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!).
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.
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)
Fib #358 variation (detail)
Fib #358 variation (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.
Conscious of the time ticking away, I’ve just tackled another of my 3d “leaves”. Inverted commas are there because they could be hiding something else…..
Anyway, this one is one of my favourites. It may make the cut when I’ve mounted them all and get to choose five for the exhibition.
Welcome back Julie! We are now a full strength MELD again!
This is a close up of Earth Wound – a work destined for our exhibition in October. I had stopped the crochet thinking it was enough. But of course having it within view in my studio means I have changed my mind. It needs more. That last row in the photo had 54 stitches for every original stitch. So what I add now will mean 108 stitches for every original stitch! Needless to say I am NOT going to go the whole way round. The red needs to vary in thickness around the piece – so I’m only going to add stitches in some places to create varied volume.
With our exhibition title Hidden Revealed Transformed now announced, I’m feeling the pressure to convey its relationship to what I’m doing…..
I’m a member of another group called Designing Women. DW has an exhibition this year also. One of its challenges was an “animal mineral vegetable” work to be mounted on a 12 ins canvas. So I did that using a lot of fabric I’d dyed with natural substances from plants. I also use rust a lot so that (mineral) was no problem either. Of course, I use both cotton and silk so I’ve got vegetable and animal covered there! Little secrets like crochet with stainless steel thread add to the equation….
Animal mineral and vegetable #1
But back to MELD. I’m playing with my naturally dyed fabrics and my old sewing machine (the new Pfaff having died) to produce some backgrounds for stitching. I’m probably only achieving “transformed ” right now. I have this idea though that a piece of hand-dyed fabric, especially one that has lain outside in the sun and the rain with bits of rusty iron and copper and some fruit skins on it, will be harbouring hidden secrets that can be revealed. That revelation often comes when you select a small piece to incorporate in another bigger piece. And when you put all the pieces together you get a transformation.
Hand dyed fabrics pieced as backgrounds
Anyway, transformation is serendipitous!
These 2 photos are of the same yarn collage diptych on Naturecore boards intended for mixed media. The top one was taken using flash and the second one without flash. They’re quick snapshots of work in progress for the exhibition. That really black black in the top photo is what it really looks like – the bluish tinge in the second photo is a phenomenon which only appears when the photo is taken in natural light, it never looks like that to my eye in real life. Really weird. Anyway, I’m quite pleased with the actual 5 yarn collages (if not the photos!) so far. Yesterday I realised they would be improved with some more binder medium in the centre of the thread rings. I’ve just done that this afternoon so now I’m waiting for them to dry (again) before varnishing. The Naturecore boards are wonderful to work on for mixed media. The boards are very firm (no give like canvas) yet are very light for their size. The rigidity is a big plus for collage – the lack of flex means no cracking of paint, glue or paper. I really like them. I bought mine at Jacksons in Balcatta, Western Australia although they don’t seem to be on the Jacksons website just yet.