Friday, December 30, 2016

The Year That Was

The year 2016 saw me away  for more than half of the year. Firstly house sitting for a friend near le Triadou in the shadow of Pic St Loup which saw many walks with my doggie friend Nesta and then various exhibitions and demonstrating for Bernina France and learning new skills. I also visited new places ,such as Trieste, with which I fell in love, and got to know Milano better. One of my daughters came to Europe for a few weeks.I also travelled to some Australian cities with the Medieval Project and also New Zealand and then back to Europe for Ste Marie aux Mines and Vendee Quilt. Looking back on the year it seems like a bit of a blur- most of it was lived out of a suitcase and quite a lot of time was spent on trains, buses and planes, and devising a new project entitled the Aussie Bush Project which will start touring in June 2017 ( there is still time to join and I will be printing new panels over the next few days, just visit my blog page for the information)

So a quick overview:
I walked kilometres and kilometres in the shadow of Pic St Loup with my faithful companion Nesta. I loved the clear blue Languedocian skies and the crisp air of the early spring.

I exhibited at Chartres at the Collegiale Ste Andre in Chartres it was cold cold cold, but wonderful to be a part of and am very happy to be invited again for 2017. From Chartres it was on to Quilts en Beaujolais- always a delightful event with high quality work- it's always a great place to meet other artists- I have made some good friends through this event over the years and happy to see it will continue in 2018!

I then went on to meet my daughter Siena in Milano where we stayed for a few days and was thrilled to be able to attend a William Kentridge exhibition. I had recently read his Six Drawing Lessons so much of what he wrote about in that book suddenly made sense on seeing the exhibition.

Then it was onto Florence and Siena the city after which my daughter was named. There is so much to see and encounter!

I love this image on the floor of the Duomo in Siena- it's so wonderfully expressive despite the fact that it is two dimensional and executed like a drawing in marble. It seems very alive to me. Then it was onto Oderzo where I teach for the  Feltrin sisters and ultimately to Trieste at the invitation of the patchwork group there. I had never been to Trieste before but what a lovely lovely place- the fact that the weather was perfect of course added to the whole experience. I was delighted to walk the Rilke path after we had set up for the patchwork day in Duino.
 I had travelled to Padua on the way to Trieste to finally see  Scrovegni Chapel painted by Giotto. They only allow in 15 people at a time so tickets have to be booked and you are allowed 10 minutes to see this masterpiece.I can't begin to tell you how beautiful it is and how it will be part of any future pilgrimages!
 From Padua it was a short hop to Verona to meet up with a friend, Sandra Reford who callse Verona home part of the was  wonderful to find little corners and nooks of the city and find out some of its history.

And just before returning to Australia in early July  i exhibited as part of a textile festival in a little church in Mane in the high Luberon.

Then it was back to Australia and winter. I stayed in the bungalow of friends because I do not have power or running water in my shed nor do I have a bathroom ( hopefully a solar panel will be installed soon and the other matters are on the wish list)

Then it was back to Europe in early September to demonstrate fore Bernina France at Ste Marie aux Mines and  having a play on the Q24 and Q20. A learning curve for sure!

We did climb up to Chateau Hortus near Le Triadou- I had long wanted to photograph some of my work at this Cathar ruined castle- the climb is rocky but so worth it. However as we went in the middle of the day the light was not brilliant for photography.

The second half of the year was busy but somehow less inspirational than the first half. I was also working out ways in which to be able to live in my shed- to have a place I could sort of call home because to be perfectly honest it has been  a little exhausting not having my own place as such. Despite the fact that  travel is part of my life- I also seem to need a place that is "home"- it doesn't matter that it is basic, but that it is somehow a place where i can refuel and refine and work on new work.

I did manage to however make quite a lot of new work in 2016 , mostly inspired by Banksia explorations.

So 2017 promises to almost be as busy as 2016 but I feel a little bit more settled in that my shed is now "home". There is lots of things I need to do including putting up the guttering which fell down so that I can install a rainwater tank.Sometimes these tasks seem really daunting when you are on your own. I also need to buy a car. A solar panel will be installed in the not too distant future to at least be able to power my laptop and charge my phone ( even though it is still a digital blackout area without a landline)

I will be returning to Europe after the first week in February 2017 to teach near Geneva ( in France though) and then to exhibit at ChARTres 2017 in March and then further teaching in Germany and  in Normandy around the time for Pour l'Amour du Fil. In May I hope to be teaching in Italy at Oderzo and Trieste. I made a mistake when I booked my ticket- I thought I had booked my return for early May- hit the buy button and when I got my e-ticket realised I had booked for early June. So if anyone would like me to come and teach late May or early June in Europe I will be there!


Penny said...

Sounds wonderfully busy both what you have done and what is to come. Love reading of your doings, mine these days are slow and not madly interesting. Have a great 2017.

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