adding on – one, two, three

25 Aug

WEEK  THIRTY-THREE – (august 17 – 23)

Things are getting messy around here.
Despite my best intentions I am spending the bulk of my time at the moment on the computer whilst I have stitching awaiting downstairs!
No-one is at fault, it’s simply due to adding on tasks to those I have already committed too – I haven’t exactly taken on anything new….

adding on…. one
Is a tale that is organisational/ voluntary/textile related.

I have told you recently about twentyONE+, the sure-to-be-brilliant juried textile exhibition being organised by WAFTA.
‘My’ wonderful gem of a committee, all five of us, are very open and pro-active about encouraging, then showcasing, the best textiles we possibly can get under the lovely little roof at Spectrum Project Space @ ECU mid next year.
We have no template to follow and welcome ideas that will help us to achieve our aims…
In the blink of eye (via a conversation with the Pres), we are now planning to set up a ‘Salon des Refuses‘, at a central location, to show the excellent work that we anticipate won’t physically be able to fit in our twentyONE+ exhibition.
Any extra work for us will simply mean a whole heap more opportunities for our entrants/members.
Once the vision was there how could we say no?

Our tiny team is also looking to make best use of contemporary technology.
A recent meeting with the lovely Emma, the WAFTA webguru, who listened to and encouraged our off-the-cuff ideas for bringing twentyONE+ to the world has born fruit…. or should I say an additional layer of goodness/complexity?
These days an online catalogue makes brilliant sense but having the availability to access as much info as possible about the works and artists whilst at the exhibition is even better. We want to add value to the viewing during, before,and after.
Of course this will then enable THE WORLD to view too….

So now we look like building our own little place on the web, as soon as possible, to offer our members’ and prospective entrants inspiration. We’ll also be able to let everyone know what’s happening as it happens.
We hope to make it truly informative and not limited to those that can physically attend meetings or the exhibition.
Phew!

adding on…. two
Then there is OZQUILT – a gem of an Australian membership group working hard to further the cause of ARTquilts.
I’ve been a member for yonks but simply have not been able to spare the time/headspace needed to become involved.
but……
I was very happy to say yes to talking about our very valuable Salvage/Selvedge exhibition at the OZQUILT conference coming up in October. This project needs to be  talked about with the hope of inspiring others to do their bit, creatively through textiles – as well as celebrating the growth and dedication of ‘my’ gals.

Once I was going to be over there talking, the enticing offer of a leading quilt-based creative design class was too tempting.
This is certainly where my interest lies – in passing on my knowledge and increasing the confidence, awareness and creativity of those who are ready for this next step.
Thoughts of saying no were feeble and extinguished instantly.

So, with the class outline defined, and requirements detailed, the thoughts running through my noggin were such…
I figured if I am making samples and writing up notes – both very time and brain consuming…. why don’t I offer it to my loyal and local students…’my’ gals?
I reckon a few would love it, benefit from the experience, and they would blossom!?
(At the very least they will eat cake in wonderful company:)

All of which means extra work and time upstairs (tap,tap, tapping) instead of down (stitch, stitch, stitching).

adding on…. three
Is a tale that is stitch related.

Very recently, the end of WEEK THIRTY-TWO to be precise, in a beautiful fit of lucidity, I arranged the bones of five new featherings on the studio tables;
Three of these make incremental steps in design from ‘feathering the nest #2’
(which, unfortunately, I cannot show you in full due to rules of exhibition submissions).

feathering #3 in progress

Each of these proposed works start with a base of unfinished needlework/tablecloths. Each will have a ‘nest’ of Formica feathers.

feathering #3 old threads

I am also stitching with old threads.

The first of these is close to completion – the other two have design direction and materials standing by…..waiting, waiting….
Technically they are quilts but I feel that they will be best offered up as stretched or framed works. Time will tell.

The other ‘pair’ use my father’s Laminex samples….I took that leap.
They are more rigid/masculine/grid like than the three overtly female featherings just mentioned.
They will take a lot more time to complete and are very likely to need framing.

When I have time to make artwork one piece generally begets another – sometimes in a like style, with a small step forwards, sometimes making a big leap.
My brain makes connections easily once I am in the flow, as I am now – though the flow certainly took quite a few months.

I won’t even talk about another idea hatched for another sideline of this domestic feathering.
I have had the basis of this idea before but I couldn’t make it gell. It certainly glued itself together this week though…
I’ll simply try not to get frustrated and simply cross the ‘tasks’ off the list as quickly and efficiently as I can so I can keep feathering as fast as possible.

Feeling tired reading all this?
That’s me mentally and this morn physically after a weekend of painting, filling nail holes and gentle weeding at our little house. I certainly needed a twisty, stretchy weekend though after a week spent mostly squaring my eyes and flattening my sitting muscles.

Jan Mullen

B. Ed. Act/Craft (Textiles/ Sculpture)
Living in Perth, Western Australia
Artist, Fabric Designer, Author, Teacher.