Friday, October 26, 2012

burp in the symphony

My jolly girls have coined a new phrase - a burp in the symphony. I have no idea what it might mean in the mind of a 4 or 6 year old, but it's used in a rather grand way. I try to imagine a burp that interrupts a symphony and love the way it tackles my serious thoughts, turns on the happy glow and just spreads an inner grin somewhere deep in the body...

I can already see how useful this phrase is...
This week turned out to be a bit of a burp in the symphony.
People in groups. There's always someone who turns out to be a burp in the symphony.
It's just begging to have some art created just to be able to use it as a name. 

Ah kids!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Nelson Masked Parade 2012

One of my favourite Nelson events is the Masked Parade, when the whole community gets on the streets either to take part in the parade or to watch. This year the theme was Myths and Legends. Here are some entries that caught my eye. I don't remember or know names for all groups or acts. If you know better you could help me name things correctly, so credit goes where credit is due.

 Victory Adult ESOL
Montessori Preschool (?) Taniwha
 Hampden Street School
 I think this was Hampden St School as well.
 A solo stiltwalker.
 Nayland College.
  Nayland College.
  Nayland College.
  Nayland College.

 Tasman School.
These two characters were part of a larger band, but stood out strutting and trumpeting in their colander hats and huge black sideburns.
 Dragon and knight.
Nayland Primary School
Nayland Primary School
Nayland Primary School
Nayland Primary School
 This is one of the two creatures that started the parade.

Thank you Nelson, I love you!

Monday, October 15, 2012

beauty break #1

The above flower I picked by the mailbox is a bit special as it gave birth to this idea of a beauty break. The term is very respectfully borrowed from my Facebook feed where "Awakening Women Institute" (founded by inspirational Chameli Ardagh) shares goodness under the same name. I just can't think of a better way to say it.

Now I have been a bit more regular with my posts here but not quite enough to explain the growing number of pageviews I've observed in the last months. It's delightful and interesting as I have no idea how people find their way here and who they are. Curious friends, some good old internet stalkers mixed with folk with a textile bend is my guess as I've kept my focus in that direction.

As a thank you for visiting and with the intention to keep rewarding you with new posts on a regular basis I've given myself an excuse to post little delights without needing to be wordy and to widen the visual outside the textile/fibre/dye/stitch. And please give me a sharp kick in the shin if this blog has any hint of turning into fulltime flowers and kittens kind. Pretty please.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

floor talks, floors, walls and ceiling

I've spent a couple of mornings at the Refinery Artspace giving floor talks to friends and random visitors. I really enjoy that type of interaction and had an opportunity to meet some interesting new people as well.

I also had a chance to support my 6 year old with a drawn out apology to Duncan for snapping the wire that his welded chainlink sculpture was hanging from at the back entrance... Just a bit of drama that happened at the opening.

While I was spending time at the gallery I had time to take some snaps. Here's the neglected rear view of "From Finland with Love".
And a side angle.
 The paint splattered gallery floor deserves a portrait

and I quite like the way the repairs just sit among the old.
 The toilet is a creative retreat. Here's the runway to it.
The toilet floor. Beautiful methinks.
The walls are quite a statement
and the ceiling is an interesting collage of pump station plans coloured with what could be crayon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

a clean table

Today the Strands crew gathered for an exhibition project debrief at my house. It was nice but sad to see everyone for what seemed to be the last time in terms of "Beginnings". Most were tired, some unwell, some ready to move on to the next big thing. Rather like an anticlimax.

We've met roughly once a month for 18 months... It's created a safe space for us to share where we're at both with our work and any other personal things that affect our output and energy. It's given a monthly reason to check in to see what progress I've actually made since the last time, very handy when life throws curveballs that easily get me off the track. I sure will miss our regular gatherings and the valuable feedback and inspiration from others.

18 months ago I thought I'll know what my bigger direction will be in the end of this project and it has proven to be a wonderful homecoming. I've returned to my designer/dressmaker me after some years of creating more conceptual textile art. Actually I've brought the two together with no intent to abandon either. I had my sweetest moment during the photo shoot day with Ishna. (It'll be worth a separate flashback post to write about my previous garment photo sessions from years ago.) It felt like - this is what I used to do, this is what I'm meant to do. Peace.

I've wanted to get back to making wearable items for a couple of years (other than knitting funny hats,lol) and now I'm here, beyond the wanting. I can't wait to see people wearing my frocks and skirts and tops (as those are the things I like to wear myself). I interrogated everyone for tips on how they run the business side of their textile artist career, and felt the excitement tickle in the tummy.  Back on the saddle girl! 

After everyone left I walked to the shop to get the paper, as the Wednesday Art section was rumoured to have our exhibition critiqued. You can read the review here.

Marveling at my empty work table I could not avoid the inevitable: it's been waiting for a couple of layers of proper topcoat paint for long enough. Today there was nothing waiting to be cut or sorted on the surface, the day was sunny and warm, and I had time. Zero excuses. 
So full of promise and freshness, clean and new... It's a beauty!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

hung and opened

This photo is borrowed from Refinery Artspace Facebook gallery.
I named this ensemble From Finland with Love.
It's made of peat felt, jute and ecodyed silk organza.
The blurb goes like this:

Years ago I acquired an unusual piece of felt. The cotton grass that grows on top of the sphagnum moss that Finnish bogs are made of has rotted under the earth for nearly a thousand years, transforming it into a unique textile fibre. Here this material represents my country of origin quite literally. Mixed with wool it has been used to make thick felt that when worn as a wide skirt becomes grounding and protecting due to sheer weight.

I had a very down to earth upbringing on a small farm as did most of my forefathers and mothers. Even though being skilled in many crafts was part of the old rural lifestyle, my choice to study fashion design was a bit outside the accepted comfort zone. It was just a bit too frivolous and arty and not really real work… And yes, I still feel like a peasant’s daughter, feet in the mud and head full of grand ideas. No matter what finery I endeavour to create, the utilitarian sack cloth beginnings remain underneath it all.

After a Saturday meeting with the Strands crew, Sunday moving walls in the gallery and hanging, Monday doing interviews and sticking on labels and Tuesday organising greeting cards and posters to sell and then rushing to the opening... It's all done! The exhibition is there for everyone to see and today we are lying low picking ourselves up. Or maybe I should just speak for myself.

The last days were busy working together and at times challenging as I had my darling girls with me most of the time. I'm full of admiration for the resilience of my colleagues and Duncan and Roger at the gallery.

 Another photo from Refinery Artspace.
The silk dress is eco dyed georgette and called The Un-Wedding Dress.

The white peonies of the wedding bouquet
forming prints on the cloth.
Plums and pomegranate transcending.
Transformation, stepping into the single life again.

Duncan whipped up a hanger for my silk dress on the spot while we were setting everything up. As a thank you my girls wrecked his sculpture on the backyard on the opening night... Well not quite, the piece is made of welded chain so it's pretty solid, but it was hung with a wire/rope that the girls had twisted to the point of snapping. A dramatic tumble brought down the sculpture, the girl and a bench. Two of these things suffered injury, ouch.

The crowd that gathered to the opening night made it seem like a party. There were dear friends that I expected to see and some lovely surprises too. Roger and Jo took care of the official talking and the rest was the sort of mingling openings are made of.

I had booked a massage for this morning, and the timing was impeccable. My lower back has been sore on and off for a couple of months and my masseuse friend did some seriously deep work to release the tension that was held in the area. As a result my body feels light and new and wonderfully recovered.
 Credit for even this photo goes to Refinery Artspace.

You can see what Nelson Mail wrote here.