Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022 - it's a wrap


Small concertina booklet - All the Letters of the Alphabet berbe

Well, 2022 turned into a busy year.   I keep pinching myself thinking how amazing this could all had have happened this year.   

I was thrilled to have an application accepted for the Wodonga Ephemeral Art Program with three images being displayed outside the entrance to the Cub theatre for three bermonths from September , 2022.

The RE-create Collective, of which I am part, hung its works for From Where I Sit;  Stories from within   at the Albury Library Museum for nearly 6 months.   It was a long haul completing works up to the eleventh hour! The exhibition opened in June and there were a number of associated activities with it  I had a ball doing a couple of workshops.  I wrote about about that in my last post.  And I’m inspired to do more collage in the coming year. 

Armchair travel series 

In October I undertook an artist residency sponsored by the Southern Midlands Council at Oatlands, Tasmania.  A wonderful opportunity for which I will be ever grateful.  It took me away from the hustle and bustle of home and community activities and I worked.  I think I’m still smiling.    A little bit more about the residency can be found here on my website.

AIRspace - Oatlands

At the same time, I was accepted in an online residency with the ENSO Circle.   I was able to dovetail the two.  The Enso Circle led me through a journey has helped me understand what my art practice is, how to refine and refocus goals and that it is alright to work with more than one medium.   And I found my online tribe in a wonderful group of artists.  More moments of gratitude.   

When I applied for the residency at Oatlands I had a personal brief to develop mixed media substrates which I could stitch into.   I mostly focused on fabrics which I built up with paint (mono prints, painting, printing and stenciling), applied paper and fabric and stitch.  But there is so much more I want to do. 😊  The Enso Circle gave me a structure which kept me focused on this goal.

My feet had hardly touched the ground when I got home in November the Albury Wodonga Doll Bear and Hobby Show Inc had its first major event since 2019.   The last two years events were cancelled, like all other events across the world, by the impact of Covid.  Though our event was small it raised quite a bit of money which is earmarked for community operated charities in our region.   I am so proud of the amazing people that have kept this organisation alive and continue to champion involvement in arts and crafts.  Since November monies have been donated to a food charity, a women’s refuge and an animal rescue and re-homing organisation.    They are all not for profits which are also kept functioning through the efforts of volunteers,  fundraising and donations.   Food care has 140 volunteers help pack and distribute food.

Then to finish off the year I attended a symposium at the Wagga Wagga campus of Charles Sturt University run by the Creative Practice Circle.   The work that I did at Oatlands was on display and I did a presentation.   But the best of it was sitting listening to like minded people present and talk about their work ranging across purely artistic to academic endevours.  All presentations were different but the synchronicity of themes and thought was striking.  The week was finished by partaking in a short altered book workshop run by Barbel Ullrich.  A fabulous way to wind down. 

Some of the participants work at the Altered Book Workshop

The icing on the cake was to spend Christmas with some of my  extended family in Melbourne.  It has been six years since we spent a Chritsmas together.  They went out all stops to welcome us.   Here's my gingerbread place mark for the table.  

Wishing you all a fabulous 2023.  

Much metta 


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Story Telling through Collage

I had a fabulous day last Sunday.  I was invited to run a collage workshop at the Write Around the Murray Festival.   At the end of the day, I posted of FaceBook:

A fabulous day. A fabulous workshop. Fabulous people. Says it all.     Had a ball faciltating a collage workshop as part of the Write Around  the Murray festival.       

My fabulous workshop participants made it work. I thank them all for their enthusiasm, laughter and sharing with me and fellow participants.                                                                                                                                                                                                   I have been given permission to share their work and here are a couple of photos.  Every one was so engaged to the last minute I forgot to get a group shot and photos of all the works made.   (Please seek permission before resharing these images).


Here is what we had up on the white board - a tad neater and clearer than it was on the day


Collage – torn and or/ cut paper and glue                         Paper – heavy enough to hold collage

Photo montage – magazine images& photos                    Cardboard                                           

Assemblage – above/orand found objects                         Timber                                                

Mixed media collage –  “the kitchen sink”                        What else ?  Natural substrates         

Booklets, postcards, concertina, scroll, min, maxi            Archival – acid fee                            

                                                                                            Found papers not archival               


How will you tell your story:                                             GLUES:                                              

-          Realist                                                          -  Glue Stick                                      

-          Surreal                                                          -  PVA (White Glue)                         

-          Cubist                                                           -  Aleene’s Tacky Glue (if heavy)    

-          Abstract                                                         -  Paper Cement - bookmakers glue

-          Fantasy                                                           -  Gel medium - glue and glaze     

-          Geometric                                                                                                             

-          What other style or format can you think of ?                                                      

What is your story?                 How do you want to tell it?             Be inspired by the image


Much metta  


Monday, September 19, 2022

Artist residencey - Refection - Goal setting


Small mixed media booklet. It is a work in progress that sits on my table. 
When the right scrap comes along I add to it.
  The sheet music opens out to reveal the words - BE THE REASON.

It is clear from my blog that I am all over the shop when it comes to what I like to create.  Focus and narrowing down is difficult.   I’m wondering whether I need to?   Do I have to give it all up?

On reflection, these days I am project driven and tend to work primarily in one/technique/style in that project.   When I throw in too many different mediums my project falters.   Having said that, I think that this relates more to solo shows than group shows.

In the Re-create Collective's exhibition From where I sit: Stories from within I worked across a couple of mediums.  Focal points in my installations Fine Dining and I don’t hold a hose were largely embroidered but had other elements.  For Fine Dining I learnt to reupholster chairs, located vintage items such as a tea service, table cloths and napkins in op shops (and my stash) and embroidered a wall hanging.   It was the wall hanging that had the message but the table and chair which provoked many memories and comments.   On the other hand, I don’t hold a hose comprised a deck chair and items that reflected the statement upon which the title of the work was based; a direct quote from our PM of the time.   The deck chair is heavily embroidered depicting fires in Australia in 2019/20120 and was the statement piece.  The other bits of the installation including a lei, a fancy cocktail and an embroidery were context.

My other works in the exhibition include a series interpreting a poem and a series inspired by lockdowns and limited travel.  In the former I created seven textile panels (30 cm X 30 cm) interpreting a poem Blue and Green by Australian poet Lesbia Harford.  I had been exploring thoughts of how to translate text to textile and looking at work of  colour field artist Helen Frankenthaler.   Arm chair travel is a number of whimsical collages (14 cm X 14 cm) made for the joy of it andgrouped together in salon style.

Even though each of these sets of works are in different mediums they were not discordant in the exhibition.  I’m thinking this is so as the quality of all the works in the exhibition was high, the ideas explored different and presented with information available for those who wished to read it. The Collective’s members works were all different but all held together well. And importantly, the layout and curation of the exhibition was fabulous thanks to the team at the Albury LibraryMuseum.  

This bit of navel gazing arises out of an online residency I’m undertaking with the Enso Circle.  It is structured to cover questions and issues which relate to our individual art practises.  Week one was goal setting for the 12 weeks of the residency.   And I need to decide what my focus will be (groan  - I have to make a choice!!!) 

I thought about what I wanted to explore/learn, and what outcome I want out of these 12 weeks.   And I want to make sure my continued learning supports and dovetails into my current long-term plans - though they may change again after this residency.   This is what I came up with as part of the what when I was considering the 5 W's (who, what, when, where and how)  :

·       Distal what I want to keep, let go of others and learn new techniques.

·       Have a serious approach to studio practice - turn up every day

·       Look at other artists

·       Build up a resource folio

·       Aim for a small series of mixed media textile works in postcard, book, scroll and/or hanging format

No doubt something will change along the way 😊

May you stay creative,  well and  safe

Much metta 


Saturday, August 27, 2022

Collage work on display - Public Art

I am thrilled to have had some work accepted as part of the public art program run by City of Wodonga.

Three collages from my series lost in time and space have been blown up and placed in light boxes an entrance to The Cube theatre.   Absolutely chuffed :-)

Here is a link here to the online article  and pics of my wok

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

New Project - Overwintering

Sharptailed Sandpiper - off season colouring blends in so well in the wetlands


​Brown birds in a brown landscape, migratory shorebirds are our most endangered group of birds. Every year they migrate from the shores of Australia and New Zealand to their breeding grounds above the arctic circle in Siberia and Alaska. The remarkable annual circuit that they fly is called the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and it passes through 23 countries.

 The Overwintering Project: Mapping Sanctuary seeks to raise awareness for our migratory shorebirds and their habitat by inviting artists to help make them visible.

​Anyone can join the Overwintering Project.

I am thrilled that Creators Art Space has taken this on as a project . Whilst it was started as a print project Creators has opened up the project to members whose art practice is in other mediums.   I am planning a soft sculpture of a sharptailed sandpiper.    These amazing little birds travel from Russia  to wetlands in  south east Asia and Australasia after breeding - at least 5,000 kilometres over roughly seven days!

I made an appointment to visit the Melbourne Museum and was fortunate to be able to see some mounted specimens up close and spend a little time drawing.  It was great to be able to see dimensions and form which are next to impossible to get by books and watching in the wild.

I was surprised to see that a couple of specimens had been caught at Lake Tutchewop, Victoria.  It was a not far from where I grew up and my sister and I would bike and horse ride there as kids and teens.  Brought back memories.

If you are into information like me I found this government site which has some pretty neat information about sharptailed sandpipers in Australia.

Ok - now I better get to work.

Take care all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

From Where I Sit: Stories from Within

Armchair Travel series: Plover

I got most of my work to the Albury LibraryMuseum Tuesday morning.  Of course it had to be raining!  But there was a window of time to get my works out of the car and inside.  Phew!  But I didn't cross stich my earworm QR code!   Not enough time.   (see previous post for more about that)

I completed a series of 15 works based on armchair travel for this exhibition.   It is a series of travel adventures conducted entirely at home.  These small works reflect Ireading and travel through written and visual media when I couldn;t travel.  Instead, I read travelled through words, TV and film documentaries and travelogues

Its all exciting to actually see the works being sorted and going up.   Other than my two solo shows which I self installed I haven't seen a big exhibition go up.  Emma Williams, the curator, is being challenged by the large number of  3D items that need to fit into a largely 2D space.  But she is a whizz and its coming together.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

From where I sit- Stories from within - Exhibition & Earworms

Four friends and I have formed a small group called RE-create Collective.   We are exhibiting at the Albury Library Museum and the launch is scheduled for 11.00 am on Saturday 25 June, 2022.

It's been such a long haul.    I was working on my last piece - that's it above. It's not completed and hasn't made the cut.    I was discharge dying on black fabric with bleach and though it sort of worked it requires more hand stitching than I'm prepared to do at this point.   

London's burning melded with a small series I was working on based on the Black Summer fires.  I found I was singing the nursery rhyme a lot and it  has become a persistan earwork ever since.  It occured to me the earworm itself, rather than the work which was its casue, could form part of the exhibition.

I'm feeling pretty chuffed (probably easy for others but) I managed to find my round the internet and phone and laptop and record that earworm, upload it and fix it to a QR code.   Now I'm wondering if I have time to cross stitch it! 

Not quite a self portrait

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

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