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.
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.
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.
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.
Preparing one of my pieces for photography
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. After 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.
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!
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”:
Funny that the colours seem to have something in common?
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
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.
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.
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.
The 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