Friday, November 27, 2009

New Fabric Length

Earlier this week I finished another length of hand-dyed fabric for sale and eventual construction into a garment. Lovely piece of fine ribbed silk, originally a warm cream. Length 2.35m (2.5yds), width 110cm (43in), NZ$95.

First I machine stitched large darts throughout the length, and stretched it best I could into a frame with the darts underneath.

Then painted on a warm mustard coloured dye. This partially seeped through into the darts on the wrong side but they remained quite clear when opened out.

Back on the frame and a stronger dye colour was used to outline the unstitched darts. The mustard colour of the fabric in this photo is right off beam here!

When the outlines were dry, I watered down the remaining dye and over-painted the background areas.

After leaving to batch overnight, the first wash is done with the fabric laid out on my driveway and given a good hose to remove the bulk of any excess dye. This method goes along way to avoid any back staining. Conventional washing and rinsing followed.

All done, and draped on my mannequin, Zoe.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Where to now...

Earlier this week I collected my work from the gallery where it had been on display for the last month. Eight small pieces, and one large, sold. This is very satisfying but sales were not the motivation for this exhibition. Sales are a bonus of course and it is very gratifying to think that people felt they wished to own a piece of my work. The motivation however was simply a commitment to make a series of works, to grow and develop my skills and creativity while working them, and then to display them as a whole at the end. The biggest critic forever is me, and having satisfied my own judgements, the positive responses to this exhibition were simply the icing on the cake (and they have been yummy!).

Like any major long-term planned event, there is somewhat of a deflated feeling after it is over or finished. This is to be expected but it also gives an opportunity to reflect on 'what next'. Two year's of planning and working through the works for my exhibition is quite a major chunk in one's life. I could now sit back and 'take a rest' but that is not me at all and although I am enjoying the satisfaction of looking back, I am already thinking ahead.

There is still much to do, to take everything to the next level. Another solo exhibition in two years? The value of solo exhibitions is huge and this could quite well be the outcome.

In the meantime I am considering adding printed lino cuts to my work. I like the unpredictability of the actual cutting where lines and shapes take on their own look, and the resulting prints are not perfect. And there is also something meditative about the process of cutting.

A lino cut in progress, with a pencil rubbing to check the process.

Monday, November 23, 2009

100th post

Well it had to happen of course but this is my 100th blog posting. I started in July 2008. I do enjoy writing these and am delighted that people continue to read them. There has been 2416 visits during this time, and 4124 pages read. You come from all countries small and large and I would like to thank you for your support and comments. I will definitely be continuing for yet another 100 posts, at least.....

I have just had a lovely weekend in New Plymouth visiting friends and family. Such a journey, a 5 - 6 hour drive, is always a good excuse to visit galleries en route. In Whanganui I visited my friend Eva's exhibition and was excited to see her work in 'another' space ie not in her home environment where I usually admire her work. Then to the Sarjeant Gallery for a very good glass exhibition, and the Whanganui Arts Review which displayed a wide variety of works, collectively endorsing a very active arts community. Another exhibition, Second Life using re-cycled materials, I had already seen in Pataka, Porirua, and it is interesting to see the same works displayed in a different gallery.

Percy Thompson, Stratford, was gearing up for the opening of their local art society's exhibition. However, the real gem was the Govett Brewster in New Plymouth which had three very different but exciting exhibitions, all by international women artists. Yes, they were challenging, but very diverse and each exhibition fitted their given spaces very well. Images are from the Govett Brewster website. These exhibitions close November 29.

Judith Wright: Conversations. Large paintings on handmade Japanese papers, and a video.

Guo Fengyi: China in Four Seasons. Very large pen drawings.

Nalini Malani: Transactions in the Construction of Pain 2005. Reverse paintings on the back of acrylic and mylar, digital printing on archival bamboo paper, and a video.