Wednesday 16 November 2022

Layered Colour

Today should have been just lovely – no other plans but working in the studio. I felt tired and unmotivated, but went down and continued painting, working up layers of colour on the heat-distressed fabric sculpture I am working on. It seemed so flat and boring when I wanted it to be so rich and bright. It’s hard to keep going when it doesn’t look fabulous, and that’s when I have to remind myself that this is a many-layered process. It’s also hard not to doubt your colour choices – did I start too light? With the wrong colour entirely? A spray of yellow around the edge lifted it, but I soon found more to find fault with. Then I took myself back to the fabric samples I had chosen for this work, and it all started to come together. Pinned along the centre, they added the next layer of colour and texture, and a painted piece of distressed lace, the next. I’m a lot happier, but I still have to keep going down to check on it. Sometimes it just takes time and a little distance. Not to mention a little trust. Particularly when working on a larger piece, it can be difficult to continue on with what you are not convinced about, but having done it to one piece, you must do it to all before moving on.

With stitching over this, and further layers, ending with beading, who knows what other shades might be introduced? This is where I feel I have 'a conversation' with the work. After the initial concept design and vague colour ideas, sometimes it comes down to what is on hand, or what material will be the main focus. After that first step, it really becomes more of a reactive process. You can't plan the steps - things will show you what works. Sometimes enjoyable, sometimes a little uncomfortable, you just won't know until you follow your instincts through.

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Moving on Up

 Here I am, happy to be working on my newly serviced machine back in StudioSvenja. Last month I terminated my residency at TAFE after three of the six months term, as it has been incredibly difficult to deal with the levels of Government bureaucracy and abominable communication. As we met to discuss exhibiting Algalrhythms there next year to finish my tenure, the thought of fighting it all again became too much. To top it all off, plumbers had moved into the studio indefinitely to work on the new fire sprinkler system, and it was not conducive to creativity. Luckily I had done a good tidy up in all the studio spaces here, so as I moved back, I was able to slot everything easily back into place. Sure, it might look a bit chaotic, but this is wonderfully ordered in my world!

I am still progressing on the new works, so nothing has really changed, although I do miss those large tables for layouts. Instead of exhibiting at TAFE, Algalrhythms has been accepted at the Lockyer Valley Art Gallery in February and March next year. Life moves on. Applications are being submitted for the next exhibition titled DistoMorph, which will feature sculptural pieces on a much larger scale than previous work, and some wild colour combinations.

Last week I enjoyed catching up with Janet de Boer for lunch, not having seen her since she opened my exhibition Paracosm at TAFE in August. (The 3D walk-around imaging of the exhibition can be found on my website.) I treasure the laughs we have as we discuss the vagaries of life in the arts over lunch and prosecco. Her wisdom, experience and humour are most useful! I very much enjoy writing for the magazine she created, Textile Fibre Forum, which is published quarterly, and for my  next submission I will be writing about the experiences of the many rejections from art competitions and galleries that I have experienced this year. 

Speaking of Textile Fibre Forum - Bunneh and I have decided to go to one of the original Fibre Forums as run by TAFTA, so we'll be off to Geelong Fibre Forum in September 2023 to make felt hats with Dawn Edwards. It will be great to have a new venue to explore together, and I'm sure much fun will be had in the workshop. I pinched this image from her website - I can see me spending the whole week making something like this!