Sensorial Loop

The 1st Tamworth Textile Triennial exhibition, Sensorial Loop, is currently on at the Goulburn Regional Gallery until 19 May 2012. This is the premier exhibition in the ‘world’ of Australian textile arts, having been around since 1975, (despite the current title). The exhibition’s current change to a three-yearly event is, I understand, designed to enable the Tammworth Regional Gallery to  better resource (both dollars and personnel) this major national touring exhibition.

This latest re-invention is certainly maintaining the high standards of previous shows. Two weeks ago I travelled to Goulburn to see the exhibition and specifically to hear a floor talk by Michele Elliot. Michele’s presence at the gallery was more than just a talk by a visiting artist, she was in the process of installing her work hemisphere’s:drawn to you still, 2011. The work consists of two paper pulp disks between which are strung some 1,000 red threads, tied to small hand-made pegs about 3 cms long.

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Michele Elliot working on the Goulburn installation

It may seem odd to still be installing a work once the exhibition has opened, however the installation process is itself a major part of Elliot’s work. Time, as she explained in her talk, is of interest to her in both the making and the representation of her work. At each of the nine exhibition venues Elliot will remake this work with the assistance of local artists. At the end of each showing the work will be cut and returned to Elliot.

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A close-up of the pegs that Elliot has made as part of this work.

The fact that Elliot is able to travel to each venue to install the work and that the show includes other large-scale contributions such as Carly Scoufos’ Interlaced Manuscript, 2011, which replicates the onsite installation of her work onto her grandfather’s dairy shed wall, demonstrates that moving to a three year schedule is allowing resources to be directed with good outcomes for both participants and audience.

Apart from Elliot’s work I was most interested in a large sculptural work by Lucy Irvine, Continuous Interruptions, 2011, which writhed its way around three sides of an exhibition wall. This was an intricate weaving of irrigation pipe and cable ties. It became the target of my drawing for that day.

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I would strongly recommend that you see this exhibition. The strength of the works, both materially and conceptually, will certainly dispel any preconceived ideas you may have about textiles as a ‘nanna’ craft’.

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Mountain Views

Early in March this year rangers arrived at the Namadgi National Park visitor information centre to see that a major rockslide had occurred during the night, gouging a pale stripe down three quarters of the mountains’ north-east face.

The landslip looks pretty dramatic close up, but driving around Tuggeranong it is clear that it is even more striking from a distance.

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So this weeks exercise involved just that, climbing up Mt Taylor to get a good view of Mt Tennant. I made the following drawing using watercolour pencils.

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It turns out that you can also see a man-made gash in the side of the Bullen Range, I presume it is a fire trail, quite rusty-orange against the vegetation, compared to the decidedly pink colour of the rockslide on Mt Tennant. This picture takes a ‘slice’ from Mt Gingera, down through Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and into the forground of the Bullen Range.

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Colouring

We all have our favourite colours and not suprisingly they are the ones we go back to time and time again. My ‘problem’ has been trying not to do this.

Not sure what to do I’ve tried some pretty wild combinations in an attempt to get out of my colour routine.

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Another approach has been to look at colours other artists use. There are some great colourists out there and I came across, one of those, Brian Clarke, via a documentary on SBS. What is really interesting is that Clarke has both a stained glass and a painting practice. One of the pieces I found most inspiring is a stain glass window he designed for the Abbey of Romont in Switzerland. A green shape floats against a checked background of blues and red. A photo of this window can be found here.

I was pleased with the result of taking both colour ideas and my stencilling/masking ideas into some new printed work.

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Late March

I’ve had a bottle of masking fluid sitting in my cupboard for years. I thought it was about time I pulled it out and used it. The fluid is a ‘plastic’ liquid which, once dried, reserves an area of your page from watercolour paint. After your paint has dried you can rub the area and lift the dried plastic off.

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I’ve been using this to explore the possibilities of an approach to using stencils in my prints.

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