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.