Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Three Sisters

Before I give you some insight in the workings of THREE SISTERS, I have now posted all the images from my exhibition FIBRE REACTIVE on to my website. Go to and open up WholeCloth Banners. Each image may be clicked on to enlarge and they move through by simply clicking on the rolled-over NEXT in the top right area of each image.

THREE SISTERS came about because of the new size limits for the Surface Design Association Members' exhibition at their conference earlier this year. I am not a fan of working within squares so, after considerable contemplation I decided to work a triptych and then select one to send to the conference. I decided on three similar shapes which evolved as outcrops from either land or sea; these are often given familiar names by those living in the area.

© 2008 Diana Parkes, THREE SISTERS, dye and pigment on silk, size overall 46cm x 142cm / 18" x 56".

The first dye application being washed with the hose on my driveway. This method helps to prevent the dye back-staining on to the white fabric.

Several more applications: printing with unravelled cloth, and discharged grids (the conference was titled Off The Grid). Also some partial printed text based on 'woman and her wits' from a 100 year old book that I have in my bookshelf. The initial dyeing did back-stain on to the white background but in this case I felt this was beneficial.

Further dye colours introduced into the corners, and some more to finish off the piece (see completed image).

And here it is on the cover of the SDA newsletter, smack in the middle!

Monday, November 16, 2009


The other day I had a session with my current workbook. All those little bits of experiments or tests, and rejects accumulated while working, get pushed to one side until I find time to look at them again. This can be quite enlightening as, removed from the original intention, they appear quite different. I usually cut out the best pieces and paste them into a workbook. This makes for good record making, and occasional reviewing over time.

Here are three pages from my current workbook. This workbook has black pages which creates its own challenges especially when note making, but on the whole I think it works well.

On Sunday afternoon, a friend and I went on an architecture tour organised by our local gallery, TheNewDowse. We started at a local Buddhist community which was set in idyllic New Zealand bush. It was a most interesting visit and I snapped this image on the side of some steps. I find it very elegant and serene.