Monday, 1 September 2008

a studio respite

Amidst a busy year where computer and committee tasks seem to dominate, and struggling to find room to work in my overcrowded home studio, I decided I needed some extra motivation if I was ever going to start a new body of textile work. So, with my painter friend Di Taylor, I applied for a temporary studio space which had become available in the city as part of an initiative by Artsource and the City of Perth to bring working artists into the city. Much to our delight we were the successful applicants and we have the use of this wonderful space for two months, courtesy of the building owners the Hawaiian Group.

Parmelia studio 1
Our studio work space

The studio is huge, over 200 square metres, and in a prominent position in Parmelia House. The front five metres of the main studio space is glass street frontage, so we are using this as display space.

Parmelia studio 8
The front display area of the studio with my works 'Patch Work VI' and 'Aftermath' on the left and Di's painting 'Pink Lemonade Evening' on the right.

Parmelia studio 9
Again, my textile work juxtaposed with Di's painting

Parmelia studio 2
Yes, that is ALL our studio as far as you can see!

What we did NOT anticipate was the stripping of the opaque film from the 17 metres of internal arcade windows, exposing our work space, and work habits, to the world! We have hung more work in these windows, but there is plenty of room to see us work nonetheless.

Parmelia studio 17

We leave the doors open to encourage people to visit, and gradually they are feeling more comfortable about doing this.

Parmelia studio 13
The view through the side door

The studio is providing me with the luxury of physical space to spread out, but even more important is the mental space it affords to escape from my other commitments and focus on exploring ideas and processes as I contemplate commencing a new body of textile work. I don't need much space to MAKE work, but I need a lot of space to think and plan.

Parmelia studio 10
That activity requires me to spread fabric out all over the place as I play with various possibilities, and even just rediscover what I have in the way of resources.

Parmelia studio 11
My portable foam pin-up boards are proving very useful

Parmelia studio 16
and my vintage clothes airer is perfect for stacking ironed fabrics

It's early days yet, but if at the end of the eight weeks I feel I have some idea of where I am headed, then the time will have been very well spent.

Monday, 14 April 2008

An afternoon of discovery

Following on from my previous post, here are further images from my Jetty Series , some of which appeared in the "Connecting Threads" exhibition.

My work evolves from my life experiences. Walking the length of the Bussleton Jetty on a bleak grey afternoon, I was drawn by the unfolding stories in the jetty’s surface.

They spoke of life.

The jetty is aged and weathered, bearing the scars of hard times and makeshift repairs. IMG_5561_crop_400

There is evidence of the occasional left hand turn IMG_5587_400

and even a little blood letting. IMG_5548_400

The jetty wears all these marks with dignity and grace. A lifetime of hard experience has enriched this wonderful old structure, ensuring that an afternoon spent in its company is a deeply rewarding experience.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Jetty Suite

In the "Connecting Threads" exhibition I followed a path to which I am increasingly drawn, of showing both textiles and photographic images. Usually the relationship is subtle, but in this instance they spoke more directly to each other.

"Jetty Suite 3", 40 cm (16 inches) square

The photographic images show old and weathered surfaces,
so it seemed appropriate to use old recycled blankets as the base for the related textiles.
"Jetty Suite 1", 40cm (16 inches) square

This detail shows the use of hand stitch to build up depth of colour.

"Jetty Suite 2", 40 cm (16 inches) square
Look for the photographic partner to this piece in my next post, when I talk about my source of inspiration.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

connecting threads

My first post for 2008 delivers an untold tale from 2007. Marjorie Colemen, Margery Goodall, and Cherry Johnston live and work in my home town of Perth, Western Australia. I count these women among my closest friends and colleagues.

While our art practices are independent and varied, we have formed a strong bond through our shared focus on working with stitched layered textiles. We meet regularly, taking advantage of the opportunity this affords to exchange information, share ideas, and engage in lively and stimulating discussion.

All of us exhibit internationally and have travelled extensively, but we are happy to be based in Western Australia. We don't see Perth's isolation as a disadvantage in a world where communication is so easy.

After working together over the years on other people's projects, we realised it was time we mounted our own joint exhibition. Connecting threads was held in September 2007 at the Gallery at Ellenbrook, as part of Artopia, the biennial festival celebrating the talent of Western Australian artists.

I exhibited both textile works and photographic images. This installation view shows stitched textile works from my Jetty Suite.

My work again, photographs and a quilted piece.

I will show more detailed images later.