Monday 26 May 2014

An artist learns a valuable lesson in red tape and corporate elitism

Okay, I’m giving myself twenty minutes to write this, because, let’s face it, I’ve already wasted enough time on this venture so far. This morning I received an email asking me to contact the building where I had installed my work in the foyer on Sunday. I called my contact, and was rendered absolutely speechless when she asked if I could possibly remove it ASAP as there had been complaints from some of the ‘high level’ tenants. Apparently they deemed it unsuitable for an ‘A Grade Building’, and that it was not fitting for the corporate image. No shit, Sherlock – it’s wearable art! Well spotted - it’s trying desperately NOT to be corporate! It is the same wearable art that has been on the stage as finalists in the World of WearableArt in New Zealand. One of the garments
spent a month in the foyer of the Intercontinental Hotel in Wellington – certainly an environment which I would consider to be far more sophisticated, luxurious, and ‘A Grade’ than the barren and mediocre foyer of Central Plaza II. Well, I could continue in that vein, but I’ll move on…

After my initial reaction of hurt and dismay, I swiftly became enraged. Enraged at the waste of my time. Enraged at the fact that I had done everything required of me – submitted an application, signed a lease agreement, done their ridiculous 8 page OH&S document and spent $200 on $20K Public Liability Insurance. Jones Lang LaSalle knew exactly what I was supplying them, and it was approved. Enraged that one or two of their ‘high level’ tenants gets to call the shots for everybody in that building and that all of that oh-so-essential paperwork gets swept aside in an hour?! I am saddened that one or two people who are obviously very sheltered from the arts couldn't open their minds for one week, and have the power to deny this display to all the people who might have enjoyed it. I saw many interested looks as I was de-installing, and reports were that people were interested, and were reading the support material.

The big lesson I have learned is not to get so caught up in completing submissions and documentation and everything else required by a third party, without requiring a few guarantees myself!

Sunday 25 May 2014

My 100th post!

So, I've been writing here since August 2011, and this, my 100th post, shares what I think is an appropriately celebratory event. Today Matt and I installed 3 of my wearable art pieces in the foyer of Central Plaza II. It was lovely to see them as whole pieces again, and I was quite amazed to see them absolutely dwarfed by the massive space! We set up Euphony Iridacaea first, as I was concerned that she would not be stable enough and might have to miss out, but with a few bricks on the base under her skirt, I was more than happy with her! I just knew I'd forget something, and that turned out to be
Fimbria Figura and Siren of the Sea, Central Plaza II
Euphony's headpiece, which she really needed in order to look complete. Luckily, I had her two foot pieces instead, and with the help of some modified paperclips (thanks Matt!) I was able to replicate the effect to my satisfaction! The next challenge was trying to dress Fimbria Figura - OMG, I had no idea how tricky that piece could be! It now being several years since I made it, I was profoundly confused by the twisting, whirling overskirt. After several desperate minutes spent turning it inside out, peering into it and trying to understand how it worked,  and finally crumbling to my knees, I went with the way it looked like it might work, which was correct! 
Siren of the Sea and meeeee!
Siren of the Sea was the easiest to assemble, and a pleasure to do so - she's just a pretty piece! I found it interesting how as I assembled each piece, they brought back memories of what was happening in my life at that time. I stopped to read one of my didactics, which described the 'painstaking process' of one of the pieces, and it even impressed me!! The things I do!! 

Back in my weekday life at TAFE, assessment presentation looms! Crazily, I am doing two, possibly three garments for this, instead of the required one. Last week I was able to make the support skirt for design #2. Using bonded foam, I cut out the pattern pieces minus the seam allowance and stitched them butted together to reduce bulk.This was then reinforced with webbing tape. This same tape came in handy when it was decided that some concentric circles of boning would help the skirt sit out firmly.
This it did, but it made it a little more ball shaped than the gentle conical effect I was going for. I made a giant blueberry!! Although not entirely as expected, I understand why, and get a giggle at the ridiculous cuteness of it every time I look at it! This afternoon I was able to pin on the shibori embellishments, and was even more pleased with the result. I have learned an amazing amount of things throughout this project.
The Giant Blueberry!

Cloudlines Inspiration Board
I have also been working on my Photoshop assessment pieces, and last week spent a day working on this inspiration board. Last semester I did this manually, as I had absolutely no idea how to do this on a computer. My how times change, and aren't I the little Photoshop addict now?!!

A big thank you to all of you who have now contributed to my 20,000+ views of my 100 posts. And alright, I know that working on better alignment of these photos within my blog is the next step - I'm on it, folks!!
One last bit of good news - the wonderful WOW folk got in touch last week to let me know that Hakaturi was now on display in the museum in Nelson until November this year. I wish I could see it!

Monday 19 May 2014

A much needed getaway

I have just returned from a lovely few days with my beloved at Alexandra Headlands on the Sunshine Coast. It was wonderful to NOT do anything but read, sleep, eat and walk. We headed straight to Eumundi Markets on Saturday morning, which was in fine form. Across the road is the latest incarnation of Tina Coopers Glass Gallery. This is a wonderful place of discoveries as you wander through the magnificent shop, up to a small gallery space and work bench where the artist Wolfgang Engel was at work. Beyond here was the gallery space, creatively housed in converted
shipping containers. In between was a gorgeous courtyard of greenery and garden glass. So much for the eyes to drink in! We enjoyed a discussion with Wolfgang as I fell in love with the line of this lovely glass piece he had made, which had to return home with us as a special treasure.
During the weekend we enjoyed exploring the rocks around the headland, and gathering the prolific crop of pumice stone we found washed up on the sand. I have plans for these! The patterns and holes in the rocks are endlessly fascinating, as are the life forms found dwelling amongst them.

On our way out today we explored some op-shops – including one for a charity I have never seen before – the Kidney Support Network. With Matt being a survivor of kidney cancer, I thought we should definitely support the shop, and I was able to find a lovely shot silk shirt with covered buttons. Awww, look at da liddle kidney!!!

After a wonderful lunch at Noosa, I convinced Matt to swing past a fabric shop I had heard of, and I was very glad we did! Johno's Fabric Centre at Maroochydore was a treasure trove of goodies, some of which I have never seen before – I like that! I had a lovely chat with Robyn there, who like many, asked what I was going to make. I had to own up that I had no idea, I simply wanted the fabrics!

A beautiful black and silver lace, a black mesh embroidered with tiny gold sequins, and a tie-dyed and pink-foiled stretch velvet – yum! A wonderful end to a fabulous time away, ready to face the last month of TAFE for this term.

This Sunday I will be attending the Qld Spinners and Weavers Open day, which is the only day non-members are let loose in the 'Emporium' as well as the chance to shop at many members stalls. Jenelle and I are hoping to possibly get some supplies for our Ballarat workshop which is now looking not too far off!!!. I'll then be installing 3 of my wearable art garments in the foyer of Central Plaza II, 66 Eagle Street Brisbane, where they will be on display for a week – come and check them out.

Monday 12 May 2014

Sunday at Gallery 159

Ahhhh, a day at home, on my own, working in the studio. Brrrrrrrilliant! There was a bit of hard work involved, as I continued assembling my garments for my Studio project. This meant dealing with lapped zips and lining, which I’m a bit out of practice with. I have to say, I did not attempt the skirt vent with lining – I did the research – but I’ll face that tomorrow! It just hurts my brain! But, the motivation that keeps me going is seeing the gorgeous end result.  I
also got to do some fun stuff - some more dyeing and shibori shaping for my second piece.  It was also a fun challenge to play with pinning the silk organza shibori pieces onto my first garment, and taking great delight in it looking quite a bit like how I imagined!! Now I’ve got to track down the perfect beads to finish it off…

Here's a pic of the wonderful TAFE teacher Janice Mengerson, AKA Janois, wearing the top hat I made during my Certificate in Millinery several years ago. And here she is, calmly being torn left, right and centre by the class, which just wants to devour her knowledge. I know that we all appreciate her calm, her encouragement, and her amazing knowledge across many fields. Not to mention her wonderful sense of fun!

After a relaxing bath this afternoon enjoying ABC classical radio and a glass of wine, I prepared myself for the trip out to Gallery 159 for the opening of the Timeless Textiles exhibition featuring the fantastic work of Pam Hovel, Anne Leon, Myfanwy Sterling and Gina Mastio. It was beautiful, scrumptious work, one of the loveliest exhibitions I have seen at 159.
Donna Toussaint and cake icing...
I am a huge fan of Pams’ work, and have had the pleasure to meet her at a TAFTA forum at Geelong several years ago. I was also fortunate enough to have met her husband last weekend when the works were exhibited at Mt Coot-tha – the very man that made her a rolling machine! Yes, Jenelle and I did attempt to enveigle said machine to our upcoming workshop in Ballarat… NO! What?!! Still, it was a pleasure to see Pam again, and to meet her lovely man. What would we do without these engineering genii?
Phillipa Rooke, Jane Simpkins and Janet de Boer
The exhibition was beautifully decorated by Donna Toussaint’s flowers – I arrived a little late and missed a lot of what was going on, but there were petals everywhere, ladies with their feet in foil, and a little later on, cake icing over their faces!! Yes, I was a little unsure, and walked away, away, backwards, backwards…. I’m pretty sure I wear enough makeup…?!! Get away from me, Donna!

A wonderful way to finish a cruisy day - I  so love my Sunday afternoons at Gallery 159!