Monday, 31 October 2011

Gallery 159 and State of the Art Quilt 11

Wow - it is hard to believe that in two short weeks Gallery 159 will host the State of the Art Quilt 11 (SotAQ11).  The exhibition starts on 12 November. This year a number of the artists whose works were juried into SotAQ11 will be talking about their works, what inspired them and all things art quilt. Ankie King's One Hundred Squares was created through a self-challenge to work in black, red and gold and create one hundred squares. Each square is different and contains many surprises on closer inspection.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  Where: Gallery 159 @ 159 Payne Road, Ashgrove When: Saturday 12 November 2011. The exhibition runs until the 2QAQ Christmas Party on 26 November - gallery hours are available from the TAFTA website.  Many thanks to Janet De Boer and the TAFTA Board for their ongoing support of SotAQ.

One Hundred Squares by Ankie King
Image of Ankie King

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Masters Art Quilts Vol. 2

Sunday has arrived cloaked in grey. A perfect day for sipping the delights of Masters Art Quilts Vol 2 which has been curated by Martha Sielman of Studio Art Quilts Associates (SAQA) published by Lark Crafts. Masters is 414 pages of sumptuously illustrated major works by forty artists including Jane Dunnewold, Laura Wasilowski, Dianne Firth and Alice Beasley. For me, this book is a must-have reference for art quilters and textile artists alike. I am particularly taken with Alice Beasley's work - her ability to encapsulate the rawness of human emotion with hand cut equally raw-edge applique.  Alice's 1994 quilt Home Street Home is featured in Masters. It depicts a homeless war veteran lying on the footpath with a half smoked cigarette, old newspaper and sign for company. A doll carrying, young girl  walks off the left hand edge of the quilt. Alice exquisitely contrasts the vulnerability and stillness of the homeless man against the haste and speed of the passing girl.  Alice frequently uses the tool of extension whereby a small part or piece, such as a foot or elbow, pokes out of the quilt. In Home Street Home the girl appears to literally be walking from the quilt and into our world, pulling the confronting imagery with her into the forefront of our thinking. I love the way in which Alice has used privilege to challenge the viewer's consideration of race (white girl/black man), young over old, a taker over one who has sacrificed to support that privilege, upright over prostrate - the artist challenges us on many levels through this quilt.   Alice uses print fabrics and free cuts them to create what she calls "objective realism". 

Detail - Home Street Home (1994) From a photo by Jim Jacobs
Masters Art Quilts Vol 2, p. 189

Another inspirational artist is Laura Wasilowski who's quilts are created from her own hand dyed fabrics. Laura uses vibrant colours - especially orange, turquoise and green and uses machine and hand quilting for added emphasis.  Quirky, fun and cheeky. Laura uses scraps that she describes as "starter dough" and talks of the endless possibilities that arise from their use. My favourite from Masters is Reading Lamp (2009) the style of which reminds me of Vincent Van Gogh (although I get that reading lamps are very much post VVG).  I love the way Laura's use of colour is playful and how her quilts celebrate the ordinary, bringing them to new life in her art quilts.

Detail - Reading Lamp (2009) From a photo by George Tarbay
Masters Art Quilts Vol 2, p. 249

(Masters Art Quilts Vol 2 was provided for review by Lark Crafts)

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Thank you Getaway Girls

Flew home for the weekend to the WMBM and a large stack of snail mail which contained a most precious gift from the Getaway Girls - fifteen squares with everything from beautiful red work to a crazy patch and everything in between. Thank you so much - and I'll bring them along to our next ... getaway!

More from "Nested" exhibition

Ankie King's works from our recent Nested exhibition were suspended from the gallery ceiling and appeared to float, at eye level. Each nest was hand crafted - each petal individually made - Ankie's artistic use of paper fibres, hand dyed fabrics, silk, beading and found objects.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Print making weekend

Had a wonderful two days print making with Brian Robinson and some very talented artists, teachers and learners. My arms are aching which just goes to prove that workshops can be a workout. Carve and lino cut your way to fitness I say.  Some of the works being created were exquisitely detailed - flora, landscapes, fish, traditional dreaming - a real and unexpected treat.Thank you everyone and to Belinda, for a mini-workshop within a workshop on watercolour.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Creativity Exercises on Planes

This is a great exercise to do with other people - and if one is trapped in seat 6A en route to Cairns it helps to tap into a few versions of yourself. Time limits for each quadrant of the paper applies sufficient pressure not to think too hard and "just do it". I thought about printing fabric - how to explore an idea and let one idea bleed into the next - arriving at quite different individual pieces that make up the connected yardage. For this exercise fold a piece of paper into four, choose a person, animal, inanimate object, building, landscape, vegetable ... whatever. Draw one of these in the first quadrant, making sure some of the lines extend into the next quadrant(s) depending on how the paper is folded.  Cover up the first drawing, change drawing implement in need and proceed with a different category into the next quadrant.  There are so many impressive examples of this around - and on YouTube some inspirational collaborative efforts - Exquisite Corpses. My drawings were inspired by  (1) Row 5A/B  - chatting about Tibet (2) Seat 6B and partner across the aisle in seat 6C and (3) their intended  holiday adventure. We landed before I got to the fourth quadrant ... lots of fun and another opportunity to use otherwise unaccounted for time to boost the creative juices.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Around the block

This morning I listened to a lecture about some rather rule-breaking rebellious disaffected youth artists in the 1950s who took it upon themselves to"drift" - into hospitals where they climbed into vacant beds, into taxis beside rather surprised, paying passengers - ended up in various degrees of trouble and perhaps got arrested more than once. Funny how I can't remember what they were called. However I thought about drifting sans the hospital scenario and  found myself two kilometres from the unit walking into the djumbunji press. Stayed all day. Another day tomorrow. Thank you Brian Robinson and some new friends. Drifting rules!

Ankie King @ the Queensland Quilters Quilt Show

This weekend is the Queensland Quilters' Quilt Show in Brisbane - what I wouldn't give to be there. Ankie King's exhibition of "The Lady Dyed the Blues" is worth the trip into South Brisbane just to see her Indigo dyeing techniques expressed in the form of quilts, kites and jackets. Congratulations Ankie!

More from Nested

Some more from our  "Nested" exhibition - including Nestination USA (left, left)  woven from fabric trimmings of Sue Dennis' Destination USA exhibition quilts. Once woven, the centre piece was stitched then moulded, leaving the ends untrimmed - they point to other destinations.  Cuerda (left, bottom) was created from cords made from the thread bag and other offcuts, free motion zig zagged in variegated thread then formed into the nest.  Petal (left, top) is layered nests one of hand dyed silk pieces by Ankie King nested in a base created entirely from thread.  Air (below) is made from Perle cotton thread and has not been cut. The first nest is joined to the second nest and remains connected to their point of origin.  reflection (below, top) is layered mulberry silk that was hand dyed then stitched and moulded before being hand beaded. Similarly hand dyed mulberry silk was stitched then moulded into a nest before being hand beaded to create Translucence.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

What do you miss?

After the WMBM and some really, really special friends and relatives (you know who you are) I really, really miss my Bernina. After work this evening I toddled off towards my temporary new home and happened to remember the Cairns Sewing Centre is just ... a few miles up the road. Yes it's true. I stood outside the window of the closed shop ... trying to peer through the glass into the darkness ... and knew at long last what it was to be a dog outside a butcher shop. I did ever so slightly paw at the glass ... but couldn't see much inside. Still, I returned home  unit-ward feeling like I'd had a little fix.

The closest I've got to working with fabric and stitching textiles these past two weeks is a collage  ... incorporating some indigo dyed cheesecloth (like when was THAT dream ever going to eventuate ... after the Camembert's turned out so hard the dog would not even chase them as Frisbees ... another post for another day) ... yes some indigo dyed cheesecloth and themed around blue ... magazines, postcards and the like. As there are still  no scissors allowed on domestic flights, I have taken to tearing ... accompanied by my Mum's glue stick, what more could a goddess want?  (P.S. Mum... I'll replace the glue stick next visit xxx)

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Lying on concrete

Ankie, Sue and me - all on the concrete floor in the name of "Nested". Here we are, on the rained out opening night in front of the Wedding nest (also below, created by Sue) and Rio Grand del Norte I and II. Can't wait to show you Ankie's exquisite pieces seen suspended in the background. All pics are thanks to Kerri Jessep from Jessep Photography who photographed the entire exhibition and artist portraits on the night. I'll post more from the Exhibition over the next few posts.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Home is where the soul rests

Me (left) and Ankie (right) "bumping in" at the Art Factory Gallery
It's been a big few weeks firstly in Cairns, then Adelaide , a return to Cairns via Brisbane and now back in Tarome. Life's a wonderful blur sometimes! In the midst of the storms in Brisbane on Thursday night, a little island emerged in South Brisbane, filled with nests and family, as the rain induced moat swelled around the entrance. We had such a hoot - copious conversation, champagne and friends. Thank you Ankie and Sue! Nested is open today, Sunday and Wednesday 10 am - 4pm with all proceeds going to the Royal Flying Doctor Service - a small thank you for getting Dad into Hospital earlier this month.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Nested opens Thursday 13th @ Art Factory Gallery

It is so hard to believe that "Nested" opens on Thursday 13th (I think that's four more sleeps) at the Art Factory Gallery, South Brisbane. Ankie, Sue and I have agreed that all proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service who airlifted some very precious parents to Adelaide from Ceduna, South Australia as they made their way home to Brisbane from Western Australia. An unforgettable trip as it turned out. Quite an unforgettable 50th birthday for me, too. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and wishes over the last fortnight - they have been greatly appreciated by the entire family. Sue's ceramic hand-pinched clam shells are exquisite, as are Ankie's textile nests. My favourite piece, The Wedding Nest, by Sue has to be seen in the cloth. Everyone is welcome to attend the opening of "Nested" on Thursday night from 6pm.  The Gallery hours will be Saturday 15th, Sunday 16th and Wednesday 18th from 10am - 4pm. Other times by arrangement. Hope to be able to catch up with some of you there.
Nested: An Exhibition by Ankie King, Sue George and Ali George
Art Factory Gallery,  84 Merivale Street, South Brisbane

Nestination USA was woven from trimmings and offcuts
sourced from Sue Dennis' exhibition "Destination USA".

Reflection is made from hand dyed silk,
machine stitched and hand beaded

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Retreats, Birthdays and Appendicitis on the Nullabor

This is a pic from our last retreat @ The Outlook Boonah. Which is where I am meant to be this weekend. So about far left of pic, I should have been sitting and working on a whole bunch of precious stuff that I've been looking forward to for months, including a birthday party last night. For me. Sue M and Co organised the whole thing - and here I am in Adelaide instead. I hope they had a marvellous time last evening.  Such is life and a small note to self about galavanting across the Nullabor Plain (as one is quite entitled to do) and succumbing to appendicitis. So here we all are in Adelaide (Mum, Little Sister, Little Niece and me) taking up residence near the Royal Adelaide Hospital and looking after the precious stuff.  Dad.  While he makes a slow but positive recovery from surgery, we're here. And that  is about the best birthday present a goddess could wish for .....