Saturday, November 7, 2009

Floor Talks

I have now delivered two floor talks about my exhibition with attendances for both being very good - 60+ for one and 26 for the other. I have always enjoyed artist floor talks and try to get to as many as possible. Having to give one yourself is another story. As artists we enjoy what we do and that is making art. Talking about ones work is equally as important and it takes some thinking as to what to say, how much to say (before people glaze over!) and how long to make the talk. It does pay to think about one's work constantly, and to practice a few stories.

One of the two most important things about my exhibition has been the opportunity to see all the pieces displayed together. When preparing for such an exhibition, new work gets stored away and forgotten while the next piece gets underway; and most of us don't have space in our homes to display all the work together anyway. Then there is the colours that I have used, these may be pretty obvious to others but more difficult for me to recognise... until they are all lined up together and then it is as simple as how I like my coffee.

The other important thing is how I have used images from my travels overseas where ideas and images are stored within the heightened senses that travel offers.

Thankfully both the audiences were receptive and I enjoyed the experience, despite being a tad anxious beforehand.

We need more chairs!!

Me in full 'flight'...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bird Box

Here is another piece from my exhibition. This piece started as a doodle drawn while talking on the telephone (it always pays to have pen and paper handy!) It hung around for awhile then re-surfaced. I started to play with the idea; in particular I liked the shape with the attached wings - was it flying?

© 2008 Diana Parkes, BIRD BOX, dye and pigment, wax resist on silk, 86cm(34") x 103cm(40½")

It started with some resists lines to define the shapes, plus some wax top left. Areas were painted in solid colours as a start....

I wasn't too happy with how things looked so I added some more wax and, as oft I do, I overdyed the whole piece.

Then out came the discharge paste and I removed most of the burgundy. This may seem rather odd but the result was much more appealing.

Then it was a matter of building back up some of the areas with more dye and patterns. I introduced clouds and 'rain' in the background to transport the bird box out there in space. Its initial title was Flying High but as I wasn't sure whether the bird box would be obvious, I changed it to Bird Box. I am now wondering whether both names could be used Bird Box - Flying High, and it may get called that in the future.

As can be expected when describing the processes in any piece, I skip much of what has been done because (a) I have forgotten every detail and (b) some things just happen. I am sure you know what I mean.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


As promised, here is another piece from my exhibition which I will share. I have re-visited my exhibition several times now, and am walking away still feeling very satisfied. It is also nice thinking back on how some of the pieces were achieved.

©2008, Diana Parkes, FISSURE, dye on silk. Length 110cm/43½", top width 44cm/17½", lower width 58cm/23"

The fabric for this piece was first dyed a flat dusky pink, followed by the top squares and lower arch shape being discharged. This gave a structure to develop further. Colours were painted into the arch shape, but the top squares I left as they were as I liked the variations in the discharged colour.

The area above the arch had less discharge work leaving some organic patterns which I enhanced further to suggest the fissure theme.

Finally, in analysing the results thus far, I added a couple of green shapes in the top area. I often feel that the introduction of a highlight colour goes along way to add that spark. The piece stayed on my pin-up board for a few days until I began playing with the overall shape. I then tucked the top side areas in behind the piece, which allowed for a nice drape and the lower corners to peek out from behind.