Posts Tagged ‘strip patterns’

Another Discovery

Saturday, 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.

Natural and Man Made Tracks

Friday, 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.

 

Ebb&Flow 26

Monday, 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?

Tracks And Marks

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

 

 

Almost no one currently alive will ever find themselves in a landscape of any kind where they could be 100% sure no human has ever been, although on a deserted beach or a windswept landscape stretching into the distance, if you ignore the sometimes subtle tracks ahead, squint your eyes and forget your recent flight, bus, train hike, bike or boat trip that got you there, it may just be possible to imagine you are the first human to ever set foot on that landscape …

Though it took me years to actually name a group of works ‘Tracks’, I know that landscape shapes, colours and textures are all track marks left by Mother Nature on those surfaces.  Modern Man, too, has left many complicated marks – fences, pipelines, railways, roads, power lines, canals, airports and ports, marshalling yards, to say nothing of small towns and vast cities with horizontal mazes of streets, bridges and roads, and multilevel vertical mazes of human habitation –  really, the tracks of human activity are everywhere.  Though I have focused more on the patterning on artifacts and drawn images on rocks, cliffs, cave walls and open plains, the ‘tracks’ made by Man on landscapes are not limited to the ancient ones that I’ve always found so awe inspiring, intriguing as those are.

In the design of my quilt, New Directions, 2000, the multitude of lines from every direction represent the paths and tracks of human migration onto our continent in the last 60,000 years.  I have just read Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu  which details the agricultural practices of Australia’s indigenous Aboriginal people.  Until now, having grown up in Tasmania, and lived overseas for many years, I’d never heard of extensive fish traps on the great inland river systems, and the extensive areas planted with grains on the open plains, many of which were seen by the colonists but dismissed by settlers and farmers with European farming practice backgrounds.  Ignorant of the sustainable land management practices the indigenous people had practised for thousands of years, they dismissively assumed they were not civilised enough to have devised such systems.  This fascinating book has me thinking more about tracks and pathways.

Element of Intermittency

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

Though there does not seem to be such a word, there should be, and it would be built from intermittent the same way that the word intimate gives rise to intimacy.  (I’ve just become hooked by Scrabble online, I’m a bit word conscious anyway but constantly amazed by what is and is not allowed as a word.)   In a few years’ time maybe you’ll look back and say you read it first right here on Alison’s blog; but regardless, I’m hereby declaring intermittency to be an element of discontinuity between lines and shapes in my Ebb&Flow works, the statement for which is “Series Concept – Nothing stays the same for ever.  With age, we recognise and understand the ebb and flow of people, places and fortune throughout our lives.”

I’ve been exploring this theme for over a decade. Mostly I deliberately construct the intermittencies; sometimes they’re accidental or seem so.  Beautiful shapes stop suddenly, perhaps connected by lines of stitching to where they resume elsewhere in the work, but they can also remain totally unconnected to anything.  Doesn’t Life itself have patches of that same thing, of intermittency, of abrupt discontinuity as various features of Life come and go, ebb and flow?  No, not your own life?  Well mine has certainly been characterised by serial intermittencies in the geographical and cultural senses.  We’ve had many moves, and the 12 years in this house is the longest time I’ve lived anywhere in my entire life.

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