Planning A New Small Work

After a couple of great weeks doing 3D textile sculptures with Clarissa Callesen, and the next workshop by Vinny Stapley isn’t something I want to launch into just now. Though her textile art is lovely, I have downloaded the workbook, watched the video and put it aside for another time.

Right now I’m more interested in the 40cm x 60cm art quilt I will make to submit for SAQA Oceania regional exhibition for next year, themed Oceania: Distance And Diversity” That’s broad enough that I can produce a piece that both fits into that concept but which also belongs within my body of work. I’ve been thinking about how to convey in fabric and stitch something distinctive about our Australian continent nation. I have approached this many times, and it’s something I never tire of.

Top L-R: On the Edge Of The Golden Mile 1986, Distant Shores 1986, Outback Landscape 1987. Lower L-R: Pilbara 1996, Ticket To Munmalary 1997, Small Landscapes ~1998-9

Landscapes have either appeared literally in my works or underlain abstract expressions of it. Shapes and textures resulting from the geomorphological cycle or erosion/deposition translate to how I see landscape as a metaphor for life itself. I’ve been browsing pics of my own more recent works, plus things I’ve pinned to my own Pinterest boards, especially those titled lines and shapes, and contemporary hand stitch.

Detail views: Top L-R: Timetracks 16, 2009: Pandemic Pattern, 2020; Desert Tracks 5, 2007; Lower L-R Regeneration 2, 2020; Untitled 2020; Decay 2, 2008.

The words ‘…girt by sea…’, a phrase from our national anthem, are on my mind, so I’m feeling Australia’s natural landscape elements need to be surrounded by, edged or backgrounded by, blue representing the sea. I have some lovely hand woven blue cotton I’m considering using as background to the ‘landscape bits’. I’ve done ‘auditioning ‘samples from two angles –


Hand and/or machine sewn lines suggesting waves: L-R: Pearlescent, hand better than machine. Blue metallic – too dark. Large silver cone great by hand or machine. Smaller silver one – brighter, great by hand or machine. Glittery hologram thread – really fiddly, impossible by hand, needs too much tension adjustment which is not worth it considering I don’t have a full reel, anyway.


Glittery party fabric bonded to the blue cotton … interesting potential.

On our continent, there’s a huge variety of landscape colours and textures to consider using in my work on this theme. I’m thinking of either a series of little landscape collages, or strip assemblies – and at this time, it could go either way.

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