Tuesday, August 26, 2014

sculpture at Noosa Botanic Gardens

This intriguing piece of marble is at the Noose Botanic Gardens.   Part of an acquisitive prize offered -  the artist is Hew Chee Fong and it is called "The Journey".

It is lovely.  You don't see the detail till you get close.  One side of the marble is polished and the balance rough and, until you get close to it you can 't really spot the stairway to heaven.

If you are interested in other prize winners have a look here.  Thae gardens have a marvelous ampitheatre which sits on the waters edge.  A great spot for a bit of contemplative thinking

Friday, August 15, 2014


Been researching the 1920’s for background and inspiration for a work for the Margaret Oppen Prize – a competition open to members of the Embroiderers’ Guild NSW Inc.  The theme is ‘The Roaring 20s’. 
When the theme was announced my mind immediately jumped to women’s costume and the Chrysler Building in New York.  Picture books were the first thing I looked at when I when to the library and I came home with a glorious tome called Art Deco – The Golden Age of Graphic Art & Illustration by Michael Robinson & Rosalind Ormiston (Flame Tree Publishing).

Since then I have done a little reading and thought I would share a bit of what of I learnt and do a sort of a book review at the same time J.

Over all Art Deco gives a gives a good but brief introduction to the influences of the period and talks about the development of the Art Deco movement in Britain, Europe and America.   It introduces novices like myself to artists, designers and craftsmen of the period.  There is enough information and more than enough images to spike my curiosity.  I will go on and investigate further.

What did I learn from this book?
·         Art Deco was a term first used in the 1960’s  
·         It covers the period between the First and Second World Wars
·         Its heyday depends on which continent you are in
·         That the Art Deco movement was influenced by or drew  upon or was the confluence of a number of artistic styles over time including;
o    oriental influences of Art Nouveau,
o   the success of the fine art poster like that created by Toulouse-Lautrec,
o    industrial changes effecting graph art printing
o   Work by cubist and futurist artists like George Braque, Roal Dufy & Pablo Picasso
o   Interest in graphics and typography leading to new fonts and borders
o   The Ballet Russe
o   And a lot of other things too such as hard defined lines and lots of bold colour. 

It is clear that there was an emphasis on what was regarded as good design, promotion of craftsmanship and it was applied across the board to fine art, graphic art, fashion and textiles, furnishings, consumer goods and architecture.

The book is chock full of enticing images.  It is a glorious visual feast and has sparked some ideas  for the competition which I will go on and play with.

On an art deco vein - I was at the Enmore Theatre not so long ago and it has some wonderful art deco inspiration plastered on its walls which invite exploration too.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Playing with Clay

I have been learning to play with clay and practising making faces at Sydney Community College.  I am keen to learn to make my own faces to incorporate into my own fibre art. The course has a focus on mould making.   As is the norm, one term is not enough for me to grasp even the basics so I will be back for another term.

To date I have learnt some basic concepts about working with clay to make a bust.  The first lesson I was taught was to build using tiny pieces of clay to build the form/shape I want and not to smooth the clay but just keep adding.  It is SO hard not to smooth the clay.  I now understand that when I smooth the clay I push the clay around and change my form somewhere else but still it is hard to be disciplined and remember this part of my lesson.

The class has students who have returned after doing one or more terms and it is wonderful to see what they are doing.  I had to keep reminding myself why I was there and not get distracted by other exciting ideas
It is funny how things come together.  I have been experimenting with a number of different media but find I keep coming back to fibre and want to incorporate other media into it.  Lately I have been concentrating on crazy patchwork and fabric collages with a view to incorporating faces into them.   To date I have been using commercial moulds or using the last of some faces made at a workshop with Pearl Moon a few years ago.

In the class I am working on a half face which I can hang on the wall.   If all goes to plan I will create a headdress to go with it.   Still thinking that idea through though.    J

Not quite a self portrait

Not quite a self portrait
small 8' quiltlet with embroidered hair

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