Sunday, June 25, 2023

Preparing for Fibres West

 I have been back from Europe for two weeks and a bit, but it seems so much longer ago and the days are so short and cold. I don't think I suffered jet lag , but the cold seem to slow down my blood to such an extent I was having trouble getting out of bed. The last week or so of the European trip was spent in Portugal in the city of Porto with one or two side trips by train to the countryside- and whilst it was not super hot it was pleasant and warm. I loved Porto, the people were friendly and the tiles were wonderful and whilst we had been told the food was ordinary my friend Margo and I found no such thing. It did help that there was a very good restaurant within walking distance from the hostel where we stayed which was a bit out of the city centre- the set menu food was excellent and very good value, lots of fresh seafood, we ate there most nights. The wait staff were wonderful as well- they made us feel very welcome and at home. There was also a very good bakery around the corner where it was possible to get a good latte made with real milk and of course Pasteis de Nata though most of the local people seemed to eat a crusty bread and butter which was also very good. The first image is the tiled entrance foyer of the railway station.

Then it was back to France to sort through things I had left at my friends house over the years- a working kit of sorts, and as I had not seen it for 4 years some things needed to go. France has been experiencing rolling strikes for public transport and when I couldn't book a ticket for the train to Barcelona to catch my flight in the evening, I decided to go a day early and stay in Girona for the night rather than risk travel nightmare in the event of a strike. I am so glad I did, I had a lovely walk around the city and it has a vibrancy that used to exist in Barcelona but seems to have been touristed out. Lots of interesting small businesses and lovely coffee shops all run by young people- I guess the rents are much more affordable in Girona than Barcelona (everywhere I went in europe there is a housing crisis)

Then it was the long haul back to the cold- brrr- it is a cold and wet winter yet again- it chills to the bone and is hard to get used to after  walking around in sandals and cotton shirt.

It feels like I have done very little since being back but in all reality I have been steadily working. First of all  there was my Nardoo Meanderings piece to prepareand to parcel up and send to Canberra in readiness for the opening of Exuberance Curated by Sharon Peoples and Carol Cooke. There is a book edited by the curators that showcases the work of the twenty embroiderers involved with little essays by each artist  of their working methods and choices and thinking behind the creation of the pieces.

Above is the cover of the book. It is exciting to be a part of this. The book is self published so is only available through the website of Carol Cooke or from the exhibition. It is the first survey of embroidery practice in the book format for quite some time in Australia. I can't wait to see the book. There is a limited print run so if you think you would like this book I would order it now. The exhibition  opens on 6 July at Craft & Design Canberra and tickets are available here.

Unfortunately I cannot make it to the opening as I will be in Perth for Fibres West where I will be teaching the traveller's blanket and also linocutting for motifs to include in your blanket. Really looking forward to being in Perth and the buss of the buzz of such gatherings.

During the week I made a trip to Colac in order to deliver two sentinelles for a retrospective of CrossXpollinatioN  at Copacc celebrating 10 years of the event. I exhibited in the first two and was involved with installing the exhibitions along with Carole Redlich. I only have two of the sentinelles left after making a series of 10 in 2012/2013. The Ochre Earth Sentinelle and the Red Sentinelle are the ones that remain. I stayed the night in order to attend the opening and it was good to catch up with people I knew when I lived in Gellibrand. I did make a quick visit to Gellibrand to see how I would feel, but I can say I have no regrets about leaving and I only felt a little sad about the broken dreams.

The rest of the time I have been dyeing fabric and printing fabric in readiness for Perth and the Slow Stitch Gathering in Ulladulla later in July, and catching up with family. I will come home via Canberra so I can visit Exuberance. 

And I have been mulling all those wonderful Madonna images I encountered in Italy and Portugal and Spain, thinking, thinking, thinking. It is about the seeing and how things are  presented and idealised and yet there is also an element of  encountering the faces of women from the past.


Anonymous said...

An incredible journey. Just found you and going to try stitching your travelers blanket.i could not leave much name the link was not working. It is lea. Thank you for sharing your journey and those beautiful photos you took while on holiday.

Arunnai said...

Thanks for sharing this article . Was useful and informative.

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