Monday, January 21, 2013

Press: Textile Fibre Forum Magazine

This is a little belated but wanted to share anyway as a final wrap up to this blog! Last August Janet De Boer from the Textile Fibre Forum Magazine asked to do an article on our group show. The article was published in the November magazine and Janet kindly sent me a few extra copies. I have 3 copies to giveaway to the first people who send me an email  or leave a comment below before 31st January. 

Image Source

Monday, August 27, 2012

NWNP Closing

(Installation shot of NWNP as you enter the gallery space)

Well after months of planning we packed up Needle Work Needle Play in about an hour last Thursday! Thanks to everyone who came and saw the show, wrote about it and supported us. For those who couldn't make it to Melbourne I have included a selection of photo's from the exhibition so you can see what it looked like however there are many more to be found here on Flickr.

Once again all images are copyright of the artists and please if you want to use any of the images be sure to credit it back to the artist. Photography done by Andrew Altree-Williams. 

(Al Munro - Crystallography)

(Al Munro - Crystallography - detail)

(MaricorMaricar - Installation Shot)

(MaricorMaricar - Needle Work Needle Play)
(MaricorMaricar - Needle Work Needle Play detail)

(Carly Altree-Williams - Silently By Your Side)

(Carly Altree-Williams - Silently By Your Side)

(Haeli Van Veen - Installation Shot)

(Haeli Van Veen - Sergio detail)

(Haeli Van Veen - Ruth-ann detail)

(Cat-Rabbit - Installation Shot)

(Cat-Rabbit - Portrait of a Squish-Faced Cat)

(Cat-Rabbit - A Squish-Faced Cat)

(Evie Barrow - Sweater Collector Paul & Luke)

(Evie Barrow - Sweater Collector Luke - detail)

(Evie Barrow - Sweater Collector Paul - detail)

(Demelza Sherwood - Liz)

(Demelza Sherwood - Liz - detail)

(Gemma Pobjoy - Installation Shot)

(Gemma Pobjoy - Hiding in the Animal Kingdom #1)

(Gemma Pobjoy - And the Rabbit)

(Emma Greenwood - Installation Shot)

(Emma Greenwood - Printemps detail)

(Emma Greenwood - Argyle Hero detail)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Press: Design Files and more

We have some post opening thank you's for all the lovely mentions we have had out there in the last week including: Lucy from The Design Files adding our show as one of her top pick's for the Craft Cubed Festival here, Pip from Meet Me at Mikes mention on her blog here, Marissa's from The Thousand's article here and also a mention on Everguide here.

We really appreciate all the support for the show and for those who won't be able to make it along I will have some images of the show online soon.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Artist Feature: Al Munro

Last but definitely not least, today we have the final artist feature and are talking with Al Munro. Al is a current PhD Candidate and lecturer at the ANU School of Art with the Textiles Studio.  She is represented by the Brenda May Gallery and has had several solo exhibitions with Brenda May Gallery as well as Craft ACT, Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Charles Sturt University and ANCA Gallery.

Al has also participated in many group exhibitions such as Imitation of Life at CMAG, Natural Dirgession at the University of Technology Sydney, and Green at Brenda May Gallery .  Her works are in collections such as Art Bank, Commonwealth Government of Australia, Australian National Gallery, National Library of Australia and Megalo Print Studio Archive.

All images in this interview are provided by and copyright of Al Munro.

"Thinking about science and drawing"

Tell us a little about yourself and your arts/design background

My name is Al Munro and I live and work just outside Canberra in a rural area called Carwoola. Canberra remains my base though, and I think of myself as a Canberra artist. I am currently undertaking a PhD in the Textiles Workshop of the ANU School of Art, where I am also a part-time lecturer. 

My practice spans textiles, drawing and print, and my original arts training was a BA and Masters in printmaking. Over the last 10 years or so I have begun working more and more with textile media, on their own or by incorporating them into my drawn and printed works. An example of this is the work called "Thinking about science and drawing" which I think of as a yarn drawing, where the yarn becomes an elastic, fluid and physical drawn line, anchored to the wall by winding around dressmakers pins.

"Thinking about science and drawing - detail"

What led you to use embroidery in your work?

I began to use embroidery - needlepoint in particular - because I was interested in using a medium which would allow me to represent repeated units of code. For some time I had been using printed images as small units of a visual code which could be repeated and reconfigured in different ways to produce new 'messages'. I thought of this process as a visual analogy for the genetic codes of DNA used to map and visualise the natural world. 

A new body of work began to look at the codes and formulas of the mathematical world and their relationship to mapping geological and crystal specimens. The needlepoint stitches were perfect as they provided a regular coded unit which could be varied with colour. The grid of the Aida cloth and canvas was like a mathematical axis which provided a consistency and structure akin to the depiction of crystal forms as regular geometric solids. Through beading and other forms of embroidered embellishment I was able to reinsert some of the beauty and sparkle of the original specimens, qualities stripped away by the mathematisation of scientific visualisation and mapping.

Could you talk a little on the process of creating your work?

The works I am showing in the Needlework/Needleplay project are the crystallographic needlepoints. Technically these are fairly straightforward and I was really learning as I went with these works. I begin by finding a black and white diagram of a crystalline form represented as a regular geometric solid. I find these illustrations very beautiful and intriguing despite their intended purpose as diagrams which emphasise function over formal qualities. I either print these as a laser print or photocopy which has been enlarged to the size I want the embroidered piece to be.

Image of Crystallography Installation 

Then I pin the diagram behind my Aida cloth and stitch in the black/grey outline of the diagram. I can then remove the cartoon from behind the needlepoint and fill in the diagram with coloured areas. Some I fill in with solid colour, while others I will fill in with patterns, beading and other embellishments. The areas outside the stitched diagram are then folded and stitched to the back of the work leaving a needlepoint which is the same shape as the diagram. The back is then finished with felt to provide a support and tidy up the loose ends (and also hide my not so neat moments of stitching!)

Can you tell us a little about your inspirations?

My work takes as its starting point to codes, patterns, formulas and maps that have been used to visualise the natural world. My interests have ranged from the colour codes of supermarket packaging to the mathematics embodied in contemporary and historical scientific prints and diagrams. 

I love super-bright fluoros colours, sparkly yarns and beading, but I am also really attracted to matte  industrial greys; both these seem to me to emphasise the artifice and constructedness of visualisations of the natural world. I really really really love grids and repeat patterns too and find endless inspiration in even the simplest graph paper pad.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Press: Frankie Blog and Facebook

A big thank you to Georgia for doing an article about the exhibition on the Frankie Magazine blog and Facebook page. We really appreciate the support!

You can view the article here.

We have exactly one week till the show opens - don't forget to pop by and say hello!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Artist Feature: Demelza Sherwood

This week we are up to our second last artist feature as the show is now under 2 weeks away! Today we are looking at the beautifully illustrated work of Demelza Sherwood. Demelza graduated from the ANU School of Art with Honours in 2004 from the Drawing and Printmedia workshop. Since graduating, Demelza has used her drawing abilities and moved into using embroidery as a medium with amazing results. 

Demelza has had solo exhibitions including last year's,  A note to the stallholder at Mailbox 141 and recently completed a residency with Bundanon Trust. She has also participated in several major contemporary textile exhibitions over the last three years including Future Fibre, Whitebox Gallery, Queensland College of Art, Sensorial Loop - 1st Tamworth Textile Triennial, Tamworth Regional Gallery, Tamworth, Petite: Miniature Textiles, Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery and Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award, Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery, Wangaratta.

All images in this interview are provided by and copyright of Demelza Sherwood.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background

I studied printmaking and drawing at the ANU School of Art, Canberra. I loved the flexibility of the workshop and the space to experiment with different mediums. During my third year, I spent a semester at the Emily Carr School of Art in Vancouver where two courses had a big impact on my practice - bookbinding and ‘Life Into Art’, an art theory subject that focussed on conceptual art and working across disciplines – performance, and body art, and movements such as Fluxus and Dada. My artwork revolves around documenting chance moments that catch me off guard. I often refer back to Alain de Botton’s concept of the ‘travelling mindset’ (from The Art of Travel). He describes it as a way of looking at your surroundings with a view to noticing those easily overlooked details.

I always have a notebook on the go and also make collages to mail to friends and family. I love the immediacy of collage - intuitively cutting, arranging and rearranging magazines and papers, to come up with playful compositions. Last year I was an artist-in-residence at Bundanon Trust (Arthur Boyd’s homestead in the Shoalhaven Shire, NSW) - where I made works that responded to the resident bower bird.

Offerings for the Bower Bird –mostly not the right shade of blue but he took the thread.

What led you to using embroidery in your work?

I started drawing with pen and ink onto fabric. This led to drawing just with thread and appliqué.

Could you talk a little about the process of making your work?

I‘ve been drawing from photographs of people in movement - often friends caught in conversation, dancing or gesturing. I transpose them onto paper and then hand-stitch these portraits onto fabric. I’ve been using old household linens that show signs of wear, with stains and darns that suggest previous owners. The time-consuming process of hand-stitching contrasts with photography's digital instant. My mother is a textile artist and seamstress, and taught me to sew. I often turn to her for advice about fabrics and their treatment.

Can you tell us a little about your inspiration?

Clouds, people, travel, old photographs and magazines, circuses, patterned fabrics, films, dancing, costumes and dreams.

A few artists I keep returning to include Hannah Hoch, John Baldessari, Maurizio Anzeri (a recent discovery), Louise Bourgeois, Elizabeth Peyton, David Hockney, Toulouse-Lautrec, Max Ernst, and Marlene Dumas. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Artist Feature: Haeli Van Veen

This week we are featuring the work of Haeli Van Veen.  Haeli is completing her Honours year at the ANU School of Arts in the Sculpture workshop after completing her BA (Visual) majoring in the Textile workshop there last year.  The embroidery pieces seen in this article are the stunning works produced by Haeli for her major work last year!

Since commencing her studies Haeli has exhibited in may group exhibition including the Nets project, an international textile exhibition spanning countries and continents. She has was awarded an Emerging Artist Support Scheme Award in 2011 for her major work, has works for sale at the online boutique store Velvet Lane, and also received a highly commended by the American Tapestry Alliance for her work entered in Small Tapestries International.

All images in this interview are provided by and copyright of Haeli Van Veen.

Tell us a little about yourself and your arts/design background

Growing up in Canberra with my parents in the arts meant that every Thursday and Friday night I was dragged to another opening, running around among the grown-ups that are the thriving arts scene of our Capital, a pastime that I used to resent, and have now embraced as I began to study art myself. I grew up building dolls out of chunks of wood and tagging along on my dad’s visits to junkyards, finding new dress-ups in people’s rejects.

At 14, I started to work in the theatre, designing and making costumes and sets throughout my teen years. After a few more years of travelling and aimless wandering, I decided to bite the bullet and go to art school. I am currently studying at the ANU School of Art in Canberra, doing my honours in sculpture. I finished my bachelors’ degree in textiles in 2011.

What led you to use embroidery in your work?

One of the many summer holidays that I spent with my Oma down the coast, I began to go through her Simplicity sewing books from the 70’s. Being obsessed with the 60’s and 70’s as I was, I soon taught myself the stitches from the diagrams, and began to embroider paisley and floral patterns up the legs of my massive flares (needless to say, I had a very distinctive style throughout high school).

This ability to embroider was nothing more than a way to embellish my clothing, up until my last year of my undergraduate study, when I became fascinated with tattoos and their origin. I soon discovered the connections between tattoos and women, how the ritual of tattooing in many primitive cultures was almost exclusively for women. The connection between stitch and tattoo was cemented in my mind when I read about how Inuit women would tattoo their face and hands by literally stitching into their skin with thread that’s been treated with bear grease and soot. From there, stitching tattoos into ‘skin’ seemed to be a somewhat natural progression!

Could you talk a little on the process of creating your work?

When I learnt from my sculpture teacher, Simon Schuerle, how to use silicone and treat it to look just like skin a year earlier, I had wondered whether I could stitch into it. I spent several weeks figuring out how I could make the silicone a self-supporting canvas that I could stitch into. Eventually I found that layering two layers of tulle worked as a good support, because it didn’t fray, and then I was a case of building up the thin layers of the silicone and colouring to look like skin.

With the skin figured out, I then had to try to find a way to hold then skin in a way to stitch into. After trying to prop the wobbly skins against my knees as I stitched, I then decided to rig up a frame with clamps to secure the skins while I stitched into them. Due to the size of the frame, and the length of time I was working on the pieces, I ended up only being able to work slightly reclined in an armchair, positioned under the frame.

I tried many stitches throughout the process, and decided on a loose satin stitch and a backstitch best achieved the result I was looking for. Each large piece takes about 30 hours of stitching, and 2-3 days to make the skin.


Can you tell us a little about your inspirations?

I draw inspiration from everything around me. A lot of the tattoo images, I got from the old school tattoo designs in various books and archives, but I also found that anthropological studies and even textile patterns were great visual sources.

Looking at images and motifs that someone has chosen to permanently mark their body with is a fascination and personal experience. During the year of work, I travelled to Berlin to a tattoo convention, and, through getting some tattoos there myself, I came in contact with the Berlin tattoo culture. My interests, however, do not lie so much in the ‘fashion fad’ side of tattoos, but more in the primitive ritual, permanent motif aspect of tattooing.

I also identify a lot with Canadian landscape and animals, as well as much of their indigenous art, especially Inuit and Haida tribes. My work is currently drawing a lot on cultural identity, which still relates to the idea of tattoos, tribes, and heritage. The idea that by embroidering, I am carrying on a pastime of my Grandmothers and Great-Grandmothers gives me a sense of connection and identity that I felt I was beginning to lose.