The finished embroidery on the blue felt with silk inclusions. I was aiming for a coral reef look but the "barnacles" ended up looking more like flowers - mainly because I added an orange centre to them I think. I'm still pleased with the final result though. 8 x 7.5 cm

WAFTA Artist in Residence 2018

Artist in Residence

WAFTA Artist in Residence 2018 – Again!

Well, I am stunned and amazed! The selection panel looked favourably on my application to be a WAFTA Artist in Residence at The Shopfront at North Metro TAFE, 149 Beaufort Street, Perth, Western Australia for a second year in succession. There are 3 of us this year, last year there were 2. Apparently our applications all relate to wearable art and body adornment so we should get on like a house on fire 🙂 These are the promotional posters for each of us.

The Shopfront Gallery is open 10-4 on weekdays only (closed weekends). Visitors welcome. We are giving artist talks on Thursdays.

The AIR last year was a cathartic experience for me.  I finished the residency making experimental work that was completely different to my usual style. It was big for a start 🙂

This year I have had less time to think and prepare beforehand because I was ill. In my application I said that I am particularly interested in the combination of hard/soft materials, and ways of creating articulated joints to enable drape or change in direction. I have made quite a few brooches over the past year and I was thinking more about necklaces when I was referring to drape and articulated joints.

 

Experiments with heat setting polyester fabric by steaming.

Artist in Residence – The Bonus Week

Artist in Residence

What a Bonus!

It was a huge bonus to be asked if we would like to stay for another week and we jumped at the chance. Robi wanted to add to her installation in the window and I still had lots of experiments I wanted to do.

Experiments with Heat Setting Polyester Fabric

I manipulated the polyester organza fabric in a few ways: I wrapped and tied (string or wire) squares around table-tennis balls, marbles, large beads, plastic poker chips, syringe caps and rolled up aluminium foil. All of those worked well. I stitched tubes of fabric and inserted beads – tying between each bead. I also wrapped stitched tubes around a dowel to create a spring-like form.

Experiments with heat setting polyester fabric by steaming.

Experiments with heat setting polyester fabric by steaming.

Another experiment was to cut iron-on pelmet interfacing into strips. I wove these into a grid and stitched them together. Then I poked the polyester squares that had been shaped around table-tennis balls through some of the holes. This worked quite well and might be worth exploring at a later date. Further experiments could include covering the interfacing with fabric before/after cutting into strips, varying the strip widths, making 3D forms from the strips, and more. It was quite interesting to try and form a pleasing composition by moving the red puffs around. I could have poked the puffs through from both sides because the back had interesting texture too. Another effect I thought about (but didn’t actually do at the time) was to stitch the corners of the puffed squares to the grid (so there wasn’t anything at the back).

Experiments with heat setting polyester fabric by steaming. Shapes poked through holes in grid of stiff interfacing.

Experiments with heat setting polyester fabric by steaming. Shapes poked through holes in grid of stiff interfacing. Front view.

Experiments with heat setting polyester fabric by steaming. Shapes poked through holes in grid of stiff interfacing. Back view.

Experiments with heat setting polyester fabric by steaming. Shapes poked through holes in grid of stiff interfacing. Back view.

 

 

 

Artist in Residence – Intentions Go Awry

Artist in Residence

The Artist in Residence Brief

As part of the “interaction with students” in the brief for the WAFTA Artist in Residence we were encouraged to give talks to groups of students and WAFTA members towards the end of the first week, and another talk towards the end of the second week.

The AHA Moment

Early on during the residency I realised that I couldn’t really create “an exhibitions’ worth” of necklaces, bracelets, brooches, etc. Two weeks simply wasn’t enough time. This was just prior to giving the first talk. I started thinking “if that’s the case, then why am I here” – and completely changed what I was thinking about for the remainder of the 2 weeks.

The First Talk

I decided to give my first talk as I had prepared it – describing what I thought adornment was, why we adorn ourselves, what types of adornment there are and the methods/techniques used to create them. I showed slides and talked about the type of imagery that inspires me – coral reefs, sea slugs, micro/macro images etc.  Then I showed images of works by artists that inspire me: Mariko Kumusoto, Nora Fok and Arline Fisch. These 3 artists inspire me because their work is delicate, transparent, and either depicts or interprets natural elements. Nora Fok also makes some work that is her interpretation of mathematical concepts – which I also find inspirational (even though I am hopeless at maths!).

In-between the 2 Talks

I was nervous right from the start about talking to the students – that I wouldn’t be able to communicate effectively with them. I don’t really know why – they are people (just like me), they speak English (just like me), and we had a common interest in art. I kept telling myself it should be a breeze. In an attempt to reduce my nervousness I started making a mind map on the wall on the afternoon of the very first day. The artist in residence mind map was partly to show how I planned and recorded my research, and partly an artwork designed to prompt discussion between the students and myself. This took me a couple of days and then I started doing some planned experiments with thin interfacing.

Mind map for WAFTA Artist in Residence 2017

Mind map for WAFTA Artist in Residence 2017

I did a lot of the research in the 2 weeks prior to the residency so that I would be free to “make” and talk with visitors while I was there.Somehow, while I was sitting making (very repetitive, meditative work – spinning, wrapping) my mind wandered onto the questions of “what would be a big issue for young adult students?” and “how can I tailor my talk to include those issues?”

The Second Talk

I “sort of knew” that this talk would be completely different to the first – even before I gave the first talk! The second talk was supposed to be more about what the experience of being AIR was like. But I had started to think about the many media reports I had seen about Youth Suicide – and that this would be a relevant topic to weave into my second talk. So I included slides of my own work such as this one of some Shibori,

and this “Whirl” drawing, that related to being in a bit of mess.

Whirl 1 (detail), 17 Nov 2013, 58cmWx84cmH

 

I didn’t want to get really morbid – so mentioned some of the organisations that are around to help such as Youth Focus, Beyond Blue and LifeLine, as these seemed the most appropriate. If I’d been a bit better prepared I would have got hold of some brochures – but this all seemed to come “off the cuff” at the time. I wanted these young people to know that there are people who care what happens to them and are trained to help – and they are only a phone call away.

My final slide was of some work in progress.

Some paper-mache works in progress based on diatoms and radiolaria.

I got lots of hugs from fellow WAFTA members at the end of the talk, which was great because it made me feel that maybe I had communicated well with the audience. I felt really glad that I had tackled this difficult subject rather than taking the easy path and just talking about the creative side to the residency.

The Biggest Surprise

Soon after our talks, the Manager of the North Metro TAFE Shop Front Gallery asked if Robi Szalay and I would like to stay on for another week. We were thrilled and soooo happy we immediately said “yes – we’ll do it” 🙂 So then I got to thinking – well, maybe during this third week I’ll make lots of necklaces, bracelets, barrettes, brooches, anklets, ear-rings, cuff-links, bangles, beads, lariats, hair-slides, toe-rings, cuff-links, ear-cuffs, rings……

 

 

Artist in Residence – I intend to…

Artist in Residence, Uncategorized

As Artist in Residence I set out to:

  • Research ethnic body ornament and contemporary personal adornment created with textile techniques prior to the residency.
  • Design and create items of personal adornment such as necklaces, collars, bangles, rings, anklets, cuffs, brooches, ear-rings, and hair ornaments inspired by the research during the 2 week residency.
  • Have the research material and work in progress available for viewing by visitors and to present a lunchtime talk about the experience.

The brooches and hair barrettes in this photo are the type of work I was producing just prior to the residency. I knew adornment and/or jewellery was the general direction I wanted to go in for the future but these works were “safe” and “known” in terms of technique, materials, colour, and form. I needed to research, explore, and experiment in order to produce more exciting work.

Clockwise from top left: Hair barrette (machine & hand stitching), brooch (wrapped wire, stitching and crochet), hair barrette (hand embroidery), loom-woven beaded brooch backed with leather, experimental paper beads, brooch (wrapped wire with beads and embroidery), brooch (crochet and embroidery), felted brooch with embroidery.

Clockwise from top left: Hair barrette (machine & hand stitching), brooch (wrapped wire, stitching and crochet), hair barrette (hand embroidery), loom-woven beaded brooch backed with leather, experimental paper beads, brooch (wrapped wire with beads and embroidery), brooch (crochet and embroidery), felted brooch with embroidery.

 

Note: The residency was a collaborative affair between the West Australian Fibre and Textiles Association (WAFTA) and North Metro TAFE, Perth. It was held from 8-18 August 2017 at The Shopfront Gallery, 149 Beaufort Street, Perth.

 

Artist in Residence

Artist in Residence, Artwork by Liz, Exhibition

Today both Robi Szalay and I set up our Artist in Residence spaces in the Shopfront Gallery, 149 Beaufort St, Northbridge. We were ably assisted by Gail Hawes (WAFTA AIR Coordinator) and Margaret Ford (a very willing friend). WAFTA have done a great job with the publicity – posters and postcards. Robi and I are both very excited at the prospect of 2 weeks to concentrate on our creative work and we look forward to visitors popping in to see what we’re up to and discussing our creations. The shopfront is open from 10-4 (weekdays only) from August 8 to 18th.

The brooch featured on the poster is prominently displayed in the shop window. Other finished items are displayed in the front half of “my” space and the other half dedicated to making. Margaret assures me that it looks like an atelier 🙂

Adam tagging electrical equipment prior to use.

Red Glove Brooch and Red Ripple Necklace by Liz Arnold on the shopfront mannequin.