Saturday, 15 September 2018

A Seaside Holiday

Don't fret, my fabric friends - I will not divert too much from my textile theme here, as all my holidays photos, as usual, are plant life and the odd critter - inspirational material. I enjoyed some brisk walks, and some absolute dawdles around the rock-pools discovering and admiring these treasures.

The absolute standout for me was this fabulous sea slug - I have never seen anything more fabulous! In the same pool we saw a cuttlefish which had been trapped by the tide - another first. It was a magnificent morning! 
It's been very hard to come home and leave this. Sigh.......

Friday, 7 September 2018

The Svenja Bus

For those of you who remember the ‘90’s, you may remember this catchy number, which became a bit of a theme song for the Svenja Bus! One of my favourite memories is of leaving Eagle Farm Tafe (or whatever they were calling it then – TAFE like a good name change) pulling up to my classmates at the bustop, opening the door, and asking who wanted a lift to the pub! Those were the days! Here's a couple of pics with both Storm and I in our original condition - leaving home to go and live on Mt Tambourine, down at Byron Bay with my TAFE mates April and Heidi - where are you now, girls? - and in the line-up at Stokers Siding.
Storm is finally getting his makeover, and having him move up here and into Matt’s shed after losing the off-site storage has been a real bonus for getting me motivated – he’s right there! Last month I got the bumpers, wheels and roof painted, then it has taken me most of this week to mask it in reverse – I’ve never been good at wrapping presents, and this is the trickiest one yet! I bought a new 50m roll tape yesterday and finished it off this morning.
 As I was doing a final sand on a door, a small chunk of bog lifted out! GAH! I’d been out there since 5:30 getting prepared, and this threatened to stuff up the whole job – I only had my awesome assistant Matt for a few hours, and had to worry about the wind picking up as well. At first I was tragic – it was all over – but then realised I could just leave that door out, as I would have plenty of paint left for another session. Back to plan A, and finished by 10.  Not too bad – a little ‘orange peel’ – and a few repairs highlighted by the fresh coat – it’s all a learning experience. Luckily, I had planned for my inexperience by creating this design, which should hide most of the flaws.
I can't wait to be back out in this beast!! Watch out!

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

August Shenanigans!

Yes, yes indeed, I finished embroidering Matt's ice-dyed silk shirt in time for the opening of the embroidery exhibition at artisan (not that anyone noticed...) Slip of the Tongue, by Sarah Bottomley, seen at the Stitch Cult exhibition 'captures moments of physical tension between two bodies'. Honestly, the best, and most engaging piece I saw there.......

The fabulous shirt was also worn at the event it was made for, Peter Wojciechowski's birthday celebrations, on the weekend just past.
The gathering was themed 'Mad Shirts and Mu-Mu's,' so I not only made Matt's shirt, but embroidered and beaded a yoke for a kaftan type dress made from beautiful digital print silk bought at the TAFE fabric sales for myself. Janet warned me she was bringing out the legendary false eyelashes, so I dug up a pair from my own collection - oh my goodness - such a bizarre feeling!! She was wearing her Mickey Mouse ears - I have no idea what we were talking about here!!
Work continues on the kombi, as it does on the 2019 Wearable Art Mandurah entry for the movement section - I finally get to play with my fighting fish design idea! Only 6 weeks now until WOW - stay tuned to my StudioSvenja facebook and Instagram pages for the decade of design throwback images.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Goodbye July!

Anthozoa, my Wearable Art Mandurah (WAM) entry from 2017, continues to live an interesting life in Perth - currently she is on display until the end of August at Lakelands Library as part of the WAM retrospective exhibition. Recently, she was used in a photo shoot with Katie Witt Photography, modelled by Kiana Lee and organised by Michelle Murphy. It's so amazing waking up and finding images like this of your work in your inbox!

Lichen Morphology has also spent the last month on exhibition at Burnie Regional Art Gallery.
Last week I was fortunate enough to host both Barb Thoms, the driving force behind WAM, and Janet de Boer for lunch. Hours and hours of wearable art discussion - so good! It must have stirred up something in me, as on the weekend inspiration hit, and I entered WAM 2019! This was also driven by having a tidy studio to work in, and time to revisit partially developed concepts buried within it! That gave me two solid designs to begin work on - one for WAM, one just because it needs to happen.
Also last week, this arrived - Down Under Textiles -  containing a lovely 4 page spread on my recent work, as well as many other interesting articles - I particularly liked the one on Irene Manion's beautiful long stitch free motion embroidery, and of course, the one on WAM. My article features the photography of Asiara Media and Chantal Brennan Photography, and models Heidi Sun and Edwina Tait.
July also brought the welcome news that my World of WearableArt entry has made it through another round of judging and will be shown in the performance in September. Thank goodness, as accommodation and flights were all booked! I'm using the 10 weeks until the show to do a little retrospective of my own 'Decade of Design', posting pictures of my WOW works on Instagram and Facebook each week.
This week I am off to the Artforce Awards at Brisbane City Hall to celebrate the work of myself and other artists on Brisbane traffic signal boxes. I've been shortlisted for the Overall Award, but there are many fabulous works - see them all here.
The week finishes with the opening of an exhibition at artisan at their new premises in Bowen Hills in the newly developed Brisbane Showgrounds Precinct. Stitch Cult is an exhibition that investigates the social significance of embroidery and its practice. Perhaps I'll finish this embroidered yoke for Matt's shirt in time and he can wear it there?! Now there's some motivation!!

Monday, 16 July 2018

The Abbey Medieval Fair 2018

One of the first people we saw at the Abbey Medieval Fair was this fine Scot, who inspired Matt on his first visit last year. There were a few highlanders around, but these two were by far the best! We were there under the wing of Matt's brother, Jean the Hornmaster, seen here in his tent selling his fine wares. Behind this tent was where evenings were spent gathered around the fire, eating venison stew and drinking rum, before retiring to our bed in the back of the ute! It was a little chilly, and we nearly suffocated the night we shut the hatch, but our little dressing room, nicknamed the Ute Yurt, was an excellent addition to the space.
Just next to him was this beautiful basketry stall festooned with hessian.

This is a shot of the entrance of The Stag Inn, where we spent a lot of time - no,no, not drinking all the time - it was just a great place to sit on hay bales, close to fires, watching the passing parade, and talking to folk.
....and talking to folk!
We did also venture to the Friars Folly Tavern, where we very much enjoyed the performance by Praxis - most entertaining and educational! We were sitting behind this gent and I admired these carved bone pieces of his garb.
These pics were taken down at the peasant encampment, where fabulous heritage chickens, goats, and some absolutely delightful people were to be found. The woven structures were absolutely beautiful, too.
  Also found on site were these glorious camels - they were just so beautiful and graceful.
The Wedgetailed Eagle just blew me away - I have never seen such a majestic beast of a bird! I'm not even going to try and analyse how I feel about it being tethered and used to assist hunters.
 Another species spotted were the Dryads of Phoenix Firetribe - beautiful as ever.

 I cannot describe what a challenge it was for me to look this drab for 2 whole days. I really struggled with not looking like myself and...blending in!! Even those who didn't know me knew that it did just not look right!! It was an interesting role swap for us - everyone was looking at Matt - and he struggled to find me in the crowd!
We had a great time, and we were so warmly welcomed by John and his friends - what a weekend!
Ooooh - postscript - that bushy beard is gone - look at the remains still in their beard beads!! Welcome back Matt!!