Friday, June 4, 2010


My latest piece is now finished, and mounted. I am very pleased with the result. I would love to show you the whole piece but am reluctant to do so just in case I wish to submit it to an exhibition, where whole images must not have been seen on the Internet. The inspiration was, of course, Peru!

© Diana Parkes 2010, A Sense of Place; 133cm x 188cm / 52.5" x 74"; silk/linen and cotton cloth; dye, discharge, textile pigment

In this piece I have used the four letters, one in each corner, which spell out INCA but with the N reversed. This was the starting point for this piece. According to my research, a prominent Inca leader learnt how to read and write after the Spanish arrived but somehow he reversed the N's in all his written works. Whether this was deliberate or unintentional it is not known but it was interesting to see it continued today in Peru on major signage and branding etc.

Mounting this piece on the border-painted canvas backing looks great. The eyelets (grommets) worked out well too. I got these done at a local canvas goods maker / repairer and whereas I thought they would be brass, I was offered black eyelets and responded 'yes, please!' They have all sizes and were very cheap to get done. Very small eyelets eg. shoe lacing size, are best done at a shoe repairers.

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.