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.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you India! There's your fingerprints there somewhere too, at least in spirit. The bottom half of the dress is a product of the last day in Lud Valley Dec 2010. What a wonderful time we had...

  2. Lovely work, Maria. I especially love your Un-Wedding dress in the breeze. And thanks for the link to the Mail.

    1. Thanks Meg, I love the breezy photo too, it's just the kind I wanted to have from the gallery. Would it be Roger's photo you think? And nice that some writings are found so easily online.


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