During the month of May I displayed my small scale weaving work in an exhibition titled Weaving Abstractions: Explorations in Colour at Sawtooth ARI in Launceston. I also added a few works during the duration of the exhibition and spent some time making in the gallery. The above image (dodgy filtered Instagram images- hence the weird colours) is of the exhibition at the start (top) and end (bottom) of the month. I still have more ideas for this method and have begun a larger one with wool- it’s refreshing using a diverse range of textured materials as well as using colour (in progress photo below).
Over the past few months I’ve been busy working on pieces for my exhibition, which opens at Sawtooth ARI in May. The work for this is expanding on the small scale weaving I started last year. Each is an exploration in representing a feeling, memory, person or place through colour. I have touched on changing the shapes and shading and using backstitch, but I really love the simplicity of the solid circles. Sometimes the placement of the circles is representational, other times it is not. I find it funny that I’ve slipped into abstraction, which was never my thing at university. It’s nice to be walking new ground and being expressive.
I have finished my Pardalote cushion, finally. I decided to bite the bullet and sew up a cover exactly the same shape as the inner cushion I made a few months ago, with a zipper in the seam. It’s fine. (K.I.S.S.) and SO hug-able. It’s the perfect shape for a birdy cushion hug.
I have a lot of projects on the go at the moment, and I’m finding it wonderful because I can spend small amounts of time on each without becoming restless. I’ve been using an app called Sooner or Later to keep track of my projects and other day to day activities, which has been helpful in prioritising everything. I’m usually very good at doing the things I want to do instead of doing the things I need to do. Not a great skill. But I’ve been much more organised lately. Although, I am a perfectionist, so even when I’m feeling like I’m being completely unruly and disorganised, things are usually pretty under control. Just not in my head…
Other projects I’ve been working on include a knitted next scarf like this which I have been coveting on my Pinterest for ages, a bird collage/painting (which is a gift for someone and can be seen on my Instagram feed) and a few other little embroidery pieces like my small scale weaving. I also know I have a pair of socks to finish off and there won’t be a lot more cool weather to wear them in, so I’ll complete those next.
On Monday and Tuesday I worked on this piece of embroidery, well, embroidery-scale weaving. I began by drawing an outline (I simply traced around a few different sized circular objects such as lids), then stitched in the warp and weft. Each thread is only anchored at each of its ends. The most enjoyable parts were selecting the colours and the challenge of making it neat and evenly spaced, which was quite difficult. It reminded me of the frustration I experienced as a youngster satin stitching teddy bear noses. Not my favourite part. But the advantage of this piece was being able to use an embroidery hoop, and my improved patience certainly helped!
I used this method of weaving onto fabric in a large piece for my Contemporary Arts degree. It was a drawing of a house (Weasley house from Harry Potter style) coloured using transfer dyes, stitching and weaving. It was very fun (and somewhat ambitious) and would have to be one of my favourite pieces of work to date. It was a great opportunity to experiment and have fun with some of the things we had learned during the semester in textiles.
I have considered cutting the fabric out from behind the circles but I’m too scared I’ll ruin it. This might be an idea for a larger scale weaving using yarn instead of embroidery thread. I can imagine being able to see light shine through the weaving. The plan for this one is to make a small frame to stretch the piece over, so it can be hung on the wall. The pattern created by the overlapping colours remind me of plaid shirts, which I love. Overall I’m very pleased with how this little trial went and I look forward to exploring the technique more.
I bought a new book this week called ‘Craft for the Soul’ by Pip Lincolne, author of Meet Me at Mikes. It’s about how to live a balanced, creative life. I felt like I needed a bit of advice and momentum and it has been good at providing that so far. Pip writes a lot about getting up early and having a morning routine (such as going for a walk around the neighbourhood)- I’m a long way from being that enthusiastic and I’m definitely not a morning person, but I find it inspiring and I’ll aim to get up earlier and be more productive with the extra time.
A very insightful person I know said this to me recently about getting up early: “I used to get up early to do a job that I hated, why not get up early to do something I love?” If that isn’t something to live by, I don’t know what is.
I’m gallery sitting at the moment in the little student-run gallery at the university. It’s the same gallery in which I had my first solo show a couple of years ago. This exhibition is rather different to the first. It showcases a range of work from several of my classmates doing furniture design, including myself. I had the pleasure of curating the exhibition and organising the opening, which was busy and fun. Being responsible for organising yourself is one thing, but when other people are involved things become a lot more complicated- and a lot more rewarding when the exhibition comes together and looks lovely.
I logged on to the computer here this morning and on the desktop was a photo- the photo of the chair carcass above. I had forgotten all about it. At this point in my life when things are hardly set in stone and there is much more free time in my diary than there ever has been, it represents possibility. The chair was eventually covered (and became the Charles Street chair), but I know that if I could replay time it would end up looking completely different. It makes me aware of how vastly life can change and how things- whether they be art or opinions- can be right one day, then the next they are not wrong exactly, just different: the benchmark for happiness and what is ‘right’ varies day to day.