We’ve moved!

We decided to create a bigger, better, faster home for all our stuff. We’re now over here and we look forward to your visit. The new site has much more room for pictures and doesn’t have all the annoying little ads that keep popping up when you least expect them. Please drop in to http://www.meldarts.com/wordpress/ to keep up with all that we’re doing in the lead up to the exhibition which runs from 18 October to 1 November 2014.


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And the speaker to open our exhibition is…..

Sneak peek at a detail of one of Liz' drawings for Hidden Revealed Transformed.

Sneak peek at a detail of one of Liz’ drawings for Hidden Revealed Transformed.

I am so pleased that Textile Artist Jan Mullen of Stargazey Quilts fame has accepted our request to open our exhibition on 17th October. I have known Jan for a very long time. I asked her to proofread my very first pattern when I started a business called Lizard of Oz way back in the year 2000. Jan was very helpful and gracious at that time. Lizard of Oz proved to be the stepping stone which enabled me to leave my secretarial job in the city and start creating quilt designs and patterns for sale. Now I am several steps further along the path to becoming an artist as I have closed Lizard of Oz and am creating work with more personal meaning. Jan also knows the other members of MELD so it feels good that Jan will speak about our work and the aims of the MELD group at the opening of our first exhibition Hidden Revealed Transformed. Jan and her Helping Handz group recently exhibited salvage/selvedge (2012/14) at the Moores Gallery in Fremantle, Western Australia which raised funds for the School of St Yared in Ethiopia. Jan is a good public speaker so I am sure those who manage to attend our opening will enjoy her company.

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Photography Day

Last Friday was the photography day for our exhibition work. The date was set at 6 weeks before the exhibition opening to allow for plenty of time to prepare and print the catalogue and invites. There were a few very late nights stitching, painting and preparing to get all of the work completed in time.

Sept 1 003

Liz setting up a series of her work to be photographed

Photography of textiles can be a bit of a challenge. You need to find  a place to hang the work where Josh (our photographer) can also control the natural light. Each work is rarely the same size or has the same hanging system and due to the nature of fabric they often don’t hang very straight. We have found in previous photo shoots that pinning works to a large pin up board works very well. The works can be pinned to sit flat and the background fabric can be stretched taut.   About a month ago I found a secondhand free standing partition board on Gum Tree. It is 1.8m  x 2m and was a bargain at $75! My ever handy Dad put lockable castors on it so we can wheel it around the house. It has already been very useful as a design board.

Sept 1 007

Preparing one of my pieces for photography

Sept 1 012

Three of us pinning and measuring Julie’s work to make sure it is straight

We set up the “Photography Studio” in the kitchen as it is the best area in the house to control the lighting. And as you can see lots of sustenance is required on photography day. Many cups of  tea and coffee, and cake!

We used double bed sized sheets as the background covers. By pinning  black on one side of the partition board and white on the other it meant there was less time spent changing backgrounds. Sept 1 004After a full day of photographing our work,  Josh took some publicity photos of all of us. We then all celebrated a busy and successful day with a glass of Prosecco and some of Margaret’s yummy curry puffs.

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How to have a successful exhibition

A couple of weeks or so ago the MELD group held a serious planning meeting.  It’s not that our previous planning meetings haven’t been serious.  It’s just that this one seemed more so because of the rapidly approaching exhibition opening date (Friday 17 October).

We reviewed all our previous decisions and heard from each other about printing quotes for the catalogue and invitations.  A plan for processing sales throughout the exhibition and in particular on opening night was formulated.  Tasks were allocated among us, such as updating this blog (big mea culpa here!) and drawing up a roster for staffing the exhibition (I DID get that done!)  We even spent some time talking about the catering!  We’re doing that ourselves.

Above all, mindful of the (albeit commercial marketing) axiom “a successful  exhibition depends on good relationships” we gave each other the benefit of our constructive views on the final form of several pieces of work.  That was actually quite easy for me since there was lots of marvellous work in the room.

The final form of much of my work was in my imagination and I suspect it was the same for my fellow “MELDers”.

Just before I embarked on this blog I googled for tips on pulling off a great exhibition.  I found a lot of sites and we seem to have ticked all the boxes!  Time will tell of course, and we’ll be looking to visitors rather than ourselves to judge the value of the exhibition experience and of our work, but I think we feel we’ve done our very best so far.

Tomorrow is a big milestone.  Photography day.  From 9am we’ll be gathering at Louise’s place and styling our work so that our photographer, Josh Wells (who won another photographic award recently) can make images worthy of our catalogue and our invitations.

I just hope that I can finalise what’s supposed to be mounted into this frame in time.  I’ve lavished Edgar Arnold’s beautiful frame with numerous light coats of black gloss paint yet each time I look at it I see another insufficiently covered spot. And the house smells of turps!

Frame in search of something fulfilling!

Frame in search of something fulfilling!



Posted in 3D Series, Exhibitions, Planning | 1 Comment


Perhaps this title is an over-statement.  You need to have made solid progress to be in consolidation phase!  Yet, that’s how I feel.  Today I had what I called my “first fitting” for the wooden frames for my three dimensional exhibition pieces. Wood craftsman Edgar Arnold is making them and has done a beautiful job.  So beautiful a job that I’m a bit reluctant to paint over his joinery but the design requires that.

One of the joys of working collaboratively in the MELD group, and with Eddie, is the process of exchanging ideas and solutions that take the piece beyond where it would have been if it had relied exclusively on my own brain.  Problems became solutions and have a better design as a result.  This has been one of the major developmental outcomes for me of being in MELD.

I can’t show the frames here so you’ll have to wait until they are unveiled at the opening!  I’m not even going to tantalise you with pictures of tissue wrapped works as Louise has!

Having just been to Bunnings I can report that their eye hooks are not as small as I need for one of the pieces which will be suspended in an open-sided “box frame”.  So I’ll need to find another supplier- perhaps a model shop? I also need to source some long pieces of wrapped wire for another work.  Am hoping that florists might have the solution…..I didn’t envisage I’d be doing so much shopping to resolve works!

In the meantime, I’ve made lunch for the next MELD meeting at my place (vegetarian spinach from my garden and imported feta cheese)



and finished the last of nine “leaves”:

IMG_2439Funny that the colours seem to have something in common?


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Time is marching on towards the exhibition. We have a photography shoot booked for the end of this month and then we will start to prepare the catalogue. I am excited to have some (stress – some) works completed, wrapped and ready to hang/place on a plinth. You can see a couple of sneak peaks on my blog.

Wrapped and ready

Wrapped and ready

Many people are asking “Where is the exhibition?”

It is at The Showcase Gallery, cnr Aberdeen and Beaufort Sts, Northbridge.

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting a nearby art supplies store and took the opportunity  to take some photos.


Showcase Gallery


Corner of Aberdeen and Beaufort Street, looking away from the city.

The large building attached to the left of Showcase Gallery is Central Gallery and Central TAFE. The WA Museum is one block closer to the city.


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Honouring Good Men

Along with working towards the MELD exhibition in October I have entered a few other exhibitions this year. Stitched and Bound – back to the Razors Edge is the tenth in the series of juried exhibitions presented by the WAQA Contemporary Quilt Group . I am very pleased to have my piece “Honouring Good Men” selected.

Honouring Good MenThe piece has been created from 165 recycled Men’s ties. I am delighted the work has been purchased by The City of Melville for their Art collection.

The exhibition runs from the 5th July to the 10th August 2014 at the Heathcote Museum and Gallery, 58-60 Duncraig Rd, Applecross

More information on the story behind and making of this work can be seen on my blog

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Gallery Layout Decisions


Liz created layouts to scale for all the walls of the gallery using CorelDraw. This example shows trial layouts for one wall.

Liz created layouts to scale for all the walls of the gallery using CorelDraw. This example shows trial layouts for one wall.

I used CorelDraw to draw the walls and anticipated works to scale. These scale drawings were then used to work out different layouts for each wall of the gallery so that we could all get an idea of how our work would fit in different spaces. There were many iterations before the final layout was decided. We took into account giving each work room to “breathe”, the view from the windows, the view towards the back of the gallery from the door, the colours and attributes of adjacent works, and the location of hanging equipment available eg picture rails. We aimed to give each artist their own space(s) so that it was easy for each of us to make decisions about our own areas without having to consult with each other for every little thing. The CorelDraw drawing is deliberately simple (outlines with a little representative colour) to make it fast to move things around during real time discussions. In the final layout other information was added such as artists name and title of work so that we each have that for our own records. We will be contacting the gallery to review and comment on our final layout. This is in case there is anything we have missed about this location and so that the gallery can be sure to have enough hanging wires etc. Having the layout planned should make installation quick and simple (famous last words!).

Posted in Exhibition location, Planning, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Hand and Needle Connected

Well the holiday of a life time is over and I’m not totally sure if my head has stopped spinning. I have thought about my art of course whilst viewing so many spectacular galleries, museums, buildings and places in Germany, Italy, France, UK and Hong Kong. But I did not do any sewing at all. My brain was in overload though, so now is the time to settle, take some deep breaths and begin my stitching journey again.
It doesn’t take long once you pick up the needle and thread to get back in the rhythm of the stitch. So my large blanket pieces for our exhibition are well on their way to being completed. Then there will be my smaller stitched series to re visit and attack. I must remember, one stitch at a time and one day at a time. It’s wonderful to be home and in a familiar rhythm.


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Deadlines and Sneak Peaks

The end of June was the first MELD deadline (no pressure) just a more formal show and tell of our works completed and in progress for the exhibition. It was a chance to see the whole body of work and therefore how all the works will relate to each other. The support from fellow members, gentle critique and encouragement is most valued by all of us.  At this meeting we also took the opportunity to finalise a promotional blurb and some images (sneak peaks only) for the gallery.

Seeds of Knowledge (detail)

Seeds of Knowledge (detail)

Growth (detail)

Growth (detail)

Fib #358 variation (detail)

Fib #358 variation (detail)

Fib #358 variation (detail)

Fib #358 variation (detail)

Reassembled #2 (detail)

Reassembled #2 (detail)

Our promotional blurb –

MELD, comprising Perth artists Margaret Ford, Liz Arnold, Louise Wells and Julie Devereux, highlight the variety of media and techniques employed in contemporary textile art. Their works demonstrate that, in addition to the traditional decorative role, textile works can convey deep meaning and stimulate an emotional response. The artists explore what happens when that which is hidden is revealed. Hidden Revealed Transformed challenges the traditional contexts of the textile medium by incorporating drawing, quilting, freeform crochet, embroidery, dyeing, collage and painting into work which depicts the transformative effects of releasing latent energy, revealing secrets, exposing vulnerabilities, and peeling back layers of protection.

Posted in Dyeing, Machine quilting, Natural dyeing, Planning, Stitching | 1 Comment