Another Discovery

October 27th, 2018

 Mirage 1, 2005.    75 x 100cm                     Oscuro, 2002.   122cm  x 100cm.

 

These two small wall quilts date from early 2002.   Looking through archived images this morning I found the one on the right, and though I remembered it, and occasionally come across it in the deepest recesses of my storage area.  For a while I couldn’t remember what on earth I called it, but eventually I did, and I now believe the illustrated catalogue to be complete.  The key word is ‘believe’, leaving some wiggle room for another discovery.

Mirage 1 was really just a sample to see how fine I could go with a wavy line approach, and gently waving lines like these have characterised my technique ever since.  It’s no great art work, but a little piece I love and usually take to any technical workshop that includes freehand piecing.  I had just been inspired by the new appearance of very finely pieced works by well known Australian artist and friend, Margery Goodall, which has since become a signature element in her textile art.  The title reflects the shimmering quality of a mirage.

Oscuro also has little artistic merit, but is another piece I needed to make.  The arcs of colour which began appearing in my work several years before seemed appropriate for those unforgettable images of rolling, falling, clouds of smoke, ash, all manner of debris, that filled our minds following New York’s Twin Towers attack in 2001.  The barely visible machine quilted pattern is of same-colour grey arcs over the entire quilt.  Oscuro is spanish for dark.

A Long-Remembered Artwork

October 2nd, 2018

Over 10 years ago I took a workshop on the history and construction of the bojagi, traditional Korean wrapping cloths, with the popular teacher Chungie Lee.  Being ‘blocks’ oriented, I really took an interest in the traditional assembly techniques used for bojagi; and indeed a great deal of the workshop time was spent on them.  In recent times these textiles have enjoyed a lot of attention, as artists either duplicate them and use them as they were meant to be used, as wall art or some great backlit installations

In a fairly recent post, I mused over the difficulties of hanging sheer works, Still holding some reservations there.  Referring to one of the works I made following that workshop, I realised the whole thing was technically far more complicated than it needed to be.  I don’t know that I’ll make any more 100% sheer quilts, but I like the use of sheer overlays and the effects that are possible.

Today I’ve worked with sheer black over solid black, trapping bright coloured ribbons I bought several years ago in an exotic place and couldn’t work out what the heck to do with them when I got home – a common experience to foreign travelling fibre and textile enthusiasts.   Those ribbons have been on my mind for a while, and a dramatic art quilt I saw about 30 years ago in Denver gallery, (no photo or catalogue) has never left my mind, becoming in one way the inspirational touchpoint for this small experimental work.

 

 

Natural and Man Made Tracks

September 28th, 2018

I remember taking this wonderful pic of many Man-made tracks criss-crossing the foreground in the Egyptian Black Desert  SSW of Cairo over 10 years ago.  Other timetracks, the worn down mountains surrounded by the fine sand deserts have been shaped principally by wind erosion.

The human bootprint I cropped out of this lovely pic would have told you these are very tiny little ‘cliffs’ in fine sand, photographed on our local beach just a few metres above the edge of the outgoing tide.  So, this time the erosional force is water, also indicated by the fine pattern of wiggly lines which are tracks of tiny little bivalves that burrow into the wet sand as the tide retreats.  I always feel I’d like to do something with the lines on this surface – well, make that something more – although this next image is a quilt,  New Directions, made many years before I saw the  pattern on the beach.

In “New Directions” (each square 12cm) the lines and arrows represent people coming to our ancient continent from all directions over its entire  human history.  The black/tan signifies the original immigrants, the Aboriginal people, who crossed the land bridges from Asia, at least 60,000 years ago.

 

Ancient History in Sheer Layers

September 26th, 2018

This Egypt themed work has never been ‘lost’ because I bump into it every now and then.  I don’t  remember giving it any name, it isn’t listed in my catalogue but I will rectify that, I’ve never shown it, nor did it lead on to a new body of work that I thought at the time it would; though I knew I didn’t want to make a set of ‘Egypt’ quilts.  I think it is an expression of awe I felt the whole time we were visiting a place that had fascinated me since I was a young child, and having put that into fabric, I left it.

 

We visited the country about ten years ago, before the Arab Spring upheavals, and of course layers and layers of human activity and history confront at every turn, carved and painted onto thousands of mural walls, monument bases, stelae and temple columns, and used to decorate all manner of objects both useful and not so useful for sale to the throngs of tourists who have not yet gone back to the pre-revolutionary numbers.  I’m certain this layers of history thing prompted my choice to use nylon organza to give a blurry sense of the passage of distant times – check the left side of the photo below.  Some pyramids, the sphinx and Tutankhamun’s iconic headdress are lurex fabrics cut to shape with marker pen details added.

Recently someone asked what fellow artists recommended for stabilising some kind of organiza for free machine quilting.  My sheer Egypt piece came to mind, and I recommended that maintain the sheer quality and avoid slippage between the layers, that she might hand baste and then freely quilt/embroider without either foot or hoop.  It’s a decade since I made this work, and so I think that’s how I handled it!  but it’s hard to tell from the photo or the actual (crumpled) work pulled from the cupboard.  As I often do, I found it a bit wondrous to see something I’ve not paid any real attention to for ages.  There’s a lot about this work I really like.

My regular readers know I’ve recently been thinking about influences from landscape in my work, the tracks left by Man, and natural patterns of all kinds in landscape.  Here’s a great pic, taken in the Black Desert SSW of Cairo, showing a network of tracks in the ancient desert landscape.

Ebb&Flow 26

September 24th, 2018

Round 2 of the 2018 SAQA Online Auction of 12″sq. quiltlets starts today at 2pm Eastern Daylight Time USA, 3am EST Australian time, 3pm Uruguay time.  The works are all donated by Studio Art Quilt members each year to support the organisation’s touring exhibition programme.  Full information on the auction and the online bidding form is all here

My donation, Ebb&Flow 26, is well down the page.  The background fabric is silver speckled black, and it’s machine quilted with silver metallic thread.

 

A couple of friends collect them and have attractively grouped several pieces together on walls in their homes – why not start your collection today?

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