacks, but you're first to post. Many thanks for humoring me!

  6. Hi Suzie - I think a blog post on your stacks would be great! It's a fascinating insight into the artistes' mind I think...

    I think you're right Jo - we see beauty in the strangest place and then just love having them around! We really don't ant to go into all the bits we hoard now do we???

    Hi Jennifer - I think you'e started something....glad to be of service and I hope others follow too! It was an interesting process to think - well what have I been putting off? And then they jumped out and said - you used to love me! I will be pondering them all more closely...

  7. wonderful stacks!
    hmmm - i have a pile of rusted street sweeper bristles that i keep adding to... and butterfly wings - i would like more of those...

  8. Gorgeous stacks, Fiona! My favourite stacks are of hand made paper with rough edges. I don't make paper myself but I drool when I see them. Paper stacks made by Ken Munsie and Velma come to mind.

  9. My stacks are more like lists in my head of things I want to explore - techniques or different imagery or a different medium. There are just SOOO many possibilities, and so little time. Your stacks are inspiring... good luck!

  10. lovely sensual stacks Fiona!
    and the combination of the paper and coral has me fantasizing...
    thanks so much for sharing them
    yes - you have inspired me to answer Jennifer's call - yes - I have stax 2 the max for sure - will post some soon...

    xox - eb.

  11. i, too, have stacks and stuff. of course i want to peek into yours...i love the bone coral best, i think, but that box and then those tiles...sigh. yes, good stuff!

  12. I wrote about my word haystack last week, how it's a gathering place that I add to without spending much time looking at the treasure there. So, that's my stack and I'd like to manage it better. But, I'm also aware that these raw materials and ideas often need to compost down a bit before the next stage. Having them within sight seems to help.

  13. Stacks ...
    Tell me about stacks !!!!
    Stacks of paper, stacks of little bits of wood off-cuts, stacks of bits of wire, stacks of ideas on scraps of paper, stacks stacks stacks - the list is endless ... and of course it's not only the physical stacks in the studio - what about thestacks in our head - those are the ones that swim around keeping us awake in the midnight hours, and of course the stacks of information on our computers - that clog it up and slow it down ...
    But having said all that, life without stacks would be very empty - where else would we get our inspiration ?
    Keep on stacking I say ...

  14. I love those tiles Fiona. I do have some stacks, but I'm a great list person - I have lists and lists of ideas for books that I intend to make. When I eventually revisit them after some time, I'm happy to abandon them or add some of them to a newer list!

  15. Do I have stacks of things? Let's not go there Fiona as it might make a grown woman weep.... that would be me, realising how many stacks of things relating to unfinished ideas are still on my list of things to make.... one day....

  16. Hi MJ - I'd love to see a picture of your stack of rusted street sweeper bristles! And the butterfly wings - patiently waiting of their time to come...

    Ah Robyn - I have some of those paper stack photos from Ken - too delicious for words!

    Yes Valerianna - these are just the physical stacks, not the mental list ones. There are stacks of those!

    Hi eb - I look forward to seeing your stxr to the max as well. Its funny how hey hang around with us isn't it, patiently waiting till we work it out. I think the coral should get a go soon...

    Yes Velma - good stacks of stuff indeed! I love peering into other folks' studio spaces and seeing their stuff and stacks...

    Yes Annie you're right - your haystack is a perfect example of a stack-in-waiting. Love the composting idea too, and of course my favourite approach is filing by piling; if they are in view they have half a chance , hidden they have none!

    Ah Ken I know those stacks and love them! I think the stacks in the brain and in the diary are the scariest - they slip away too easily. And oh yes, the computer hides a multitude of stacks too. Still love the paper stacks and timber bits best!

    The paper clay tiles are lovely aren't they Helen? And yes, I love a list and they can stack up as well - a year-long, monthly, weekly, daily, arty, house, garden list...makes my heart sing.

    Oh Lesley I think you know the story of stacks very well and yet you do get to them and do use up the bibs and bobs. I still like that we all get distracted tho and engaged and enthused by new ideas; perhaps like a ferris wheel the stacks just get to come to the top of mind every once in a while?

  17. I love your awaiting stacks, especially the papers in the tin box. The papers you prepared do look exquisite in that characterful box...perhaps it can continue to be an integral element in the papers' next incarnation. But for now it must be very satisfying to glance in the direction of this harmonious arrangement.
    I think one of the beauties of 'stacks' is simply the world of possibilities they each hold. The first phase in creating - for me, at least - is often a percolation period...and a first step in this process often involves a stack, pile or other gathering of materials - it's like planting a seed, a tiny sign of commitment, even if it may take a very long time to sprout.
    I'm inspired to photograph some of my own favorite stacks (though this may remain on my 'stack' of lists of things to do for a little while first!).
    Enjoy your many possibilities -
    - Lisa

  18. Thanks for sharing your images.


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