Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Work and Teaching of Cherilyn Martin

When I have been in the Netherlands I have often come across the work of Cherilyn Martin but had never met her so I was delighted to finally meet the person whose work I had been admiring for many years.Above and below are images of some of Cherilyn's recent work and you will find more images on her website which I have linked.

 For Aussies- Cherilyn is one of Northern Europe's foremost teachers in teaching to develop your own work as well as  the use of other fibrous materials and  dimension in work and she will be in Australia doing workshops for Fibrearts Australia from 18-24 Septemeber in Townsville and 25 september-1 October in the  Hawkesbury.

NEW DIMENSIONS IN SURFACES & STITCH …a journey of discovery………

In this experimental class we will work simultaneously with paper, fabric and stitch. In a series of hands on experiments we will transform the character of papers and fabrics, building intriguing surfaces with a variety of mediums and surface design techniques……

The time spent together will not only be a journey into the third dimension, but a journey of self discovery.

A series of small works will be produced in this class ranging from 2D fabric/paper stitched constructions to off the wall structures.

In her classes Cherilyn encourages students to push the boundaries of ideas, materials and technique and to develop their own visual language.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guess Where I Am?

 Yes I am in France and back in Le Triadou where we are having an exhibition this weekend at le Clastre- the little chapel here that is actually a gallery space- I am looking forward to seeing all our work in this wonderful little exhibition space! We are  l'Atelier Printemps Sacre and here is your invitation!We hope to see  lots of people there and the weather is likely to be better than last year!

L'Association des Créateurs d'Ici et d'Ailleurs (ACIA) vous invite

au vernissage de l'exposition de l'Atelier Printemps Sacré

qui se tiendra à La Clastre au Triadou (34)

le samedi 21 mai à 11h.

Le samedi 21 mai à partir de 14h,

l'artiste Australienne, Dijanne Cevaal, fera une démonstration

de teintures et impressions sur textiles à La Clastre.

Si vous voulez participer au stage, veuillez apporter des tissus 100% coton ou soie

et une participation de 5 euros pour les frais de teinture.

Le samedi 21 à partir de 14h,

Anne Deckers vous invitera à La Clastre à une démonstration de poterie

aux colombins et apprentissage gratuit pour les enfants

Le dimanche 22 à partir de 10h, ateliers de cuisine asiatique

au 151 Allée du Machessolles (300m de La Clastre):

10-11h Rouleaux de printemps

11-11h30 Nems (versions philippine, thaïlandaise, vietnamienne)

11h30-12h30 Sushi

Si vous voulez participer à ces ateliers, veuillez prévoir une participation

de 10 euros pour les ingrédients.

Le dimanche 22, à l'issue des ateliers une restauration sera assurée au prix de 7€

au 151 Allée du Machessolles (300m de La Clastre).

Sur réservation au 06 17 93 54 39.

Pouvez-vous transmettre cette invitation à vos amis,

ainsi que sa pièce jointe.


l'Atelier Printemps Sacré 
My goodness a lot has happened since my last post! I have exhibited in Veldhoven, then in Parma- which was very exciting- good exhibition space, very keen students and lots of positive feedback! I hope to be back in Italy next year with new work. Met lots of people and had a lovely time with Sandra Reford who helped with translating and is a wonderful artist in her own right.
Places still available in Workshops in France
After this weekend I will be teaching in several places- and there are still places available:
24 May 2011-Best of Quilting- Gypsy Blanket- stitched and embroidered collage
26 May -dyeing- class is full
27 May 2011- Au fil d'Emma-Transfer Printing and Stitching ( lutradur)
28 May 2011- Au fil d'Emma- Tranfer Printing and Stitching ( lutradur)
31 May 2011- Best of Quilting- Free motion quilting ( 72 Ways- pique libre)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Six Sentinels are Finished

I am at the European Quilt Chamionships in veldhoven and managed to finish all six of my sentinels. I will be making more of them for sure! People are surprised at how large they are- but I always meant them to be large ( and the yellow one seems to be longer even though the stencil was the same size...) They are as long as I am tall or slightly longer.

Sentinels- statement

I have made six sentinels for my exhibition in the Netherlands and in Parma Italy- exploring aspects of the earth; a fusion of landscape inspired by Fred Williams and Judy Watson, a look at the french landscape so different and yet so similar to Australian landscape ( I am thinking Fred Williams would have loved Pic St loup) a tip of the hat to my heritage and a pervading spirituality and mystique of the land and my personal language of lace and the tenuous connecting threads of the lace.

I am using a hominid form to suggest Sentinel and I usedthe word sentinel rather than guardian as the word guardian implies looking after but also taking care of. Sentinels are merely guards, there is nothing proactive about their watch- they only watch and can alert others ,to what they are watching. It is for the viewer or others to act on what they see or don’t see. Each sentinel will deal with aspects of the environment, and whilst we know certain things must not be done, we are responsible ourselves to make sure they are not done- it is not some benevolent guardian that does it for us- it has to be us. This is why I have made the sentinels life size; to suggest the human aspect and they are the same height as myself so that I too must play an active role in protecting the earth.

I am weaving together imagery of things and myths i love.

I have a fascination with lace- when you zoom in on lace it is like looking at a thread map- the negative space as interesting as the actual threads forming the positive space . In this series I am exploring the land, or nature if you will but I am of nature too and I bring my past and present to this land- the past is full of lace, i see it in the old photographs of family, their finely starched lace caps. The idea of caps somehow intertwined with the idea of Madonnas and determined that my figure would have a head dress of sorts. The body is traversed by paths and transparencies that reflect the structure of lace.

I would like to see my sentinels in all corners of the world, big and small. I like the idea that they will be in many places watching, being reminders to take a deep breath in, then breathe out; let the good things in and put the bad things out.

So I have chosen a simple form that suggest madonna but also other spirit keepers from different societies and also a reference to the lace caps worn by my great grandmothers and aunts in Zeeland- a halo to suggest the spiritual aspect- an opportunity to decorate with thoughts of byzantine Madonnas of gilt and gold ,of lace intertwinings. It also represents the mother- watching over her children. She encapsulates a lot of things I want to say about the place i find my self in- Australia, but also about my migrant past and indeed the past of my family.

The Blue Sentinel

One of reflection and empathy, cool and thoughtful- what is she watching? At the present the world is in a bad state- when was it last like this? It is the sentinel that was there in the beginning, in the waters and the sea- watching life as it emerged, watching as it evolved, watching as it is squandering the earth’s resources, watching as we must draw deep within ourselves to have human empathy for the disasters we have created, watching as we must find solutions to the disasters of our own making. She stands cool and shimmering, her body encrusted with corals and urchin shapes.

The Red Sentinel

She reminds me of Demeter- the earth mother but also the watcher of her daughter- she could not prevent Persephone’s seduction by the seed of the pomegranate and the other world, the underworld- it was Persephone’s own action that meant she had to spend time in the underworld.It is a reminder to be close to the earth- to take care of the earth- if tilled with care and love it delivers great fruit.But if the tilling fails then the earth is waste.

Green Forest Sentinel

The forests are places of great diversit y of many life forms and of many plants some of them with great medicinal properties. We must look to nature for solutions and yet at the same time we must guard against destruction of our forests- which dwindle all days.

Dark Fire Sentinel

The fire within, the fire of imagination. Fire marks both danger and rebirth. In Australia where the land is subject to high fire risk , and on hot summer days when the north wind blows, fire is something that is feared – we have seen too many bush fires and seen the path of destruction that fire causes. And yet fire can be magical as well- imagine a warm wood fire on a winters evening, with a glass of red wine and a steaming cup of soup with freshly baked bread, or the imagination gets all fired up with ideas, so many that it is difficult to begin

Ochre Earth Sentinel

Ochre Earth Sentinel- this sentinel is the watcher of all things Australian- of our dry landscape despite small patches of forest and an eastern seaboard with tropical rainforest, of dwindling water resources of drought and sunburnt land. The water is the heart of our land, slow rivers flow through the land giving sustenance, to sometimes dry up in summers’ shimmering heat. We have to take care with water , it is not a never ending resource, it must be used frugally, but we seem to waste more than ever. There are parts of the world where water is as precious as gold, the only thing that sustains life.

Aubergine Tracking Paths Sentinel

Many people inhabit our land but the first people, indigenous Australians have a deep affinty with the land- the walk and sing the land, it imbues their spirit, and they take care of the land- they are the custodians and they do take care. We ,the after comers should take a lesson in loving our land and learning it’s tracks and songs so that we too can walk the paths and as a people take care of our land.

Sentinel Threesome

They are the spirit of the land- of the rivers and the plains and the mountains together they watch and hope we will awaken and that we will protect what is the most valuable - love of land and the humans whom inhabit it- to lay down all our differences and work together.

The liveliness of the stitch is what draws me most to textiles- that and the ability ot be able to colour it and print it. But the stitch is an entirely different mark making tool. I don’t aim for perfect stitching or perfect length of stitches- I want my stitches to speak , to add texture and sparkle if necessary

All my work starts as white cotton, is hand dyed, printed and stitched. I like to use simple techniques.
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Monday, May 02, 2011

Travels in Syria

I know I have posted about Syria already but it is a heady experience- so many things to take in , so much to enjoy. So I just thought I would share a few of my favourite things. ( I will post about the buildings again in the future). The boy above is vending green almonds- they are kept moist during the day by ladling water over them, and then they are sold in a small bag with salt and you snack on them like you would any other nuts- They are considered a delicacy and the tatse is quite almondy milky salty ( sorry about the description...).

This absolutely gorgeous mirror was int he Iwan at the Azzam Palace- the iwan was used as a sort of outdoor sitting room in th ehot weather and is lined with couches and faces onto a fountain ( which was empty) and some lush citurs trees- the tinkling of the water form the fountain was supposed to instill coolness as well as the shade from the citrus trees. The trees were all in blossom when we were there and the smell was exquisite.And I didn't quite manage to squeeze myself out of the photo. I think I could stitch quite some travellers' blankets in such a spot!

Food is very good in Syria with lots of dips like hommus and mahamara and baba ganouj, and as it was spring lots of fresh young greens dressed with olive oil and lemon- and of course always a salad- you cut your own tomato and cucumber and nibble on a chilli!

Lanterns- these lanterns were in an antique store int eh souq in Aleppo- i just love all these lights- but getting them home to Australia would be quite a problem.

This man was making tradional filled bread in the souq in Aleppo. The dough is rolled ount and place on the dome shaped griddle- as it starts to cook he placed crumbled cheese and fresh herbs onto the bread before folding it in half and cooking it a little longer to melt the cheese.

Oh and the piece de resistance- a water jug with basin for washing- this nearly came home with me- the shape beautiful- it stood out in a junk/antique shop to beat all others. Just suitcases are not designed to carry such finery- but it would give me oh so many memoriesI can only hope that by next year this time of the year things have calmed down and Syrian people can get on with their lives again and we can visit again- we are definitely planning another trip.
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