Monday, 25 October 2010

Gutta resist and Jennifer Wurrdaj lino print

Silk scarf "guttad"  with Elebetex Gutta and ready to dye
My friend and mentor Ankie lives close by - about 25 kms / 16 miles away - and never as often as we'd like, we get to spend a day together - dyeing, playing with dyes and silk, and more dyeing. I've just finished drawing a gutta resist on silk scarf - drawing with the gutta that is on a full sized scarf is quite a challenge, time-wise but worth the effort. Ankie lent me one of her frames and we stretched the silk scarf over it before filling one of the drawing tubes with the resist and off I went. I've drawn a design based on an apostrophe - and an apostrophe reversed inside itself - and waited for it to dry - a few hours on a warm, dry day - or  a bit longer in humid weather. The resist dries clear and on our next get-together I'll use different procion dyes (just love the Moroccan red) to "colour it in". Looking forward to that - sometime before Christmas this year.
Also before Christmas (and this year too) is a quilt with special significance for me on a number of levels. Maxine gave me a piece of fabric created by Jennifer Wurrdaj, from the Maningrida area of central Arnhem Land.  Jennifer used a lino tile to print  the design elements and this piece uses up to three colours. When I received the piece of fabric, Jennifer had been to the Melbourne Quilt Show demonstrating how she used the lino block designs. Maxine managed to purchase one of her works. Thanks Maxine xxx
I kept the panel untouched for a long time - waiting for the right way to use it that honours Jennifer's work and culture. I hope to have found a respectful solution.
I chose quite a number of fabrics that, for me, represented the dynamic colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities where I have been privileged to work. The narrow border of black acknowledges the different worlds of textile artist and quilter.  I hope the pieced border of hundreds of 1" squares reflects our similarities and sameness. I am in love with the panel. Quilting has been by both hand and machine. The individual trees  and turtle elements have been hand quilted, as well as half of the outer border. I'll finish the quilting by machine - another way to combine difference and sameness. That's the plan ...

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