Thursday, 26 May 2011

Footprints Exhibition

I was selected to participate in the Footprints exhibition by a selection panel which consisted of representatives from the ANU School of Art and the Belconnen Arts Centre.

The exhibition explores the impact of cultural, spiritual, environmental and economic footprints which we as a society and as individuals are leaving on our environment. The selected artists explore how the impact of environmental and social changes have affected and altered their artistic visions and practices.

Artists were asked to consider and respond to the theme of the impact of cultural, spiritual, environmental and economic footprints being left on our environment.

My submission was inspired by my experiences living in London. Often, in council estates were high density housing, (the term concrete jungle is apt!), there would be planted a token tree. Despite all odds, the tree would be flourishing and continuing to grow - even though water to its roots was hampered by the concrete paving, and it was surrounded on all sides by closely built dwellings. It shows that trees, and plants, are resilient and can grow despite all odds - offering hope and life to those around us.

Another memory I have from the same area is an image of a tree in the middle of winter. Its limbs were bare, yet caught in the branches were plastic bags, fluttering like jewels on the breeze against a clear blue sky (most unusual for London winters!) I captured this image on my iphone, but unfortunately it was lost in my relocation back to Australia.

My work created for this exhibition utilises a found piece of bark, embroidered with recycled plastic bags from Sainsbury's supermarket. From a distance, the orange plastic bag seems to merge with the bark - reminding me a little of lichen.

Footprints opens Friday 2 June at 6pm at the Belconnen Arts Centre.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Blog Love - Her Canberra

Theres a lot of blog love going on and I would like to thank Her Canberra for featuring me on their blog recently. Its a wonderful online magazine for Canberra women by Canberra women. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to be featured!

There is a lot happening in my studio at the moment as I work towards Repeat Repeat, an exhibition of fabric lengths at Megalo, followed by more textile design for Interwoven exhibition in Sydney, coordinated by the Design Institute of Australia. Im also working towards Footprints, another selected group show at the Belconnen Arts Centre.

In the midst of all this I am also creating new wares for the next Handmade Market in Canberra in June.

Ill post some images of my creations as they develop, in the meantime I caught La Nina dancing in the sunlight....

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

La Nina in The Edge

Last week I completed La Nina - a dress made entirely from knitted and crochet recycled plastic bags - which was selected to be in the sculpture show 'The Edge' at the Belconnen Arts Centre.

The sculpture is life size and approximately 1m high and 50cm diameter. She gently twirls and dances as she catches the breeze as you walk past ...... La Nina was created using over 100 recycled plastic shopping bags, mainly from Woolworths. I enjoy using discarded objects to create something of beauty and to change perceptions of the materials used.

La Nina also creates beautiful shadows and I captured some in the afternoon light - it's going to be an interesting study to watch the shadows as they dance over the gallery walls from early to late afternoon.

The Edge is an interesting exhibition. Although it is a sculpture show, many of the pieces in it are created using textile techniques - fascinating and well worth a visit to the Belconnen Arts Centre.

There is a Meet the Artist talk at 2pm, Sunday 22 May. The exhibition runs until Sunday 29 May 2011.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

La Nina

Yes, another knitting project using recycled plastic bags......

This time its a life size dress for The Edge, an exhibition at the Belconnen Arts Centre of sculptural works by the Canberra region's top emerging and established sculptures.

The brief was to respond to living on the edge, questioning how does place influence us? How does space affect our responses, our actions our dreams? How do we interject ourselves into the universe? How do we live on the edge?

My response was La Nina.

Peruvian fishermen named the extreme weather condition la nina (the girl, the gift giver) because the cold water brought to the South America's coast a flux of marine life which increased the fisherman's catch. Meanwhile on the other side of the world, countries like Australia have experienced severe flooding. Thought to be an effect of global warming, Earth is on the edge of climate change. The garment refers to Peruvian traditional dress, and the net-like knitting alludes to the nets the Peruvian fishermen use to catch the fish.

I have lost count of how many plastic bags I have recycled for this project, but its definitely well into the hundreds....

The exhibition opens on Friday 13 May at 6pm and continues until Sunday 29 May 2011, at the Belconnen Arts Centre.

Come along to see how the twelve selected artists have responded to the topic.


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