Friday, June 19, 2009

Look South

This blog focuses on a very important exhibition currently on show at the Hawke's Bay Museum & Art Gallery, Napier, New Zealand, until November 1. This exhibition is titled Look South and displays the work of Clare Plug, one of New Zealand's leading applied artists. Her textile works reflect the world of contemporary art rather than the traditions of quilting and embroidery. In 2006 Clare was awarded an important residency by the Antarctica New Zealand / Creative New Zealand Artists in Antarctica programme, to visit this area for two weeks. It is also supported by the Mary Vigor Brown Trust. This exhibition is Clare's response and I fully recommend a visit, even if it means making a special journey. The HBMAG has supplied the images. There is also a very good catalogue about the exhibition Clare Plug, Look South published by the HBMAG ISBN 978-0-473-14879-9 NZ$20 + p & p.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

SDA Workshop

Below are some of the samples I did in Kerr Gabowski's workshop, Working in a Series, at the Surface Design Association conference. These are being published with Kerr's permission. I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop and feel I have added much more to my skills and knowledge. I fully recommend a workshop with Kerr who is a giving and fun tutor.

I have now filed all my notes and samples into this folder covered with one of the pieces I did in the workshop

This piece, and the following three are based on the same design but achieved in various ways. All pieces are 18x18cm /7"x7".

I also worked with other designs, three of which are shown here.

And, with nothing to do with the above, I thought I would share this experience with you. When visiting many museums and art galleries one usually receives a floor map of the venue and what is currently on show. Now, I am not suggesting that my normal sense of direction is excellent, far from it, but on several occasions in Canada I became completely bewildered as to what space I was in and where I was heading. Then, one time I found I was holding the map up-side-down and suddenly it all made sense, so from then on I continued to read the maps this way, much to my amusement. My only explanation, not scientifically proven, is that I am from the other side of the Equator and that this had befuddled my normal map reading skills. You will be relieved to know that I did not do any driving in Canada.....

Monday, June 15, 2009

Back home again

Here I am home again. Much cooler here of course than in the USA and Canada, however the sun is shining but there is that winter chill in the air.
My three weeks away have been most successful and enjoyable. The Surface Design Association Conference in Kansas City, MO, was a great event yet again, and I am full of new knowledge, ideas and inspirations. Meeting up with attendees again was very pleasurable. I am still sorting my belongings as well as catching up with emails etc and in future blogs I will tell of some of my experiences during this time.
After conference my visit of one week to Canada, specifically Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria was filled with visiting museums, art galleries, and many other places of interest. In Toronto I spent five hours in the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), there was just so much to see. They also allowed photos which did surprise me. I also visited the Bata Shoe Museum which was equally fascinating. The Textile Museum was a highlight and featured three exhibitions, The Cutting Edge which focuses on the shape of a garment and what it signifies; She Will Always Be Younger Than Us questioning politics and culture. Also on show was the Judy Chicago's When Women Rule the World. This is a survey of this iconic artist's work in textiles from 1971 to the present day. Judy Chicago came to fame with The Dinner Party project which certainly rocked the textile world when it first appeared.

The ROM has its own textile section, very well displayed and full of information. Above is a garment by Zandra Rhodes (left), cloth by Thor Hansen, and a garment by Vivienne Westwood (right). I also watched a video on the making of a man's suit jacket, from the initial measuring, through to it being worn out of the shop. I actually found this fascinating.....

Me standing next to the Steam Clock in Gastown, Vancouver. Note steam coming out the top. This clock does not chime but toots!