Sunday 24 July 2022

Artist in Residence at the TAFE QLD Design Atelier

 After months of talks and legal wrangling, the deed has indeed been done, and signed this past Friday, in the Design Atelier which I am to call home for the next six months.

It was straight after gym, so I was not very glamorous for the occasion! Nor will I look any better this week as I lug in my boxes, baskets and bags of garments to create a display in the large window gallery opposite the studio - it's going to be a lot of hard work. 

Then there's the process of moving all my gear into the studio itself, with all the projects I am currently working on. I could easily fill the whole room myself, but there are supposed to be Alumni students coming in to use it as well.... so I will have to restrain myself.
After that, there's some more hard work as I bring in the 20+ wearable art works I will be exhibiting in the Gallery in just a few weeks - there will be more information on this shortly. It's a great big space which has so far only been used as a meeting facility - watch out folks - I'm taking over.
We had a play around last week and discovered that the fluoros can be dimmed right down and the spotlights can be coloured, so I think we'll be able to create something magical. When I say we, I mean Craig - my new best friend on campus. The go-to man with the ladders and the tools and the keys.

The mass exodus of work from home and studio also creates the opportunity for a giant, long overdue tidy up. Perhaps I will find the two felted hats that I found were missing today.

So it's very busy days here at StudioSvenja. Look out for my next post about the Wearable Art exhibition, and information about the workshops I will be offering from the Atelier during my residency. If you're super-keen, send me an email and I'll put you on my mailing list.

Sunday 10 July 2022

Ballarat Bunnehs 2022

 Finally! Three years after our last SvenJen adventure in Ballarat, with one attempt to go to Evocative Arts workshops in South Australia, one to return to Ballarat, and I think a year in the middle of just giving up, we returned to FibreArts Ballarat!

Not only a return - but to newly renovated digs - the squeals of delight as the Bunnehs found they had rooms with an adjoining bathroom would have been heard campus-wide. We dealt with the bathroom during the week by sliding the doors across and either saying 'Closed for Business' or 'Open for Business'!

It had been a pretty smooth journey down, the only glitch being myself (of course) requiring a shoes-off, full pat down after going through the scanner - no longer annoyed with metal and such, it is now disturbed if your clothing is asymmetrical. Just when I thought I had mastered it by wearing slippers and reduced jewellery! Once on board, the Bunnehs cracked us up with a golden version of the safety speech - see snippet below - even the crew appreciated it.

Settled into our digs, it was time for to drop our gear at the class and meet tutor Julie Ryder and fellow students. It was only a group of six, which ended up working really well, and we all got on - we were kind of disappointed there was no-one crazy for giggles! Many sads were had when we were informed that not only that there was no coffee van, but no massage therapist! Dinner and drinks was most welcome at the end of this long day as we celebrated the successful return to Ballarat.

The next morning we went for our usual lake walk, but being ultra-cautious of my damaged knee, we only did a section. This ended up being for the best, as it was the most striking morning of the week for sunrise sky photos, taken in the magical section called Fairyland. Perhaps swamp-land would be more accurate - to Jenelle's horror we saw a water-snake and several water-rats during the week.

We were happy to see our favourite bridge with 'No Dancing' sign (Well, that's our interpretation of it) and each year we like to get a photo Doing The Wrong Thing.

On return to the school we were sad to find there were no eggs, but I was then able to discover the joy of protein powder in porridge - most dericious!! It was an easy-paced start to the workshop, with no major braining required - good. It did not always stay this way. Later on it got quite mathematical, quite the challenge for the Art Bunneh, but not for the Accounting Bunneh! Quite a few of us owned up to being a bit slap-dash in our approach to dyeing - Julie countered this by teaching us the very correct way of doing it for even coverage. 
NB - I won't be going into much detail about the workshop itself, as I have just written an article about it for my regular Situation Svenja gig with TEXTILE Fibre Forum.
With tutor Julie Ryder
Amazingly, I got Jenelle to the tutor slideshow that night - I think there might have been one more during the week that she made?! Afterwards we chilled in the common room and she came up with a pretty fabulous idea for a workshop for me to teach....
By the end of Tuesday, Blonde Bunneh had decided that she no longer wanted to do the workshop - standard behaviour in the timeline of The Nine Stages of Jenelle. Unfortunately she made it all the way around this spectrum and back to here before the end of the workshop! I had kind of said that she would be able to make some beautiful pillowcases out of the samples, but it didn't quite work out that way. However on Tuesday, I just drowned her out with my lovely Wakachangi beers!
Quite Nice Beer indeed, with hilarious packaging
Wednesday brought a freezing walk around the lake, where we seriously questioned our sanity in doing so. It also required me to nudge Jenelle along in class to get some more groundwork done, or as I
Brrrr. Wearing all the warmz.
termed it, 'bunging another few out'! After chucking a serious sad at the giant sausage roll offered for lunch, it became the perfect opportunity to go and get our beloved kebab! It was our free afternoon so we wandered along to the op-shop but soon froze in the arctic blasts, so returned to the warmth of the common room.
Jenelle at work
On Thursday I flat-out refused to walk around the lake, so we slept in and only went as far as Macca's to get our coffees. After class, the slideshow was the 2023 tutor release which I stayed for whilst Jenelle trotted around the lake. I saw a few possibilities, but nothing that I super wanted to do. It was sparkles and fascinators night, so we put on our glitzy duds and sashayed into the dining hall. I don't have a good photo of the two of us - I wore my new necklace from the op-shop as a fascinator!
By now we also had a mini-Covid outbreak at the school, with some attendees opting to leave, and the rest of us having to go back to mask wearing. I madly dashed around to some classes to take photos of things I had seen and would would now not get the chance to see again at the end of the week exhibition of workshop samples - one being this beautiful bark-like piece created in metal in Alysn Midgelow Marsden's class.

Friday was another pretty chilled day as we finished our remaining samples then packed up. We set off to visit the botanic gardens but never made it as we discovered several more op-shops, where Jenelle had a field day, picking up some stunning bargains which she later modelled for us in the common room!

We thought that with the early departures that the final night dinner would be a pretty sad affair, but the Fibrearts Team made sure it was cheery with lovely table decorations and bottles of wine for all on the tables.
All in all it was a great week relaxing but learning, and many, many laughs. Bring on SvenJen 2023 - wherever it may be.