Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Tifaifai- A New Book

 The working title at present, but I am just in the process of signing a contract with Editions de Saxe to create a book about all the new Tifaifa's I created for the new on-line course which I first ran earlier this year. Of course this means it will be published in french like most of my books. This will be my sixth book and one of these days I intend to write fiction which was my dream as a young woman. I decided to add one more project to the book which of course now has to be made yesterday rather than tomorrow and I am totally bereft of any ideas and it is too cold and wet to dye fabric today which is usually something that triggers creativity.

My morning walks have dwindled a bit as well, thoough I have recommenced as it is both good for body and soul. The little bushland reserve where I walk has a dazzling variety of fungi springing up out of the undergrowth and I am besotted by fungi and have been since childhood, I could spend hours there but it is a bit chilly at the moment , and a cold climate is not one of my favourite things.

I wish I knew more about fungi, and I am sure I have spotted some edible mushrooms- but I am not 100% sure so better to leave it. But they are really otherworldly with their delicate pleats on their undersides.

I have also become the Gallery Co-ordinator at ARC Yinnar- a pretty township about 10 minutes from Morwell where they have converted an old butter factory into an artists co-op with studios and  a dedicated large gallery space, a small gallery and retail space for members to sell their creations. The co-op encompasses a wide range of artistic practices including ceramics, printmaking, scultpure, painting and drawing, some textiles, and music. It is only a part time position- very part time- but I am excited to be involved in this long standing co-op. My first exhibition to oversee is an Open Call for Entry with the Theme Close to Home. Anyone can enter an art piece- the entry fee is $12.50 for a non member or $10 for a member. The deadline is 12 June. Email me if you would like an entry form. The exhibition runs for a month and of course your work can be for sale. The gallery opens on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The main gallery is booked out for the rest of the year but I do have the thinking cap on for a dedicated group textile event for 2022.

I will be having an exhibition in the small gallery in October this year- it is a cosy space not without possibilities and I will be making work inspired by my morning walks and also creating a chap book ( I hope)- I have been playing with ideas for this, but for now I have to concentrate on the tifaifai book.

In thinking about creating a chap book I did a workshop with Amy Bodossian last weekend as part of the Latrobe Literary Festival. There were only four of us in the workshop- lucky us- it was so much fun. I highly recommend her workshop ( she is doing a workshop in Melbourne- Brunswick running  from June 10 on Thursday evenings there is a link on her website). I also came out with quite a lot of writing given it was a one day workshop and what a delight she is when delivering her own work. Lots of food for thought , it was the first time I had ever done a poetry workshop, and some new poets to explore to boot.

On Sunday we did a water colour workshop out at ARC Yinnar as part of the family health exhibition that is on there at present, with PolyannaR. We had a lot of fun with that as well, lots of laughter and a few water colour images made. Polyanna's background is large scale black and white photographs and she has made one of the longest photographs around. Polyanna is also opening a small gallery in Morwell in Commercial Road and the opening will be in June with an exhibition of her works.

Been doing lots of reading about walking and writing by all new writers to me but who seem to be touching on writing and ideas i have been engaged in for the longest time . The first book ,"Wanderers" by Kerri Andrews ( reviewed here ) which is about women walkers over the centuries who wrote about walking. It is fascinating reading and I am in awe of the miles that these women covered on a daily basis and one wonders what foot wear they had available to them and what shape their feet were in  after some of their longer walking tours. I am enjoying it immensely and must admit  I also obtained a book by Nan Sheperd "The Living Mountain" ( written about here) which i also enjoyed a lot and was awed by her ability to walk so much at altitude and to write about it in such a compelling way. She walked the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland all her life.

And then completely by accident I stumbled across the work of  Kate Zambreno and I am completely absorbed. I am reading "Heroines"- loosely the lives of Vivienne Eliot, Zelda Fitzgerald, Jean Rhys, Virginia Woolf and other literary women who were considered minor (( except Virginia Woolf of course)  in comparison to their more famous husbands/lovers ,who discarded them either to mental asylums or poverty where they died at relatively young ages. Entwined in these stories is her own quest to write and to find her way into a writing career. She expresses what I have felt for so many years ( I adore the writing of Jean Rhys and have read all of her books) that the patriarchy continues to control  and did control the canon of writing in such a heavy booted way that it is almost criminal. I know in my uni years I felt that DH Lawrence was a mysoginist ( I read most of what he had to write and also biographies  etc) and tried to prove it in an essay I wrote in English lit- it was not well received and I went on to study Australian History instead. It also loosely ties into the women writers who walked- whose writing about walking was not received in the same way as the writing about walking by men- and their writing is so different. I can't wait to read "Drifts" her most recent book. In fact I am having to wrest myself away from reading to do some of my own writing...but but...I love a well written book.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Time seems to be Bent

 A few months ago, one day seemed to just morph into another day without much distinction between the days. But the last month or so has gone crazy busy- or to be exact a bit more like it used to be, it just seems crazy busy. End of March I taught up at Ulladulla at a Slow Stitch Retreat and then last weekend at Amitie in Torquay. It was really strange getting together all the things for a workshop again and I had to write myself a check list. I realise we are incredibly fortunate to be able to do this in Australia at the moment as we anxiously watch what is happening in the rest of the world . Last weekend I taught at Mildura, about an eight hour drive from where I live.

Of course when busyness happens your head also seems full of ideas- I have to write them down, otherwise I forget. I am planning a small exhibition for later in the year and am still mulling exactly what I will do- although I know i want it to be more than things to be hung on the wall. I am wondering if anyone would be interested in coming to Gippsland to do some workshops with me- for example  2-3 day classes? I can access/rent some space to teach at ARC Yinnar which is an artists co-operative which has been refurbished this last year and now also boasts heaters to ward of the winter chill. I would need four participants to make it viable- preferably six. The range of things I teach are on my blog under workshops- but I can put things together to suit you. We can combine linocutting and stitch- or work on a traveller's blanket project  or tifaifai, anything is possible!

I said I had other colours of the coffee pot prints and here is another. It is for sale for $25 inclusive of postage.

I have also been stitching pods and seem to have branched out into pomegranates. I  can see more of these happening ad because a lot of people requested it , I am working on a class to make pods and other  poddie kind of things.

I am surprised how the seed shapes pop so much with just simple stitching through one layer of cloth. I am in the process of creating an on-line class for creating these pods and am playing around with variations.

Last weekend I went to Mildura to teach at Lesley May's Patchwork. I taught linocutting, but unfortunately did not take photos of some fo the great efforts made as my phone was low on power. I am kicking myself I did not spend longer up there, but with a cat it is hard to get away for any length of time, as it was I had to get my daughter to housesit. Next time I go up to Mildura I will spend longer- I love river country- it reminds me a lot of my childhood on a farm near Jerilderie- though Mildura is a thriving lively city. I did make a few quick stops on the way home at lake Tyrrelll , Australia's largest inland salt lake and also to look at some of the silo art.

How weird and wonderful are these little succulents amongst the saltbush?

There is still time to enroll in the Traveller's Blanket on-line class starting on 14 May. Email me for the information sheet or simply enroll. It is a class that lasts eight weeks with fortnightly pdf lessons delivered and with zoom sessions for question and answer. I also create a private Facebook group for discussion. there have been soem wonderful traveller's blankets made in the past!