Saturday, December 31, 2005

Flutter By

I had hoped to have posted a photo of the quilt I was working on yesterday but the day fluttered by, as indeed has the year. We always think butterflies should be called flutterbies, we can't see anything buttery in a butterfly. I would also like to think that the imagination is like a flutterby flitting here and there, taking it in and producing a cocoon that gestates something as wonderful as a flutterby.

I would like to thank the 35,000 plus people who have visited my blog since I started it- I have enjoyed and appreciated all your comments even if I don't always respond. I hope that each and every one of you has a Happy, Safe, Healthy and Creative New year and that your imaginations may soar or flutter and create little gems.

I am off to make some savouries for tonight as we are off to friends for the evening. I have finally mastered falafels- the trick is to not cook the chickpeas and to put them in hot oil and not turn them until the side in the oil is brown.

So with that - phhttt- open your hands and softly blow so that your imaginations may flutter the stratosphere and come back with treasure.

Friday, December 30, 2005

What I am Working On

I started working on this quilt in 2004 and came to a screaming halt. I had been hand stitching and it was going to take a lot of stitching to finish it because I had hand stitched so densely. But the other day when showing a friend she asked why are you hand stitching it all? And I must admit when I thought about it I wondered too. So today I put it under the machine and machine stitched around the printed areas and then put in some detail stitching near the trees and will find some foliage like stitching to put in the foreground. I like the contrast between the hand stitching and the heavy machine stitching I am doing. And now I am going to put it down because today has been 39 degrees celsius- and it is hot hot hot and I have still to cook dinner.Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Gellibrand Summer Morning

I woke this morning to find the mist in the valley being pierced by the rays of the rising sun, back lighting the trees up the back of our property. I can tell it is going to be a hot day! Christmas is over and commercialism and rampant haveism has managed to partially erase the memory of the unfolding horror of this day last year when the world became aware of the devastation wreaked by the Boxing day tsunami.

I am not a keen festive season celebrator despite having children- I just find it all a bit too much. My childhood memories are of St Nicholas where you as a child had to give something- a poem and food for St Nicholas' horse and in return you got a sweet meat and then you got a big gift on his name day.It is also the time of year when our major summer holiday happens and so many people are on holidays and expect that you are too. So the last three years I have been very busy with work at this time of year and am a little resentful of time taken away from creating-it's all good and well to take hand work but it is not quite the same as working and then suddenly having an ahha moment and being able to pursue it.

I have decided I want to do the creating a day thing next year but with a slightly different bent.I have an Italian friend , Ada Melegari and about 10 years ago she created work for a year by making marks for each day or the month- or that is what she set out to do. She ascribed a colour to each month which she prepared at the beginning of the month and then proceeded to work on the small coloured oblongs she had made, some days she did not make any marks and she left those blank because it is difficult to be creative every single day- she then assembled them all together so that they represented a month. The blanks actually created an interesting effect and I asked her if she could remember what she had done on those blank days. She couldn't but she could remember things she had done on the mark making days- so in a sense her pieces worked a little like a memory device- not quite like the rooms of Simeonedes- but still an memory aid.So i want to do this with cloth- perhaps one contrast colour to help with the mark making and stitching- just working small pieces and assembling them into a quilt representing twelve months.

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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Morning

I want to wish everyone the best for the festive season- and I hope it is enjoyable for you.It is Christmas morning here and the kids have unwrapped their parcels. We are having a fairly quiet day and sharing a Christmas meal with friends this evening.

I always reflect on the year gone by at this time of year and so thought I would post my favourite piece of everything I have made this year- it is the Letters From Home lace which I made earlier this year. I like it because it says a lot about who I am in this land where I now find myself.I also enjoyed using something tangible from my other life, a letter that my grandmother wrote to my mother. The jagged edges or the burnt edges are about the process of immigration itself and the gaps about the pain/nostalgia of things left.They will never be quite the same because they live in my mind as the memories of a nine year old- and those memories stay there and then a whole new set begins here in another language. It is like there is a split between the two things.

This year I have also been practising as a full time artist for 10 years. I started when I was still pregnant with my youngest child Ynez- she was born during 1995. Running an arts practice/ business from a room in my house with three small children underfoot was sheer madness. I am surprised I am still here , the temptation to return to law or a more secure job has always been under the surface constantly. It was the reason I did my masters ,in the hope of securing some tertiary teaching in the thing I am passionate about, but with dwindling jobs in the tertiary sector I have not much hope in that regard. I have thought of starting my own textile school in the way that Australian artists of the past started their own Art Schools for they were non-existent in the tertiary sector.

So over the next few days i think I will mull what or where I will go next. I do try and make plans which reach out for the next few years. So any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

And Calling by Cockatoo

The last few days we have spent up at my mothers at Gembrook doing an early Christmas, see the photo below. Of course here in the southern hemisphere it is hot and Christmas is a summer affair. My mothers garden was a riot of colour and vegetables- her vegetables come into season sooner than ours as we are slightly colder.

We passed by my father-in-laws little farm on the way up to my mothers. The farm belonged to Uncle Bill who died years ago but was given the property by the Australian government in gratefulness for his contribution to the ally effort in World WarI. On the face of it this may seem a really generous gift from the government but the harsh reality was that the many returned soldiers and their families lived in poverty because the farms weren't big enough to support a man with a growing family. And the farms were not worth much so selling them wasn't an option. The same thing happened after World WarII. Uncle Bill was required as part of the gift to grow potatoes for the soldiers during World War II.Uncle Bill fared better than most though as he never married so did not have little mouths to feed.

The little cottage is pretty well still in original state and I sometimes think this little property would make a wonderful little museum showing hard times and the Australian ethos of making do. We used to have Christmas here but modern times require modern conveniences for some people and alas this little cotage has few of those- I miss having Christmas here. We used to build a great fire at night and BBQ our prawns and sit and eat them around the fire drinking champagne and crawl into our tents after midnight. Collin would play his guitar and we would all sing along and Collin's dad a yarn spinner from way back would tell stories tall and small. My family used to come too, as it was only just down the road from where they live..

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Early Christmas in gembrook

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Adrift on a sea of wood
I took this photo of a black wattle seed pod last night trying to cool off from the summer heat- it reminds me of a little boat adrift on a sea of wood- it matched my feeling. A happy solstice to everyone.

Below is a photo of another version of the scarf idea I have been working with. It took me ages to remember the machine settings I used for making my lace and it was very hot but I needed to finish it as it is a Christmas present for my mother.I think I like th eones with the organic stitching better- but I had to stabilise those with a wash away vilene which worked well but also had the effect of washing the printing ink off the motifs. Can't work out why that happened as I have printed on silk before and been able to wash it without any hassles.

We are going up to my mothers later today- she lives about four hours away- must remember to take my hand stitching with me and home via Melbourne on Friday so that we can spend Christmas at home.I am also picking up some of Matilda's Own batting- they have agreed to sponsor me- which is great as it is my preferred batting!It is very stable to stitch on. I find lots of battings stretch when you stitch as heavily as i do.

And on an up note- I sold another two quilts, to the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection!I already have some quilts in that collection so they have work now which is quite representative of what I do. It will help with my daughters airfare!Posted by Picasa

Another version of the scarf Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 19, 2005


I have been doing more quilting on the commission piece I am doing. I love the way stitching changes the way the fabric appears and gives it so much more depth. I have also put pictures illustrating the classes I teach on my Seriously Textile blog.

on her blog mentions the concept of space in relation to a number of things, the musical pause that adds depth and perception, the comfortable space. I must admit when I work I always try and leave some space for the eye to rest on or wander to and pause for a moment and then wander on. It is something I learnt from looking at Japanese art and enjoying African and flamenco music- the music is all about rhythm and the spaces in the rhythm. If you think of a quilt as a series of rhythmical interpretations of a visual world the space makes the finished object much more interesting, and you can use hot colours and still give a feeling of contemplation.I think this is also one of the reasons why I am very drawn to assymetry because it gives you the physical space to create the space moment without creating an imbalance.There is an exercise I sometimes do in classes that i teach asking people to express emotion in a small piece of fabric by using two colours only- it is interesting the results that come out of this exercise and how some shapes for some people define moments. The other thing I do with this exercise is to look at symmetry and balance and how it plays a role in your work. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Crescent Moon

I am lagging behind with loading photos into my blog- but the top is now done and the quilting is going in at the moment. I don't ever think of a quilt as complete until the stitching goes in as it always changes the way it looks.However the week and weekend has been occupied with to and froing of kids and sleepovers- and though I work full time I seem to get landed with these jobs as well as the housework and cooking- which heavily interrupts my time. So I have had one of those weeks where i am pulling out my hair in desperation- on th eupside it can only get better I hope. Found my hand stitching threads I intend to take up to my mothers when we go visit a few days before Christmas. I can't really afford the time as I have so much to do before I go to Egypts- but every year seems to suffer form a lack of time.

Sharon B
has a really interesting post on Visual Journalling on her blog. I entirely agree with her comments and encourage you to read them. There seems to be a current phase that your journal must look like an artwork in its own right, and mine is anything but. I somtimes feel like i would like to make an art work journal, but the truth is I use it much more for sketching ( and I mean sketching- my drawings tends to cartoon and line drawings without colour), comments, ideas register and one I had forgotten but did yesterday keeping a track of what you are doing or have made. I had thought I had not made much this year but when I wrote it down I find that this has been my most productive year so far in terms of completed work- just doesn't feel like it. I don't have many UFO's, though find in the last two years I have taken to having more than one thing on the go.I digress a journal is a means of recording and planning and as Sharon says reflecting- sometimes it does take years of mulling for an idea to come to completion- and a journal can help you backtrack.I usually take a new journal for each phase of travelling I do- sometimes I am quite productive other times not. I still want to revisit an idea of St Valeri's cloak in the Barcelona Museum of Textiles- where beside the tattered and patched inner cloak is a map of appropriation to museums around the world- a sort of fabric relic collecting.

Sometimes i work with drawing and design ideas other times I just doodle and write and yet other times I write. But I do revisit my journal quite regularly.

The Fabrics

These are the fabrics I have dyed and now printed some as well. The yellow one is too yellow- it was supposed to be more orange fading into the yellow in the middle of the triangles but somehow all the red dye hovered over the black dye foldlines. Usually this does not happen. So it has been dyed more orange as I find the yellow distracting. The little tiling function in Picassa is very nifty for auditioning the fabrics. Also the black in the tie dye did not come out as dark as I wanted ( its the blasted new fabric I am working with of which I have another 100 metres- the dark colours seem to die on it) so now the challenge is how to pop out the tie dyes more and darken the background- I think black thread with fairly dense stitching will solve this problem. The printing I did with Indian woodblocks- these are so much fun!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Dyeing fabric

Back of Tied fabric

This is the fabric dyeing I have been doing. This was a 3.5 metre long x 35cm wide piece and its entirely tied. It took my almost three days as I managed to graze the skin of my left forefinger and middle finger- as the elastic of the ties twangs across the top knuckle on the last tie and also on my right fore finger. The actual piece that it creates is really interesting texturally- it is quite thick and pliable- the back looks really interesting and I have it in mind to use something like this in a project in the future- it's very dimensional , and something you want to touch. My children have the same reaction to it. It is almost a pity to take the ties off once the next dyeing stage is done. I also love the way the little ties look- like people in a crowd. One day I will do something with that idea as well, but then I would have to dye the fabric first and tie after so that the tops would be a different colour to the rest. I hope to finish the construction of the quilt top today so I can quilt all weekend and get it finished by Monday afternoon.Posted by Picasa

Fabric Tied Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


The other day I had to send some photos to the quilt group in Dubai to reflect on what i teach as i will be teaching there for five days. So I made a collage of some of the photos I sent. I have also posted onto my Seriously Textile blog the classes that i teach.

I will be in Europe next April/May so if anyone is interested in my coming to teach please let me know. I am used to driving long distances so what may seem far away to you , doesn't present a problem for me. So far I am teaching at Centre of European Patchwork near Narbonne in the Languedoc/Rousillon region in France on 11 and 12 May 2006 and as it is so close to Spain I have been trying to organise some teaching there without luck yet ,for the early part of May or late April. I do want to visit the Textile Museums in Barcelona and Terassa.

Then later in May I am teaching in Amstelveen and Drente in the Netherlands and am having an exhibition with my friends Annelies and Laura again at the Pancake farm in Gelderland (24 - 28 May) as well as curating a travelling exhibtion of Australian and New Zealand work which will be exhibited in Borger in Drente at the Stofmeid in their new space. Please email me if you would like details or contact information. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Apples of the Hesperides

I am working on a commission for a friend in Canberra. I have been dyeing the fabric and now have to d a lot of tieing and folding. So whilst I was waiting for dye to take I made some of these embroidered cards. They are tifaifai about 7.5 inches square and stitched onto moon paper that is A4 size- they are meant for framing. I used to make a lot of these when I was still part of a group that rented a craft space at the Metro Craft Centre ( the Meatmarket) before it was shut down by the then so-called arts conscious kennet government.Alas another avenue closed.

And then last night watching the news( I have not been watching news lately as it makes me so annoyed) I saw that the ceo of the National Bank has given himself a pay rise and he now earns $57,000 per week-I am lucky to earn a third of that in a year. There is something really really wrong in a society when one person can earn what seems an obscene amount of money and the next can earn so little ( and I am lucky that I do earn there are those who don't through illness, disabilty, age or unsuitability)- I wonder how much harder he works to make that much difference? I wonder if he spends all that money on buying art or anything made by the hands of people? What does this man really do for Australia- does he add to its cultural capital, does he add one iota to the fullness of people's lives ( other than the shareholders) does he contribute to the happiness of anyone?I wonder if he ever volunteers for anything - like the CFA or the Neighbourhood house or his childrens school, or his community, does he spend a couple of hours cooking at sausage sizzles to raise a few hundred dollars for some community initiative?Sorry for the rant, it just seemed like such an obscene amount of money when so many are doing it so tough and some won't have anyhting at Christmas not even food.
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Gum leaves

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Monday, December 12, 2005

Seriously Textile

I have put a whole lot of quilts on my Seriously Textile Blog. They are for sale and really this is a once only price for a week until next Monday 7.00pm eastern standard time. As I indicated on my Dilemna post below I am negotiable- but I have put price indicators on the quilts- but I am open to offers. But you won't get my work this cheaply again!


A post without pictures .

My dilmemna is this. I am curating an exhibition entitled Across Australia, which has been on exhibition at the Panorama Mesdag in the Netherlands. It comes down tomorrow and will be transported to Egypt and then Tripoli in Libya for exhibition,and then it will be shown in the Opera Gallery in Cairo as part of a celebration of Australian culture ( 26 January is our national day). The exhibition will then go onto Damascus and Aleppo in Syria and then onto Kuwait and another Middle eastern destination which is still being negotiated. This is all very exciting and I will be going to Egypt and Syria and Kuwait in January, February and early March to help install the exhibition and to deliver floor talks and also do demonstrations together with Jenny Bowker.The Australian Embassy in Cairo have managed to secure funding for the Middle Eastern part of the Across Australia travels and so my airfare is being sponsored ( thank you Emirates!) and also funding from BHP Billeton ( thank you BHP!) for accommodation costs , trasportation costs and the production of a catalogue which will be an Australian government gift to people who attend the formal functions that have been organised. And Jenny has helped me in securing some teaching in Kuwait and Dubai at the end of the trip.

However alas there is no curating fee for me- because in all reality this is being done on a very tight budget, and I appreciate the efforts that have been made by the Australian Embassy in Cairo and the sponsors who have seen fit to sponsor. But it also takes 7 weeks out of my working life where technically I will be working in a sense but not receiving any wage. I have also decided to take my eldest daughter, Celeste, as the experience of visiting the Middle east with such chaperonage is too good an opportunity to miss. She in a small way will also be a cultural ambassador for her country and she will be studying the jewellery of the region for the independent research project she is doing at school next year.

Unfortunately I cannot apply for funding here as I am curating this as an independant curator without organisational support- so I am not an incorporated association etc etc .

So I am trying to think of ways to raise some money which will at least allow me to leave some money behind that my absence causes and to also find a way to raise money for Celeste's airfare. Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated!

I will also later today put all of my quilts that I have at home on my Seriously Textile blog , and because I am going to the middle east where negotiating a price is a time honoured process, I am open to negotiation on the prices on my quilts, but the offers do need to be reasonable (ggg). I will only leave them up for one week.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Chirstmas cards

I had set today aside to make some Christmas cards. I usually make my own cards, either with my gocco printing machine or some kind of collage. These ones I did on Lutradur and then foiled. I used my calligraphy brushes which gave the black stars a quite pleasing sort of shape. I am sure it is much more cost effective to buy the cards, but somehow each year I get the guilts and make them again.
I have seen lots of pictures of snow on other people's blogs- but I can tell you it is hot here today and windy which makes it quite unpleasant to be outside.The next week is wind down activities at the schools my kids go to and the week after school finishes- so then it will be murder trying to get work done.I still have to make some Christmas gifts as well- only a few. And I was thinking of making some jars of onion marmalade. When I did the residency at Chassy we were nvited to one of the friends of the families ,barn for dinner- and he made this absolutely delicious shallot ( not the spring onion variety) marmalade- it tasted great with roasts. He gave me a jar but because of customs I left it behind, but today i think I found a recipe that will do the trick! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 10, 2005

River prototype

Finished River

Yesterday I transferred some leftover coloured papers onto the lutradur so that i could make a prototype piece for a bigger and longer river piece I want to do ( I am still undecided about the leaves so will mull on those for awhile before I begin sewing). But I want some river pieces for my exhibition in France. Firstly the colours in the photo ar enot accurate it's much more sea green than the pic and the river has been foiled with copper. I first stitched the edge of the river with a maroon colured thread- but it came out quite pink looking and I didn't like that, so then went over it in black. It measures 25 cm x 37 cm ( 10" x 14.5") and is for sale for $75 US including postage.

And Sharon 's comments about funding of artists are something that is one of my favourite rants- lots of money goes into arts administration and the runninng of "arts"organisations but the people who actually make or do the art are bottom of the tree. We also live in a country where sport is an obsession- the watching of it, not the doing- sometimes it just all gets too much. However in more positive moments I know that we are able to empower ourselves much more than we do- we also have means but don't think of using them to our benefit or only partially so. Posted by Picasa

River Upside down and still pink Posted by Picasa

River Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Gum Leaves


I want to thank everyone who has taken the time and trouble to write such sweet and supportive messages. One of the reasons for posting about my disappointment was to show that it too, is part of my creative process. Each time such a rejection comes in the initial reaction is disppointment- dashed hope ( which on this ocassion was to study in a place which does have two wonderful textile museums and to have a three month buffer from the need to always be proactive, it was also a residency which had enough room to be able to take family- most other residencies only offer one bedroom flats or rooms with communal facilities ) - then comes the re-evaluation- of the work, of priorities, and then planning - if this residency and the motivation for doing it was important then how can there be other ways of doing what i wanted to do. So I have written to both museums involved- explained who I am and asking what possibilities there are in accessing their collections and on what basis. And then go from there.

Another aspect of the whole thing which has been illuminating is that whilst i live in relative isolation, so that I can't go and talk to someone about it, blogging has in a way offered much more support than say even groups.Even though people don't always comment ( and I am guilty of the same thing- I do a round of blogs most days) there is a much bigger sense of community than I had thought. And last but not least the internet enables you to scrutinise those that were selected- most artists seem to have a web presence of some sort or another so I am able to go and see what it is that they do and make comparisons, and wonder.

Ok so back to leaves- the three photos show various arrangements of the leaves. personally I like the second one with neat rows- but the family have voted for the one above- because that is how 'gumleaves' look. I have gone away from the bottom picture as it is too random, without focus and sufficient contrast even though the original inspiration was the messy forest floor. Comparing the three pics, I know my preference for #2 comes from the fact that I like neatness in my work ( you should see my house it is the anthitesis of neatness LOL) and also I like pattern- so # 2 appeals to the sense of pattern and order. I also likes the black strip as it creates and area of contrast that was needed- it also gives a kind of resting place for the eye which is a little calmer than the surrounding pattern and underlying chaos. Whereas the photo above reverts a bit to randomness. I haven't decided yet - I want to look at it some more. But in a sense #2 is more reflective of me - seeking order in chaos.Posted by Picasa

Leaves Posted by Picasa


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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

More cheerful

I must admit I was a bit down in the mouth this morning and listened carefully to Valeri's words and Fulvia's- thank you so much for taking the time, I appreciate it and check out both of your work regularly and enjoy it! So... what did I do- well I made myself work but also thought about what i was trying to achieve for an exhibition I am having next year.Everyone ,when they think of Australia always thinks of very clean lines and colour - but really it is quite quite different to that. I particularly like the work of Fred Williams and especially the work of the middle years- he seems to capture the Australian spareness and yet also the messiness of the ground. So that is what i did, photographed the ground- we try and keep it pretty clean where I live because of the fire danger but as you can see it is busy and slightly tortured and really messy!
So then I got back to the leaves I was working on yesterday - still not satisfied but at least something to ruminate about....

Self belief and the Artist

I know that on internet groups people often don’t like you posting about the nuts and bolts side of arts practice, except where it concerns technique- and that everything is about sharing and the good things and not about bad things and disappointments. But I am writing a blog, technically a journal of sorts and if this is truly my journal than I want to write about the good and the bad- as I would in paper journal that I also keep.

Yesterday engendered a very real crisis of self belief. I went to bed early after having sat through three lots of piano practice and the angst of upcoming piano exams on Friday, cooked dinner and just couldn’t cope with any more. This may sound self centered but bear with me a moment. Actually the crisis is still ongoing and because I went to bed so early I woke really early. The log trucks started rolling at about 3 am which woke the roosters in the whole neighbourhood, which then woke the birds- you get my drift. So I got up and discovered that those log trucks are using our dirt road- no wonder it is getting rutted and no wonder the noise of the passing trucks is waking everyone-but as it was dark I could not see whose truck it was, they are not supposed use this road Now there is nothing like a bit of outrage….

So self belief- is what I have been thinking about – mine got rather shaken yesterday, more so than I had anticipated because in a way I would have been very surprised to have gotten the residency- it was more the fact that I got very close that shook my confidence. So why did it get so shaken? Well I have been pondering this since 3 am and first there are a number of facts;

1. Australian women artists are amongst the lowest paid women in western democracies

2. Australian women artists are the lowest paid women in Australia.

3. Australian women artists earn half of what Australian male artists do.

4. Artists are earning less now than they were 10 years ago

Then some other observations. When I studied law at university, if I studied reasonably hard then I could expect to pass, if I studied a lot then I could expect to do reasonably well- or certainly this was my experience- effort and work ethic got results. However no matter how hard I study or work at my art, I cannot have the same expectations in my arts practice, so that when submitting for funding or even for selection each time I get a rejection it is a failure no matter the effort or the work I have put in – it is like I have failed in my approach to my work ethic or my effort ethic- and this is where the crisis really starts: the thought that the work stinks emerges. Another factor is each time you are rejected you have spent money in putting things together and another avenue is closed from which you may expect some return. But then I looked at the links of the artists that were selected and whilst I am not making judgements about the work- I know what I submitted stood up in the company- it had philosophical underpinning and it has a place in future textile practice and at the very least could be used in the fashion industry. I am also rather glad I have shown the work to people for I know that my believing in the work is not a delusion. I also know at least one of them has had previous Ozco grant.

But still there are very real chinks in the brittle armour that is my self belief in my work. I don’t think I will get much done today ( for a start I got up way too early) but I now have to rebuild- and frankly I am finding it harder and harder to dig into myself to find the wherewithal to keep going and rebuilding after each disappointment. The person I contacted at Ozco was very positive and encouraged me to submit again- but it takes a lot of energy to get an application together- making sure the wording is right, making sure your images are the best they can be. The other thing is, do I use the same body of work or do I need to create another “new” body of work? And if it is to be new I am not sure I have the energy– I had hoped to be developing something I had already begun but which needs further research and time to come into its full vision I have for it.

And then ultimately I stand staring at that long tunnel with its litter of rejection slips and crumpled hopes and I wonder whether it is truly light at the end or just the emerging dawn which will bring children getting ready for school, food to be found for lunches, dropping off at the school bus and then the empty workroom which yesterday had seemed a different place than it is today. Today I face it with trepidation for what had seemed so certain yesterday now seems shallow and “decorative”, and I am not sure I want to make it. And ultimately no matter how many groups there are each artist stands alone and faces their crises alone. I often crave a mentor- but really what could a mentor advise when I am feeling like this? I would like to think that Gandalf comes riding on the dawn with the Roherin, but life is no fairytale and what I need to find is the energy and the will to just do it.So I guess I had better get to it.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Down in the Dumps

Sorry the photos are sie ways. one is of real gum leaves I found lying on the ground the other is of lutradur gum leaves-- which are about 4 times the size of the real.Not quite sure how I will use them yet. They have been foiled which you can't see very well in the photo.

I got notification today that I was not successful in my application for the Barcelona residency. I was hoping against the odds, as I wanted to develop my lace work and there are two excellent museums with lace collections in or close to Barcelona- there is nothing available for me like this in Australia. I must say I am close to tears as I am beginning to wonder just what do you have to do to get accepted?? I know the visuals were good as a magazine recently got back to me about them and said what good quality they were. I also got feedback from Ozco - that supplies the grant- I was ranked 10th in a residency that is hotly contested and there was nothing wrong with my application- yeah great it still means I didn't get it! others that did were Nicola Cerini, Izabella Pluta, Carolyn Eskdale, and Adam Cullen. I suppose, at least one textile artist got selected that's good, but I get so tired of the rejections- it would be nice to have a real upper every now and then.I am also beginning to think that to get one of these you need to be single and without a family, or a man- now there is true blue cynicism for you. I suppose from the outside looking in it looks as if I do have lots of successes but most of them are of my own doing, like creating travelling exhibitions, and are done on shoe string budgets.

So no more work for today- feeling too down in the dumps. Just as well I didn't get the post until this afternoon- at least i got some things done this morning.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Australian Icons

This morning I had to drive to Birregurra to pick up my eldest daughter ,Celeste from a party sleepover. Birregurra is about 35 minutes from here and at the beginning of the Barwon Downs, which is rich rolling grazing country. I took my camera to capture what i consider to be iconic Australian sort of things to share with you.
So the top left is verandahed shops facing onto the street ( many older towns in Australia had shops with verandahs but they seem to be disappearing for modern shops which have none of the character of these old shops.
Top right is the windmill- used to pump up stock water and fill dams- no paddock is complete without one. When I lived in Jerilderie after my parents immigrated to Australia we used to have one of these beside the dam and no amount of grease would stop its grinding and screeching in the night.
Bottom left is post boxes on the road. The distances are too great for the postie to go down every road to deliver mail so you often find a collection of all manner of containers to collect post at the end of a road. I particularly like this little collection because of the one that is sitting on its lonesome on the ground- I bet the postie curses it every time he has to bend down!
Bottom right- road signs on the road to my home- watch out for kangaroos and echidnas ( spiny anteaters are monotreme which means the lay eggs but suckle their young- the only other animal that does this in the world is the platypus which also lives in our Gellibrand River).

A couple of years ago when we were going to Apollo Bay for a market we came across a koala sitting in the middle of the road. We stopped as we thought it might have been injured and of course the kids enjoyed seeing it. As we approached it carefully ( they have quite big claws and one once weed on one of our politicians, so the animal is very perspicasious gggg) it lurched itself up and with really loud grunting noises took a few steps and then sat down again. We were worried that it was injured and it is a busy road so we waited and the koala did exactly the same thing again, stood on his four legs arms, lurched and groaned and sat down. We were eventually able to see that the animal was not injured but that he was very drunk- they gorge themsleves on eucalyptus leaves during the night and become "drunk" By this stage several carloads of Japanese tourists with cameras had also stopped and I am sure they didn't believe a word of our explanation of what was wrong with the koala.Posted by Picasa