Monday, May 31, 2010

Presentation of work

I consider my latest piece to be finished. It is currently resting, like a good roast, and time will determine whether it has indeed reached the end of its road. In the meantime I am considering its presentation.

I have been giving quite a bit of thought to presentation this year, and have made some observations while on gallery crawls, mostly to art exhibitions ie not textile exhibitions. It has been an interesting exercise and I think I have now come to a new possibility.

First I had to do some experimenting and used an earlier piece of work which I don't intend ever to exhibit. I decided to use a heavy canvas (in NZ called calico duck) for the backing piece, and paint a border using a low sheen, water-based interior house paint.

Initially I felt I needed to prime the canvas, so did a test with textile pigment and a house paint undercoat. Once painted over with the colour I decided neither was necessary - see centre portion of test which shows paint coverage without any priming.

I painted a border around another piece of canvas. Because I had not washed it prior to painting, the border area shrunk which made the centre area pucker. Not good!

I repeated this experiment with a pre-washed piece of canvas. Success, it remain flat! The dyed art work is to overlap on to the borders. I did mount the rejected artwork on to this and was pleased with the outcome.

And here are my borders being painted on a very large piece of canvas, to accommodate my latest piece. I have already hemmed the top and lower edges, before painting, but left the sides raw. I painted the front side twice (to get a perfect coverage) and an underside border just once so that if the edges curled they would reveal the same colour.

Next I will get metal eyelets punched into the four corners. I get these things done professionally as it is very hard to get them perfect with equipment here at home.


  1. This looks fascinating!! Where do you get your eyelets punched professionally? I have tried all sorts of pieces of machinery (cheap and expensive!) and never had a satisfactory result. It is such a pain when you have gone to all that trouble over the artwork - in my case books.

  2. Interesting post on your presentation of textile works.
    Also, congratulations on your grant.
    I really enjoy seeing your work & the way you go about it.

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