Friday, October 23, 2009

E(xhibition) Day

It is there! Last night was the opening of my exhibition, Fibre Reactive - New Work by Diana Parkes, at Expressions in Upper Hutt, NZ. This was an evening function and the anticipation mounted as the day progressed. I had not viewed the exhibition until just before everyone arrived, and my own first impressions were WOW! Almost two years of work displayed together, what a treat! And although I am very familiar with each individual piece I had never been able to view all the pieces together as a whole. Being a solo exhibition, and a large gallery space, it means that the works are well isolated from each other. It is a luxury to have work displayed like this as often we have to be content with our work crammed salon-style, with other works close on either side, and perhaps even above or below. The curator has done a great job and I am one happy exhibitor.

Between us, my friend Joan and I managed to take some photos of the opening. In due course my professional photographer will be taking a series of better images and I will eventually post some of these on my blog. In the meantime, here are some views:

Some of the crowd waiting for the gallery doors to open....

My installation called Fashioning. Non-wearable garments made from calico (muslin) and based on toiles. Each with patterning in an indigo coloured dye, and long arms with red hands! I asked for these pieces to be animated and was thrilled in the way they floated skywards. Actually there were five garments but after having got four up they couldn't work out where to put the fifth, so left it out. It pays not to be too precious about these things! I think they look great.

The 12 Out of the Print Box pieces.

The exhibition title, somewhat obscured.

General view.

another general view.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dry Run

As part of the out-reach associated with my exhibition at Expressions I am to teach a two hour workshop with senior students at one of the local schools. Two hours is not very long to get something done, especially with dyeing techniques, so this week I have been doing a dry run to work out whether what I intended to teach was feasible.

The school has silk screens so I shall get them to paint and print a blank screen using Procion MX fibre reactive dyes mixed with water. These should dry fairly quickly (hopefully it will be a warm day). We will then screen these on to a soda ash prepared fabric using sodium alginate (Manutex). They will need to batch overnight and next day they can wash them out.

In preparation I did some printing with the dyes on to paper using a variety of objects. Then I prepared a screen with a dye wash and some dye printing. Once dry this was screened with the clear sodium alginate (Manutex). I shall also offer them some sodium alginate coloured with dye as well.

Here are the samples of printing, on paper.

My screen, dry and ready for screening. It looks quite pale at this stage.

The end result on calico (muslin). I think they should be impressed with the possibilities.

I shall also take a screen prepared with textures embedded into sodium alginate and demonstrate how to do repeat screenings (Breakdown Printing).

Just two days to go now.... I feel somewhat in limbo!