Friday, October 15, 2010

All being well.... the time of posting this blog I will be in the Chatham Islands for a week. These islands are 800km east of Christchurch and have the privilege of being the first land in the world which receives daybreak. This is because the international date line slides down on its east coast. Although part of New Zealand it does have some special plants, birds and coastal life. It also has a varied history of inhabitants, its early past being somewhat grizzly. I shall report on my return.

I am able to continue publishing my blogs because I can pre-set them to publish on a certain date, and time. I discovered this sometime ago when I was adjusting the date and time which I have to alter every time I publish as they are not NZ related. By going into Post Options I am able to 'correct' these to our time before publishing. On one occasion I got the hour wrong and was told my blog would be published an hour ahead of what I intended. It was a happy accident! So... my next three blogs should automatically pop up on line, that is if I have got the dates and times correct. As they say, time will tell!

This is going to be somewhat of a wordy post, something I usually try to avoid. However, I thought I would give a brief statement on my latest body of work. I have now completed four pieces and although I started this series with an intention of what I wanted to achieve, it still takes time to consolidate these intentions. I now feel ready to start preparing a statement about the works. Such statements are extremely important, take some serious writing, and seem to get tweaked over and over again until it all seems right. How much to tell, how much to give away, who are the audience? Where is this statement to be published/viewed? Lots and lots to consider. I have now written a synopsis for this body of work as follows, it is to be expanded further at a later date:

A Sense of Place
These works blur the line between textiles and painting. They are made up of multiple layered surfaces of painting and printing applied with dye, exposure of previous applications with discharge techniques, and selectively applying textile paint.

I have always had a keen interest in people. World-wide travel has expanded my views on people, communities and universal experiences. Whereas I am in awe of the natural environments viewed around the world, it is the people and their cycle of life, that hold the greatest interest for me. The basic needs of people and communities to conduct their day-to-day living, and co-exist, is common to us all, whether we live in an elegant apartment or a mud hut.

In this body of work the simple house shape is a metaphor for the shelter and comfort we all need to survive. People and communities are portrayed in stylized shapes, groupings or recognisable human renderings.

Now, relating this to the piece I have just finished ie Co-Existing shown again below. Here the house motif is repeated and stacked neatly inside each other; and the stylized people figures are (hopefully) mingling and grouped as a friendly crowd. Both these elements portray communities living and co-existing in a positive spirit. I am now wondering whether I should work a piece where the communities are not co-existing peacefully! Food for thought....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Now you see it, now you don't...

Something a bit different this week. Sometime ago I made a simple top out of a ribbed silk which I had dyed an amethyst colour. I decided it was too strong a colour for me so did some stitched resist (mokume shibori) before putting it through a vat dye bath. This system removes the original colour and replaces it with a new colour (green), all in one action - magic! Except I had not pulled up my stitch resists tight enough and very little contrasts happened, grrr..... It should have been green with amethyst resist patterns!

Not defeated, I then repeated the resists with very tight rubber bands, and over-dyed the top again in a deep purple. This turned the green an aubergine colour and what with the green resists, I am now happy with the outcome (actually it is better than what I had first anticipated!).